Published: Tue, July 25, 2017
Finance | By Laverne Griffith

Fox News Semi-Corrects the Lie It Fed to Trump

Fox News Semi-Corrects the Lie It Fed to Trump

The New York Times is demanding an on-air apology from Fox News over a weekend report that claimed the newspaper foiled an attempt by the USA military to kill Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In response, the Times sent Fox News a lengthy letter explaining that it would have been hard for al-Baghdadi to have been tipped off by its story since the raid Thomas described occurred on May 16, 2015, and the Times story didn't run until June 8, which even "Fox & Friends" hosts should be able to figure out is three weeks later. About 25 minutes later, Trump - a frequent "Fox & Friends" viewer - tweeted about the report and accused the "Failing New York Times" of having a "sick agenda over National Security".

The report claims the Times released information pertaining to a military raid carried out in Syria, leading to the death of one of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's key lieutenants, Abu Sayyaf.

Later on Sunday, Fox News updated the story online with a statement from The New York Times. "With this segment, "Fox and Friends" demonstrated what little regard it has for reporting facts".

The Pentagon announced the raid the day after it happened, and it was widely reported - including by Herridge, who said on "Fox News Sunday" on May 17 that "a treasure trove of information" was gathered.

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Fox, in a statement, said neither its initial report nor subsequent coverage on the air was inaccurate. If Thomas was wrong, the paper should take its case to him, not to Fox News.

She continued, "The host railed against The New York Times for covering a raid stating that the USA government "would have had al-Baghdadi based on the intelligence that we had except someone leaked" to The New York Times when Fox News had covered the same raid three weeks earlier in a segment in which their correspondent said, 'The newly recovered intelligence may bring U.S. closer to Baghdadi's kill or capture'".

In the segment, Gen. Raymond Thomas, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), revealed that in 2015, the U.S. had valuable intelligence about al-Baghdadi's whereabouts until "there were some leaks about what we were up to". "For all of their concern about accuracy, the New York Times didn't reach out to anyone at Fox News until Sunday afternoon for a story that ran Friday night". "Fox and Friends" host Steve Doocy mentioned the controversy Monday morning. "No senior American official complained about the story until now, more than two years later", NYT's rep noted. I don't know. But General Thomas, the head of all US special forces, believes that the Times article contained information that allowed al-Baghdadi to escape. He didn't pass judgment on Doocy's statement.

The Times went on to claim that it disclosed the June 2015 article to the Pentagon before publication, and there was no objection.

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