NYT to Fox & Friends: Apologize for ‘Malicious’ ‘Inaccurate’ al-Baghdadi Report


On Saturday morning, President Donald Trump unleashed a tweetstorm that covered a wide range of topics and grievances, such as “Fake News,” Hillary Clinton and his pardoning powers. One of those early morning tweets hammered the New York Times for apparently foiling a plan to kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

It didn’t take long to figure out that Trump was referencing a Fox & Friends segment that aired minutes before he launched his tweet. That segment featured a chyron that blared “NYT FOILS U.S. ATTEMPT TO TAKE OUT AL-BAGHDADI” while comments made by Gen. Raymond Thomas the day before were highlighted. At the Aspen Security Forum, Thomas blamed the Times for reporting on leaks it had received on a special forces operation in 2015 related to al=Baghdadi, claiming it led to his escape.

The story Thomas and Fox & Friends appeared to be referring to is one published on June 8th, 2015. Well, now the NYT is looking for the program to apologize for what they are calling a “malicious and inaccurate” report.

In the request for an apology, the Times noted that the raid that their story referenced was actually announced three weeks earlier in a public statement by then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter:

“Last night, at the direction of the Commander in Chief, I ordered U.S. Special Operations Forces to conduct an operation in al-Amr in eastern Syria to capture an ISIL senior leader known as Abu Sayyaf and his wife Umm Sayyaf. Abu Sayyaf was involved in ISIL’s military operations and helped direct the terrorist organization’s illicit oil, gas, and financial operations as well. Abu Sayyaf was killed during the course of the operation when he engaged U.S. forces.

U.S. forces captured Umm Sayyaf, who we suspect is a member of ISIL, played an important role in ISIL’s terrorist activities, and may have been complicit in what appears to have been the enslavement of a young Yezidi woman rescued last night.”

The paper also pointed out to Fox & Friends that the Pentagon was told of their report beforehand and there was no objection. Finally, the NYT noted that even though their segment was based on a “misleading assertion” from Thomas, by not seeking additional information from others involved, they showed “little regard” for reporting the facts.

If Fox & Friends issues an apology, we will make sure to update this post.

Watch the Fox & Friends segment above on the story.

UPDATE – 8:15 p.m. EST: Mediaite has received a statement from Fox, saying the matter will be addressed on Monday.

“The FoxNews.com story was already updated online and Fox & Friends will also provide an updated story to viewers tomorrow morning based on theFoxNews.com report. For all of their concern about accuracy, the New York Times didn’t reach out to anyone at Fox News until Sunday afternoon for a story that ran Friday night.”

[image via screengrab]

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