The Texas shooting prompted the Fox News word police to issue an all-points bulletin for the magical “terrorism” word that Fox seems to think makes or breaks President Obama’s national security policy. Fox host Greta Van Susteren made a false arrest when she wrongly accused the Obama administration of not saying it.
In an introduction to her discussion with Fox News terrorism analyst Walid Phares, Van Susteren announced, “So far the White House not saying the gunman had ties to ISIS or calling the shooting a terror attack. Is the Obama admin being overly cautious and could it hurt national security?”
Van Susteren’s first question for Phares was, “The White House has not yet connected this to terrorism. I don’t know why. You know, it seems pretty evident. But your thoughts on that.”
Phares – who worked for the Mitt Romney campaign – got right with the program. He opined that because the administration had not connected the incident directly to ISIS, they did not want to call it terrorism.
But if Van Susteren’s staff had watched the White House press briefing, they would have heard Press Secretary Josh Earnest repeatedly refer to the incident as terrorism.
MR. EARNEST: Darlene, at this point, this is still under investigation by the FBI and other members of the intelligence community to determine any ties or affiliations that these two individuals may have had with ISIL or other terrorist organizations around the world. So it’s too early to say at this point.
The thing that we can say, definitively, is that because of the quick and professional and brave work of local law enforcement officers, an attempted terrorist attack was foiled. And that certainly is, again, a testament to the courage and professionalism of those public servants who were there to keep the peace.
…MR. EARNEST: Well, that’s obviously a judgment that we leave up to individual media organizations. The principle that I restated yesterday is one that applies, which is, that there is no expression, however offensive, that justifies an act of terrorism or even an act of violence. And that apparently is what these two individuals in Texas were trying to do. They were responding to one form of expression that they found offensive, and tried to use that as justification to carry out an act of terror.
…MR. EARNEST: Well, again, the principle that we have cited here is that no act of expression, even if it’s an offensive expression, can justify an act of terrorism, or even an act of violence. And that’s why I’m reluctant to offer—render my own judgment or the judgment of the United States government about this particular act of expression. But there certainly is no room in our society, and it certainly doesn’t reflect a commitment to universal human rights, to try to use an act of expression to justify an act of terrorism.
...MR. EARNEST: Well, again, there’s no justification for an act of violence and an attempted act of terrorism like the one that we saw. And even those who do find these expressions offensive—I think the vast majority of them would, and I think even the experts at the Southern Poverty Law Center who have obviously expressed their strong concerns about this expression, would say that it does not justify an act of violence.
It’s bad enough that Fox News is so fixated on using President Obama’s semantics as a club against him. But they should at least bother to examine the evidence before adjudging him guilty.
Watch it below, from last night’s On The Record.
And the terrorist involved was Pamela Geller.
She KNEW her little stunt would be provocative (in the strictest, most literal sense) and she PLANNED it to be. The only thing she regrets is that no innocents were hurt as the result of her actions.
How exactly does she really differ from the Tsarnaev brothers? Or Jared Houghner?
And she dares to hide behind the First Amendment.
She needs to be rounded up and locked up in Gitmo.