The talk turns to terrorism. Ailes is angry about an Associated Press report that 29 worshipers were killed by a suicide bomber in Baghdad’s largest Sunni mosque during prayers. “How do we know they were worshiping?” he demands. “I think the AP is so far over the hill, they’ve become left wing, antiwar. Gotta watch their copy.”
Andrew Sullivan notes Ailes’ comment and asks readers to “take a few steps out”:
Ailes seems to believe that an assumption that Muslims in a Mosque were at prayer is a function of “left-liberalism” not empirical fact. Why? Because, presumably, the sacrilegious carnage would reflect badly on the aftermath of the Iraq war and occupation – showing that we had achieved almost nothing after so much sacrifice. This is wrong because it would be “anti-war,” and therefore “left wing”. Not because it’s untrue.
But also, Ailes claim that the AP’s reporting represents its supposed left-wing bias lacks evidence. The AP’s story that a a suicide bomber detonated during prayers is corroborated by reporting from a wide variety of news outlets, including the Christian Science Monitor, the Voice of America and Reuters. And CNN, citing a source in the Iraqi Interior Ministry, reported:
Twenty-eight people are dead following a suicide bomb attack at a Sunni mosque in Baghdad. We’re getting that from an official at the Iraqi Interior Ministry. Another three dozen people were wounded. The attack occurred during prayers at the Umm al-Qura mosque in western Baghdad. A Sunni member of parliament was among those killed.
While numerous reports, both from eyewitnesses and in the Iraqi government, confirm that the attack occurred during prayers, Ailes suggests that the AP’s report, which was in line with all other news accounts, needs to “watch their copy.” Ailes fails to explain how a report that a suicide bomb was detonated during prayers helps further the “leftwing, antiwar” agenda he attributes to the AP and its reporters.