Fox News devoted hours of time to a story about a recent Muslim convert beheading a former co-worker in Oklahoma, but ignored the same crime when it was committed by Christians, according to Media Matters.
In September 2014, Alton Nolen was charged with first degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon for killing Colleen Hufford and stabbing Traci Johnson shortly after being fired from Vaughan Foods in Moore. Police said that Nolen beheaded Hufford after killing her.
The crime occurred as Islamic State jihadists in Iraq and Syria were releasing videos showing the gruesome beheadings of journalists and aid workers. But the FBI found no link between Nolen’s crime and the terrorist group. Instead, the crime was considered an act of workplace violence.
“Yet no strangers to fanning their patented flames of Islamophobia, Fox talkers elevated the tragic killing into a national story, while attaching sweeping political and national security implications to the crime,” Eric Boehlert of Media Matters wrote.
“Declaring as fact that the beheading was an act of Islamic terrorism, and hyping it as an American jihadist on U.S. soil, Fox used the tragedy for political advantage, condemning Obama for being soft on terrorism, even though it was a local prosecutor in the very red state of Oklahoma who declined to bring terrorism charges.”
One month after the beheading, another beheading occurred in Oklahoma.
Isaiah Marin called 911 in October and confessed that he had hacked someone to death with a machete. Police said Marin was watching online videos “related to his Christian beliefs and the Book of Matthew” before he picked up a large knife and attacked Jacob Crockett.
Marin and Crockett had apparently feuded in the past because the victim was “practicing witchcraft and Isaiah had strong Christian beliefs.”
But Fox News ignored the crime, along with another beheading in Florida on New Year’s Eve.
“Would it be pointless to make sweeping generalizations about Christians based on the actions of one ‘religious zealot’ who tried to behead a friend whom he suspected of ‘practicing witchcraft?’ Or to make far-reaching assumptions about a religion based on the fact that that prior to a vicious beheading attack, a confessed killer had been ‘watching YouTube videos related to his Christian beliefs’?” Boehlert wrote. “Of course it would be. But that’s exactly what Fox did with the beheading story in Moore, OK.”