Former Fox News contributor Jane Hall says that her ex-colleagues at the conservative network have been “waging a campaign” to link the words “radical” and “Islam” following the bombings at the Boston Marathon earlier this month.
In a Sunday discussion on CNN, host Howard Kurtz noted that after briefly coming together in the aftermath of the tragedy in Boston, the media had returned to its “ideological sniping.”
Current TV host Cenk Uygur told Kurtz that Fox News had led the charge in making the airwaves more vitriolic by “talking about Muslims, which is ironic because this is the same Bill O’Reilly who kept calling Dr. Tiller, “Dr. Tiller The Baby Killer,” until Scott Roeder shot him.”
“So here’s a fundamentalist who’s Christian worrying about fundamentalists who are Muslims, and driving people to violence,” Uygur said.
Kurtz argued that “it’s not entirely just on one side” because MSNBC’s Alex Wagner had accused two Fox News personalities of being on the verge of suggesting that President Barack Obama was a secret Muslim.
“It’s a funny way of balancing things out, Howard,” Uygur disagreed. “I mean, on the one side you have a guy who keeps saying, ‘Muslim! Terrorist! Muslim! Terrorist!’ Trying to equate the two. On the other side, you have someone saying, ‘Hey, maybe that’s not that wise, and maybe they’re implying something here that they shouldn’t be implying.'”
“So, I don’t equate those two as equal,” he insisted. “Just to say that one side does something 1 percent or 10 percent may be wrong doesn’t justify the other side doing something 100 percent wrong.”
“I think that Fox is practically waging a campaign to link the words ‘radical’ and ‘Islam’,” Hall agreed. “I don’t think radical Islam is a religion. I think what happens can be a perversion, from what I understand, of religion. I don’t think the media should shy away from looking at how these young men got radicalized, what [dead bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev] learned when he went back to Russia… But I think there is a difference endlessly linking this and saying, you know, helpfully having visuals that say radical Islam with these young men’s pictures.”
Hall pointed out that Fox News guest Ann Coulter had said that Tsarnaev’s wife should have been imprisoned for wearing a headscarf and Fox News host Bob Beckel had called to suspend all student visas from Muslim countries.
“We don’t know what happened here and yet there is a rush to tar all Muslims with radicalism,” she observed. “I really think if you look at it, it’s across a lot of different shows on Fox.”
Watch this video from CNN’s Reliable Sources, broadcast April 28, 2013.