On Sunday night’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver busted Fox News for its coverage of the European migrant crisis, which included a Sept. 9 segment in which “hard news” correspondent Kristin Fisher reported on a “terrifying” new video of migrants chanting on a train, and featuring the chyron “TERRORISTS INBOUND?”
On the off chance that Oliver might have made things look worse by omitting crucial context, I pulled video of Fisher’s entire report, but that really only made it worse:
“A new video surfaces online showing why some are worried Europe is opening its doors to potential terrorists. Those are reportedly Muslim refugees on a train in Europe, chanting ‘Allahu Akbar,’ or ‘God is great.’ Now, to be clear, we’re not saying that any of those people are terrorists or in any way affiliated with a terror group, but it does highlight just how many of these refugees who are fleeing violence in Iraq and Syria are Muslim.”
“…the White House spokesman would not get into anymore specifics. All he would say is they’re considering a range of approaches, but one of the approaches does include the possibility of refugee resettlement, that’s a direct quote, and exactly that might be, where that resettlement might take place? He didn’t say.”
But it will probably be a tent city at the 9/11 Memorial.
John Oliver called Fox News out for literally labeling the people in the video “terrorists” while claiming not to be calling them terrorists, and dug up the source of the “new” video:
“OK, first, you don’t get to claim that you’re not calling those people terrorists when your lower third says, ‘Terrorists Inbound?’ question mark. If you’re really not saying they’re terrorists, maybe change that to something more accurate, like ‘People Take Train,’ or ‘Some Wear Hats, Others Less So.’ And second, describing that as a new video that sheds light on the migrant crisis is a little misleading, because in researching this story, we found a version of that same video uploaded onto YouTube back in 2010, well before this migrant crisis even began.”
The video Oliver is talking about was, indeed, uploaded in 2010 by a user promoting an atheist blog, and describes the scene as having been filmed on the Paris Metro. So, where did Fox News ever get the idea that it was a new video from a refugee train?
Well, this video did make the rounds of several well-known conservative gutters earlier this month, including Gateway Pundit, but those were all after Fox News had aired this report. That copy of the video has since been removed, but the only site that posted it prior to Fox News airing it was… Infowars.
Let this be a lesson to anyone at Fox News who hopes to keep their hands clean as reporters: you really gotta check the news copy they hand you. It might have been written by Alex Jones.