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Fox&Friends Do More Mosque Bashing And Biased Coverage Of Rifqa Bary Case

Reported by Priscilla - September 1, 2009 -

Yesterday, I detailed the coverage that Fox News is giving to the case of a 17 year old Ohio girl who converted to Christianity from Islam and who ran away to Florida because, she alleges, her father will kill her for “apostasy.” The people that she ran to, in Florida, are the founders of Global Revolution Church whose beliefs include “end time” eschatology. She is now in a state foster home awaiting the decision of a Florida family court judge regarding whether she will be reunited with her family. Her situation has become quite the thing in the conservative Christian and anti-Islamic community. Not surprisingly Fox News has been doing quite a bit of coverage and not surprisingly it tilts anti Muslim and pro “Christian.” While there were two short pieces that were “fair and balanced,” the other two were basically monologues by neo-con, anti-Islamic ideologues, Frank Gaffney and Brigitte Gabriel, who were allowed to spew talking points that cast both Islam and the mosque attended by this girl’s family in a very negative light. That there is information that contravenes their biased statement was not brought up by those doing the interviewing. Add to this not so fair and balanced coverage, three more segments on Fox’s leading morning propaganda show, Fox&Friends.

Last week, good Christian Gretchen Carlson, who is incessantly whining about how Christians are persecuted, got to add her voice to those Christians who are fighting the hordes of Islam. She interviewed, not the Florida DCF attorney, but the attorney who is representing Rifqa Bary personally and who is adamantly opposed to her return to her family. While the chyrons read “Teen fears “honor killing,” Rifqa pleads to save life” and “Girl fears for life under “Shariah” law," John Stemberger was introduced. Carlson did not mention that Stemberger is president of the Florida Family Council a Christian conservative group that is now lobbying to maintain the law which prohibits gays from adopting children. She didn’t mention that the court appointed attorney for Rivka’s mother questions how Stemberger got involved with a minor child and that he, Craig McCarthy, is appalled that Stemberger published a court paper, on a website, with the family’s Ohio address (since taken down). Carlson handed the ball to Stemberger and he ran with it. As a respose to her saying that “some people would say that…there’s no way that they would actually kill her.” Stemberger referenced “two honor killings in the last decade” and claimed that the mosque that her parents attend “has been directly linked to terrorist activity in terms of speakers and connections…” and there are “links between this mosque and the extreme Muslim community.” Indignant Christian Gretchen Carlson said “some people who are watching this story are saying to themselves, wait a minute, I thought we lived in America. How could this possibly be happening in America.” Stemberger said that while “many Muslims are peaceful…there is an increasing number of extreme Muslims that…view the Koran very strictly.” Gretchen said that she knows that Rifqa Bary appreciates Stemberger’s representation. As neither Carlson nor Stemberger noted that Rifqa is also being represented by the state attorney, the audience is left with the impression that Stemberger is the only attorney involved. As a result of Stemberger’s unsubstantiated allegations, the audience is also left with the impression that Rivka’s family mosque is connected to terrorism; yet according to the Orlando Sentinel, “it hosted a day-long interfaith session on homeland security that was sponsored by the Ohio Department of Public Safety.” (Certainly not mentioned in the "report." Carlson urged her viewers to get in touch with Florida governor Charlie Crist.

Yesterday, Fox&Friends spoke briefly with Craig McCarthy who alluded to the unhelpfulness of those who are getting involved with the situation without knowing all the facts and that saying that there have been “honor killings” in Ohio doesn’t mean that the Bary’s will do such a thing. He spoke for a little over a minute. Enter, stage right, John Stemberger who had the rest of the interview. The chyron read “Killed for converting, Christian girl being threatened by dad.” (no question mark – stated as fact). Stemberger was allowed to make the same unsubstantiated points, about the “terrorist mosque” as he did in the Carlson interview. He added that Mr. Bary had assaulted Rivka for her “conversion.” (This is an allegation only) He discussed the magnitute of “honor killing” (with supposed UN stats) after which Brian Kilmeade gave out the Florida governor’s contact information.

This morning, John Stemberger was back on Fox&Friends to continue to allege that his “extensive research” shows that the mosque has “extensive ties” to radical Muslims. As if on cue, when Alyson Camerota asked Stemberger about the CEO of the mosque, Stemberger said that he has terrorist ties. The video is titled “clear and present danger, terror ties in case of runaway girl?”

Comment: If a gay teen ran away from conservative Christian parents and ended up with a gay rights group, do you think Fox might have a few questions about “brainwashing?” Yet, in the above cited instances they don’t seem to care about the Christian group that Bary ran to. They also don’t seem to be interested in the information that indicates that the Bary’s are law abiding citizens who attend a mosque that is considered quite mainstream. CBS has interviewed the parents; but I haven’t seen them on Fox. But that wouldn’t fit the propaganda, would it? And one more thing. I thought conservatives don’t like government “intrusion.” How intrusive is it for Fox&Friends fans to be contacting the Florida governor about a case that they have nothing to do with!!!!