The day after a gunman killed three people and shot nine others at a Colorado Planned Parenthood office, officials tell NBC News a motive remains unclear, but say the suspect talked about politics and abortion.That was followed by this, from The Washington Post:
Robert Lewis Dear, a North Carolina native who was living in a trailer in Colorado, made statements to police Friday at the scene of the Colorado Springs clinic and in interviews that law enforcement sources described as rantings.
In one statement, made after the suspect was taken in for questioning, Dear said "no more baby parts" in reference to Planned Parenthood, two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the case told NBC News.
The gunman suspected of storming a Planned Parenthood clinic and killing a police officer and two others used the phrase “no more baby parts" to explain his actions, according to a law enforcement official, a comment likely to further inflame the heated rhetoric surrounding abortion.And this, from The New York Times:
The attack on the clinic, allegedly by Robert Lewis Dear Jr., was “definitely politically motivated," said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is still underway.
... the authorities shed no light publicly on whether they believed Mr. Dear, 57, had deliberately targeted Planned Parenthood. But one senior law enforcement official, who would speak only anonymously about an ongoing investigation, said that after Mr. Dear was arrested, he had said “no more baby parts” in a rambling interview with the authorities.So whatever else Dear might have said, at least three major news outlets are telling us that he said, "No more baby parts" -- according to one or more law enforcement sources. NBC attributes the statement to "two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the case." The Times attributes it to "one senior law enforcement official." The Post cites "a law enforcement official" -- who is also willing to assert definitively that Dear's motive was political.
Now, how does Fox News handle this? Here's the lead story at FoxNews.com right now:
The head of the Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic where a gunman killed three people and injured nine others said in a statement Saturday that the man held anti-abortion views.Yes, the Fox story, in paragraph #4, cites one of the law enforcement sources:
“We are learning that eyewitnesses confirm that the man who will be charged with the tragic and senseless shooting that resulted in the deaths of three people and injures to nine others at Planned Parenthood’s health center in Colorado Springs was motivated by opposition to safe and legal abortion,” Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountain CEO Vicki Cowart said.
“This is an appalling act of violence targeting access to health care and terrorizing skilled and dedicated health care professionals.”
A law enforcement official also told the Associated Press that Richard Lewis Dear, 57, made a “no more baby parts” remark following his arrest in the deadly rampage Friday. The official told AP he couldn’t elaborate about the comment and spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.And yes, that is what the AP story says.
But do you see what Fox has done here? It's understood at Fox that a lot of people don't read past the first one or two paragraphs of a typical online news story, or (especially in the social media age) even read past the headline -- so this headline says that the person ascribing anti-abortion politics to the shooter is the evil head of an organization devoted to legalized mass murder. The people at Fox hope that's what the Fox audience remembers. The point is to create doubt about the assertion.
Will it work? Well, maybe not, but Fox regards itself as in an ongoing war against liberalism. So Fox isn't going to leave any ammo unused.