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Fox News ignores Boebert's Islamophobic attacks on fellow member of Congress

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) compared Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to a terrorist.

By Oliver Willis - November 29, 2021
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO)

Fox News Channel has mostly ignored Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Islamophobic comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), briefly mentioning the incident only on one program over a three-day period.

On Thursday, a video of Boebert speaking to supporters was posted online. In the video, Boebert called Omar, who is Muslim, part of “the jihad squad.” She also claimed that when riding in an elevator with Omar, she thought, “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack, so we should be fine.”

Omar responded to the tweet: “Anti-Muslim bigotry isn’t funny & shouldn’t be normalized. Congress can’t be a place where hateful and dangerous Muslims tropes get no condemnation.”

The next day, Boebert wrote, “I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar.”

Omar was frequently a target of bigoted attacks from former President Donald Trump, and in 2019, she reported that she had received death threats as a result.

A review of the TV Eyes database of television transcripts showed only one mention of Boebert on Fox News between Friday and Monday. In a report lasting 33 seconds on the program “Special Report,” host Mike Emanuel briefly recapped the story. The segment aired on Friday evening and was replayed at midnight. The incident is only referenced in one story on the Fox News website.

Other outlets did not downplay the incident the way Fox has. Transcripts show frequent mentions over the same three-day period on both CNN and MSNBC.

Fox’s lack of coverage is also notable due to the involvement of both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

In a statement released on Friday, Pelosi and other members of the House Democratic leadership team condemned Boebert for her “Islamophobic and racist comments” and called on House Republicans to condemn and address the congresswoman’s actions.

McCarthy released a statement the same day that said, “I talked to Congresswoman Lauren Boebert today. She has apologized for what she said and has reached out to Congresswoman Omar to meet next week.”

McCarthy’s statement was not posted to his official Twitter account or website.

The comment was also criticized by the Congressional Black Caucus, which said in a statement, “We believe this rhetoric perpetuates actions that could undoubtedly inspire more death threats to Representative Omar and her family. That is unacceptable.”

Over the years, Fox’s hosts and personalities have frequently promoted Islamophobic stories and commentary. At the same time, it has specialized in the repetition of falsehoods and manipulated footage painting Democrats and progressives in a negative light.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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