Leave it to a Fox News anchor to find a way to work in a shout-out to Donald Trump in the middle of "objective news" coverage of an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. But first, Fox’s Eric Shawn did his best to terrify viewers that bombs might be going off all over the place at any moment.
During Shawn's coverage, New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the explosion was an “intentional act” and that another suspicious device had been found a few blocks away. But the mayor also said there was no evidence of a terrorist attack.
But Shawn decided he’d report otherwise.
SHAWN: The mayor and officials saying there is no evidence of a terror connection but, believe me, if someone’s walking around the streets of New York tonight, putting bombs in a dumpster or bombs in a garbage can, that is terrorism.
Then Shawn ratcheted up the fear mongering to suggest there might be bombs any and everywhere.
SHAWN: They say there’s no evidence. Just because there’s no evidence of a terror connection doesn’t mean this is terrorism [sic], whether it’s radical Islamic terrorism, whether it’s a nutcase like George Metesky – remember him, the Mad Bomber? Back in the 50s, the Mad Bomber, he put, like 33 bombs over 16 years. He put ‘em in Grand Central! He put ‘em in Radio City Music Hall! 15 people were injured by the Mad Bomber. He’s a New York City legend. And as we’ve been reporting tonight, on and on and on. The LaGuardia bombing where a bomb was by Croatian terrorists was put in a locker, that killed 11 people. Car bombs on Fifth Avenue by Palestinian terrorists, 1973, did not go off. The Fraunces Tavern bombing by the FALN, and all those other bombs put in New York City by the FALN and the Weather Underground all these years.
A responsible reporter might have noted that the city muddled through, that none of those incidents were anything close to 9/11 and there was no need to panic. But not Shawn. He seemed to want New Yorkers terrified.
SHAWN: I mean, if this is not terrorism, whether it’s domestic, whether it’s radical Islamic, what is it? It’s terrorism!
Having established that everybody should be afraid, very afraid, Shawn gave some props to Trump for his rash, ignorant fear mongering.
SHAWN: Earlier this evening, you’ve got Donald Trump way before authorities came out, he called it a bomb. Tonight, on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton was asked about that, she said earlier, before this news conference that we just saw, she said, “It’s important to know the facts about any incident like this and we certainly are looking at the investigators to try and determine what did happen.”
I mean, Trump comes out and says it’s a bomb and lo and behold, guess what? It turns out it’s some type of device on the street of New York. Because we are living in a time of terror, a time in which this is a very real reality in our lives and it has now gone up another step, tragically and sadly, where we’re facing someone putting bombs on the street corners of our city like they have, the terrorists have attacked in Israel for so many years.
Actually, Shawn had just noted that New York has weathered bombs for 60+ years and that this was not some huge escalation. At least not as far as anyone knew at the time he spoke.
But fear mongering was a good excuse to pat Trump on the back for shooting off his mouth, half-cocked and uninformed, while suggesting that Clinton was overly cautious for saying facts are important.
Watch this disturbing spin above, from Fox’s coverage on September 17, 2016.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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