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Fox News, New York Times Tussle Over ISIS Raid Report

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Sipa USA via AP

Fox News and the New York Times are in a war of words over Fox News reports that a Times story from 2015 compromised U.S. military efforts to capture a key ISIS leader.

The New York Times asked Fox News for an apology and correction for a July 22 report on “Fox & Friends” that cited recent comments from U.S. Gen. Tony Thomas asserting that a June 8, 2015, report in the Times about a raid in Syria  cost military intelligence a lead that could have led to the capture of the ISIS leader known as Abu Sayyaf.

The Times in a letter to the executive producer of “Fox & Friends” protested the lack of opportunity to respond to Thomas’ claims, and it noted that Fox News reported on the same raid three weeks before the Times report was published. President Donald Trump comments on the “Fox & Friends” segment in a tweet on Saturday.

On Monday, “Fox & Friends” ran an update of the segment that included the Times’ response disputing Thomas’ statements, made on July 21 during an interview at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. Fox News first reported on Thomas’ comments in an online story later that day, which was amended after a Times spokeswoman reached out to its authors.

Following the “Fox & Friends” segment on Monday, the Times said: “It wasn’t an apology, nor did it begin to the larger issues with the ‘Fox & Friends’ weekend segment, one of which was sheer hypocrisy.”

Fox News parried: “For all of their hyperventilating to the media about a correction, the New York Times didn’t reach out to anyone at Fox News until Sunday afternoon for a story that ran Friday night.”

Later on Monday, Fox News issued another statement that asserted no apology was warranted and reinforced Thomas’ suggestion that Times report had an impact on the intelligence effort.

“Neither Fox News’ report nor the subsequent on-air coverage was inaccurate,” Fox News said.