Fox Downplays Sexual Assault, Until It Fits Their Anti-Muslim Refugee Agenda

Fox News devoted numerous segments to reports of mass sexual assaults committed in Cologne, Germany on New Year's Eve by men “having a 'North African or Arabic' appearance,” using the story to fearmonger about the “direct threat” posed by “how fast you allow ... Syrian refugees into this country.” This reporting stands in contrast to Fox's history of downplaying sexual assaults when it doesn't fit their anti-refugee agenda.

Mass Sexual Assault Reportedly Committed In Germany On New Year's Eve

NY Times: Mass Sexual Assaults Reported In Cologne, Germany By Men Described As Having “A North African or Arabic” Appearance. A mass sexual assault reportedly occurred in Cologne, Germany on New Year's Eve, where “scores of young women” reported having “been groped and robbed ... by gangs of men,” according to the New York Times. Though authorities described the attackers “as having 'a North African or Arabic' appearance,” “it was not clear that any of the men involved were” refugees from “Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere”:

The tensions simmering beneath Germany's willingness to take in one million migrants blew into the open on Tuesday after reports that scores of young women in Cologne had been groped and robbed on New Year's Eve by gangs of men described by the authorities as having “a North African or Arabic” appearance.

Taking advantage of the New Year's Eve street party, hundreds of young men broke into groups and formed rings around young women, refusing to let them escape, the authorities said. Some groped victims while others stole wallets or cellphones.

Witnesses described the atmosphere around the city's central train station as aggressive and threatening, with firecrackers being thrown into the crowd. The women who were attacked screamed and tried to fight their way free, a man who had struggled to protect his girlfriend told German public television.

The Cologne police added that they had received 90 complaints from victims, including one who said she had been raped. No arrests have been made.

In Hamburg, the police said 10 women had reported that they were sexually assaulted and robbed in a similar fashion on the same night.

It was not clear that any of the men involved were among those who arrived in Germany over the past year from conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

 [New York Times1/5/16]

Fox Hypes Sexual Assault Story To Claim “Refugees Are Inherently A Problem”

Frequent Fox Guest Rudy Giuliani: Germany's Mass Sexual Assault Shows Us That “The Reality Is That These Refugees Are Inherently A Problem.” On the January 7 edition of Hannity, frequent Fox guest Rudy Giuliani declared “refugees are inherently a problem” and said the mass sexual assault reveals that terrorists' “game plan is as much homegrown terrorism as possible.” Host Sean Hannity also claimed that there are “concerns over accepting refugees ... after a wave of alleged sexual assaults” after speculating that the attackers “did not speak German or English”:

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Concerns over accepting refugees are growing after a wave of alleged sexual assaults and robberies were reported during the New Year's Eve celebrations in the German city of Cologne. Now according to reports, German police say victims describe the perpetrators as gangs of Arab or North African men and German media is also reporting that some of the men involved claim to be Syrian refugees, although German officials say there is no solid evidence that refugees in fact were involved. Joining us now, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Mr. Mayor, talking about over 100 women, coordinated sexual attacks. It's clear from the people that were there that they did not speak German or English. So it seems like they are in denial there.

RUDY GIULIANI: Sounds kind of similar to the White House right? The whole thing about workplace violence and all that nonsense. The reality is that these refugees are inherently a problem because there is no question that ISIS, Al Qaeda, or similar groups will take advantage of an influx this large to slip in, I would say a substantial number of people. We now know their game plan. The game plan is as much homegrown terrorism as possible. This gives them kind of a big jump ahead in being able to do that. [Fox News, Hannity1/7/16]

Fox's Megyn Kelly: Because Of These Refugees, “Is Germany Over As We Know It? Is Europe?” On the January 7 edition of The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly fearmongered about Germans “being forced to conform to the refugees and large groups of Muslims who have no desire to assimilate,” before baselessly asking “is Germany over as we know it?”:

MEGYN KELLY (HOST): Joining me now, Soeren Kern, a distinguished senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, which is an international policy group and think tank. Soeren is a dual German and U.S. Citizen who lives in Europe. Soeren thank you so much for being here. So I am hearing people today say things as dramatic as Europe is lost. Suggesting the culture there is being forced to conform to the refugees and large groups of Muslims who have no desire to assimilate. Your thoughts? 

SOEREN KERN: Yeah well this process has been going on for many years. But it's really been fast-tracked over the last six months with this massive migration of more than a million people coming into Germany. Mostly from Muslim countries. Approximately 80% of the migrants that came into Germany are Muslim. And these groups are very, very difficult to assimilate. A lot of these younger people that are coming into the country are not employable. They are essentially shiftless and many of them are getting involved in petty crime and essentially the German government has completely lost control over the security situation in the country as we've seen. 

KELLY: Do you feel -- you look at this, is Germany over as we know it? Is Europe? 

KERN: Well, the Europe that we've come to know and that we've come to love is certainly over. Germany will never be the same. It's just impossible to integrate these people and there's already a very big problem in many European countries including Germany of parallel societies, essentially where large groups of Muslim immigrants that are not integratable into the whole society essentially set up their parallel society, including with Sharia courts, the application of Sharia law. This is just going to continue and it's just basically be fast-tracked from here on out.  [Fox News, The Kelly File, 1/7/16]

Fox's Eric Bolling: Refugees And Migrants Are Becoming “An Epidemic” That Will [Spread] Like A “Virus.” On the January 6 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-host Eric Bolling suggested that Muslim refugees will "[become] an epidemic" because “once you introduce the virus to the host, the virus spreads.” Bolling used the reports to say “all the more reason to be very, very careful how fast you allow ten or 200,000 refugees ... into this country.” From the January 6 edition of The Five:

ERIC BOLLING (CO-HOST): And Dana points out, western -- can I isolate Europe as part of the western that -- so the open border policy in Europe where you can you travel from country to country.


BOLLING: Technically you don't need a passport. They're trying to tighten some of those things up. But that migrant population, they're calling these guys migrants, well refugees and migrants. All the more reason to be very, very careful how fast you allow 10 or 200,000 Syrian refugees into this country. Allegedly, up until this point, allegedly, there was a lot of rapes going on, right? The refugees and the migrants, but they were Muslims raping Muslim women. How long before it spreads to the Germans? Or how long of their fear -

DANA PERINO (CO-HOST): That's what happened on New Year's Eve.

BOLLING: Right, right, and how long before it becomes an epidemic. This may be an isolated incident, hopefully it is. But how long before it becomes an epidemic, like anything. And then the virus, once you introduce the virus to the host, the virus spreads. [Fox News, The Five1/6/15]

Fox Guest Dana Loesch: “Can We Tell Muslim Migrants To Not Rape And Sexually Assault Women?” On the January 6 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, Fox guest and The Blaze television host Dana Loesch asked  “are we going to have to have like a little lesson on, can we teach these, you know, coming from a patriarchal society, can we tell Muslim migrants to not rape and sexually assault women?” Host Megyn Kelly also baselessly claimed that “they've let in a bunch of migrants ... [and] the crime are allegedly committed by these guys”:

MEGYN KELLY (HOST): And now the leader of the nationalist party alternative for Germany says, is this the cosmopolitan and colorful Germany that Merkel wished for? Because there are concerns that -- and there are reports that at least eight of the suspects who have been detained were all asylum seekers.


DANA LOESCH: In fact, Megyn, some of the German newspapers are reporting that 14 of the 15 at least so far known or identified are those Muslim migrants. Those who have been coming into Germany. And this hasn't just happened in Cologne either. This is also happened in Hamburg, it's happened in Stuttgart, it's happening more and more. It's happened in Norway. Megyn, this is like the second or third time in recent weeks that you have had police and you have had elected leaders have to tell Muslim migrants what is acceptable and not acceptable behavior in public. I mean, at some point, are we going to have to have like a little lesson on, can we teach these, you know, coming from a patriarchal society, can we tell Muslim migrants to not rape and sexually assault women?

 [Fox News, The Kelly File1/6/15]

Fox Contributor: This “May Be A Turning Point In German Attitude Toward Immigration.” Fox contributor Lt. Col. Ralph Peters responded to the reports by lamenting that “when a German of any standing tried to criticize that immigration policy, the media and politicians would brand them neo-Nazi automatically.” Peters also claimed this “may be a turning point in German attitude toward immigration” because Germany has “taken in immigrants over the years and 1.1 million just last year.” From the January 6 edition of The O'Reilly Factor:

BILL O'REILLY (HOST): Does this have a wider implication, Colonel?

RALPH PETERS: It certainly does. There is just a firestorm in the German media now especially online in the blogosphere. Because the German position having taken in immigrants over the years and 1.1 million just last year from the Middle East and North Africa, has been that they are all innocent victims. And when a German of any standing tried to criticize that immigration policy, the media and politicians would brand them neo-Nazi automatically. And now there is a feeling from John Schmidt (ph), Herr Mayer (ph), the German man on the street that, hey, this is what we have been talking about. Because what happened was about a thousand guys organizing this flash mob create organized sexual assaults, at least two rapes in Cologne, about 50 plus attacks in Hamburg, the same night New Year's Eve, about 13 or more or 18, I think it is now, in Dusseldorf. And it's a shock to the Germans. Because Germans, you know, there's got to be order. And that this could happen in Germany is unthinkable to them. And the first thing the authorities did was try to hush it up. And then they rushed out and said -- they did an Obama. They said, well, you know, you can't assume they're Muslims. You can't assume this is sexual terrorism -- blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And the mayor of Cologne who is super, you know, free immigration, open borders, Henriette Reker, she actually said within the last 24 hours, well, what women have to do German women just have to keep all strange men at arm's length -- pretty tough to do. And on top that -

O'REILLY: That's ridiculous. That's absurd.

PETERS: -- they have got their Mardi Gras coming up. Cologne is their New Orleans at (inaudible) they are worried about that. This is a disaster. It may be a turning point in German attitude toward immigration.

O'REILLY: Do you think the press, the liberal press in Germany and, you know, Germany like many other countries the press is primarily left is covering it up?

PETERS: I think they initially tried to play it way down. They had to report it but they are playing vanilla reports. I read the German media just about every day.

And now they are trying to ameliorate and well we don't know of this. We're not sure of that. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor,1/6/15]

Fox's Tucker Carlson: Refugees Bringing “Their Culture, Their Language, Their Politics ... Is a Direct Threat” To “Values” And “Freedom.” On the January 8 edition of Outnumbered, Fox contributor Tucker Carlson claimed that instances like the mass sexual assault “is inevitable when you have this scale of immigration from countries in which women are not allowed to walk freely, wearing revealing clothing in the public square.” Carlson also exclaimed that large-scale immigration “is a direct threat to [Germans'] values” and “an attack on [their] freedom”

ANDREA TANTAROS (CO-HOST): This is a huge story, Tucker Carlson, that has not gotten enough attention all week long especially here in the United States as we are having our own debate over how many refugees to take. And you've heard President Obama, Hillary Clinton and others wanting as many as 60,000, the overwhelming majority, Muslim men.

TUCKER CARLSON (CO-HOST): This is the kind of story that has been ignored by and large by the mainstream press but that is being e-mailed between people frantically. Because the average person understands exactly the message. Which is that immigrants bring their countries with them. They bring their culture, their language, their politics, their customs and people who come from prosperous, peaceful industrious countries tend to be that way, and people who don't tend to bring those values too. So this is inevitable when you have this scale of immigration from countries in which women are not allowed to walk freely, wearing revealing clothes in the public square. The most interesting fact of this is the point that the European left, as the left in America is also doing, is making apologies for this, is refusing to say the obvious. When this is a direct threat to their values, again to the ability of women to walk unaccompanied, uncovered in the public square, this is an attack on that freedom. And they don't seem to recognize it.

TANTAROS: Harris, why are they ignoring this story? Tucker mentions it's not gotten a lot of coverage and I think two things, one President Obama and the left does not want to look like hypocrites or like they're making the wrong decision with these refugees and also doesn't this story help Donald Trump? [Fox News, Outnumbered1/8/16]

Fox Has Previously Downplayed, Ignored, And Disparaged Sexual Assaults And Rape Victims

Fox Dedicated A Special To Minimizing The Epidemic Of Sexual Assault On Campus. Fox News aired a special on December 12 called Fox News Reporting: The Truth About Sex & College which claimed that false sexual assault allegations are “not that unusual” and criticized victims of sexual assault. [Media Matters12/11/15

Fox Guest Suggests “Many Women” Falsify Rape Accusations Because They “Have What's Known As Regret Sex.” On theAugust 19 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, guest Keith Sullivan argued that a New Hampshire student accused of sexual assault didn't “look like a rapist.” He continued that “many women” falsify accusations because they “have what's known as regret sex.” [Media Matters8/19/15]

Fox's Brit Hume: “I, Myself, Totally Dispute” Campus Sexual Assault Statistics. On the April 7 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, Brit Hume stated that coverage of sexual assault demonstrated the “tyranny of this narrative ... that women on campuses are a vulnerable group,” and that “college campuses are especially dangerous places.” He concluded: “I, myself, totally dispute the notion that you've got a one in five chance of being sexually assaulted on a campus today.” [Media Matters4/7/15]

Fox's Andrea Tantaros Suggested Feminism Encouraged Statutory Rape Of Student. On the January 22, 2014 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-host Andrea Tantaros blamed feminism for encouraging the statutory rape of a high school student, claiming “There's something about feminism that lets them know that 'I can do everything a man does, I can even go after that young boy.'” [Fox News, The Five1/22/14]

Fox's Tucker Carlson: Reporting Statutory Rape Is “Whiny.” On the June 5, 2014 edition of Fox News' Outnumbered, co-host Tucker Carlson criticized a student for reporting a statutory rape as “whiny,” diminishing the victim's report, saying, “He went and tattled to the police.” [Fox News, Outnumbered6/5/14]

Fox Host Dana Perino's Advice To Women Who Are Victims Of Violence: “Make Better Decisions.” On the December 5, 2012 edition of The Five, co-host Dana Perino stated that “women are victims of violence all the time.” When co-host Greg Gutfeld responded that "[t]hey should have guns," Perino replied, “Well, maybe. Or make better decisions.” [Fox News, The Five12/5/12]

Bill O'Reilly: Rape, Murder Victim Was “Wearing A Miniskirt And A Halter Top. ... [E]very Predator In The World Is Gonna Pick That Up At 2 In The Morning.” While discussing the rape and murder of 18-year-old Jennifer Moore during the August 2, 2006, edition of his now defunct radio show, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly appeared to suggest that the clothing she was wearing at the time helped incite her killer, calling the girl “moronic” and saying: “She was 5-foot-2, 105 pounds, wearing a miniskirt and a halter top with a bare midriff. Now, again, there you go. So every predator in the world is gonna pick that up at two in the morning.” [Westwood One, The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly8/2/06, via Media Matters]

Fox's Liz Trotta On Violent Sexual Assaults In The Military: “What Did They Expect? These People Are In Close Contact.” On Fox's America's News HQ, Fox contributor Liz Trotta criticized the Department of Defense for increasing funding for support programs for victims of sexual assault: “I thought the mission of the Army, and the Navy, and four services was to defend and protect us, not the people who were fighting the war.” Reacting to a Pentagon report finding a 64 percent increase in violent sexual assaults in the military since 2006, Trotta stated, “Now, what did they expect? These people are in close contact.” [Fox News, America's News HQ2/12/12]

Geraldo Rivera Dismissed Sexual Assault During Discussion Of Alleged Rape Victim. While discussing charges of rape against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund, on the July 1, 2011, edition of America's Newsroom, Fox host Geraldo Rivera claimed that immigrant women use rape allegations as a “new immigrant racket” to stay in the U.S. After telling an anecdote about a friend's wife, Rivera concluded that the housekeeper Strauss-Kahn had allegedly assaulted “sought asylum claiming a rape charge, typical of the scenario, this immigration scam that they pull.” [Fox News, America's Newsroom7/1/11, via Media Matters]

Fox's Tantaros On Alleged Sexual Harassment Victims: “At What Point Do Women Need To Take Some Responsibility?” In a November 10, 2011, New York Daily News column, Fox News host Andrea Tantaros addressed the sexual harassment accusations against then-GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain: “I'm not saying that Cain isn't guilty of sexual misconduct ... But this scandal should have every woman asking: At what point do women need to take some responsibility?” “The real question,” according to Tantaros, is, “Why have dinner and drinks with a married man in the first place? Why not meet him in his office if your purpose is strictly professional?” [New York Daily News11/10/11, via Media Matters]