Given the acute paranoid tendencies of the Fox News management, they spend an inordinate amount of time either inventing or disseminating hoaxes aimed at frightening their dimwitted and gullible viewers. It’s why they promoted so many horror stories about the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) that never had a smidgen of truth to them. It’s why they squeal incessantly about the threat of immigrant children amassing to conquer America. It’s why they are convinced that our Manchurian president from Kenya is conspiring to confiscate their guns and declare himself emperor of the United Global Caliphate. Fear is their drug of choice.
Consequently, it should surprise no one that Fox News broadcast a story that is nothing more than a hoax perpetrated by wingnut bloggers and a coalition of disreputable pseudo-news sources. On Friday, Fox anchor Jon Scott introduced the segment saying…
“A potentially terrifying scenario is playing out as we approach September 11. Nearly a dozen airplanes are missing – flat out missing – from an airport in Tripoli, raising new fears of the possibility of another terror attack from the air.”
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OMG! That is truly terrifying. I can almost hear the roar of a dozen jet engines filling the sky with thunderous evil as they aim for defenseless skyscrapers packed with unsuspecting victims. Why doesn’t Obama raise the threat level to “Unrestrained Panic” and evacuate America’s cities?
Perhaps because the story is not true. Snopes researched the allegations and found that they originated from highly suspect blogs and emails in North Africa. And then…
“…translations of the blog posts began to be picked up by news outlets in Western Europe and passed on as fact rather than gossip; by early September those tales from translations of blogs had spread to the United States under the guise of real news.”
“…there have been no statements from the State Department, the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, or any other authority warning of stolen airliners.” […and that…] “…several of the planes claimed in rumors as ‘missing’ or ‘stolen’ have actually been accounted for, having been either caught outside of Tripoli at the time the airport fell to opposition forces or relocated by their operators (Air Contractors pf Dublin) to an airport in Malta for safekeeping. Some of the other airliners were likely destroyed in the fighting or damaged beyond the possibility of operation.”
Fox News relied on the reporting of the Washington Free Beacon, an ultra-rightist conspiracy theory disseminator that is affiliated with Republican operatives and the Koch brothers. The Beacon’s Bill Gertz was interviewed by Fox and related a story that consisted of nothing but speculation and unnamed sources. In his article for the website he wrote that…
“Intelligence reports of the stolen jetliners were distributed within the U.S. government over the past two weeks and included a warning that one or more of the aircraft could be used in an attack later this month on the date marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, said U.S. officials familiar with the reports.”
Of course, there are no documents that confirm the alleged reports and no officials were on record corroborating Gertz’s claims. In fact, when Gertz sought a comment from the State Department they explicitly told him that “We can’t confirm that.” But that didn’t stop Gertz, and subsequently Fox News, from reporting the fake news as fact.
Since the debunking of this phony story, Fox news has not bothered to update their reporting with a correction or any acknowledgement of the dubious allegations and sources. That is in keeping with their practice of deliberately misinforming their audience and spreading lies that are intended to create fear and an artificial sense of impending doom. It is the Apocalyptic mindset of pseudo-journalistic propagandists seeking to advance an extremist political agenda through intimidation and inciting panic. It is, in fact, the definition of terrorism.
Terrorism (ter-uh-riz-uh m): noun – The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. [See Fox News]
[Update:] Fox News has still not retracted this phony story, nor issued any correction that notes the dubious sources. However, I did find an earlier segment of this on Fox & Friends (surprise) that aired September 3, two days before this segment.
10 thoughts on “Fright-Wing News: Fox News Reports, As Fact, The Missing Libyan Planes Hoax”
And all of this leaves unmentioned the likelihood that, in the post-9-11 world, our air defenses would allow an unknown and unscheduled airliner to just fly into the country and smash into another building.
Laughable. It was widely reported elsewhere, and it doesn’t even come close in magnitude to Dan Blather’s National Guard story fiasco for which he was fired. But moon bats will always be grasping at straws on the the way to their historic defeat this November
When they “broke” this story, I only saw right wing sources repeating it, the FIRST ones to do so were WND.
Really do show how “widespread” reporting of this was if you will.
All faux news does is lie. If they didn’t all they would have to broadcast would be their rampant bigotry.
I have no opinion on whether this is now or was at any previous time a true story other than knowing the airport in Tripoli was overtaken by islsmic militants so it certainly isn’t an impossibility. However, the reports I did read on the subject all indicated this was reported by several outlets in N. Africa (where Libya is located) but not yet confirmed although with 9/11 around the corner it is frightening scenario if proven true. None implied the planes were likely to be used in attack here either given the distance & us air defenses. What I do find interesting is that very interesting is that Ive read several News Corpse articles recently railing against “false” foxnews stories that are critical of Obama & his administration including the State Dept., that go on to cite statements of denial from the administration as their unimpeachable source that debunks the story as though it is impossible they may not be telling the truth or even have any possible motive to do so. By all means, if Fox is reporting a false story as fact without qualifying the source or conceding it could not be confirmed I applaud NC for pointing it out but if they see the Obama administration as most reliable source available when trying to verify or debunk a story critical of or at odds with the administrations narratives, one has to consider whether News Corpse possesses the critical thinking skills & skepticism required of an outlet committed to fact checking the media and maintaining journalistic integrity.
Before you go off questioning my critical thinking skills, you are going to have to provide an example of where I relied solely on something the administration said in order to debunk a Fox New lie. I can’t find an example of that myself, except where a statement from the administration specifically refutes a Fox mischaracterization of that statement.
Tory is absolutely correct. News Corpse possibly…just possibly lacks the critical thinking needed to give us truly valuable, honest information. This website is fun. The right wing always lies and distorts, the left wing are a bunch of hard working, ethical, honest people. Amazing. Wouldn’t it be better to just admit that all networks occasionally put out stories that are wrong. You never told us whether Fox News corrected their mistake, or again, do only liberal networks do that?
It’s interesting how the author singles out Fox News when just about every single news organization, including those on the liberal left, picked up this story and ran it as well. News is no longer “news” for ANY network, it’s all about ratings and the all mighty dollar. And they suckered you right into the mix to help boost their ratings.
You say that “just about every single news organization” ran it? Really?
I couldn’t find this story on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, or CNN. Nor in the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, or Politico. However, it was on Breitbart, the Washington Times, and a bunch of right-wing blogs. Glenn Beck’s The Blaze covered it, but in an article that was skeptical. Same thing with USA Today.
So do you just make wildly broad statements without any proof and expect people to be suckered into them?
“News Corpse articles recently railing against “false” foxnews stories that are critical of Obama & his administration including the State Dept., that go on to cite statements of denial from the administration as their unimpeachable source that debunks the story as though it is impossible they may not be telling the truth or even have any possible motive to do so”
Every story on Fox is critical of the administration. I doubt you could find one in favor of any policy. You also doubt official denials of stories because ,you know, they might be lying but you have no problem with uncorroborated tales told by the talking heads at Fox.
I sense a bit of insincerity on your part.
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