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Fox Anchor Wrongly Labels House a "Terrorist Lair"

Former federal prosecutor John Loftus anchors a segment on Fox News called "Inside Scoop with John Loftus." I've never seen it or even heard of it before. But, I likely won't be watching.

A couple whose home was wrongly identified on national television as belonging to an Islamic radical has faced harassment, and police are providing special protection.

But the alleged Islamic radical moved out three years ago. Randy and Ronnell Vorick are the current residents. Loftus gave out the home address on his show.

He said the home belonged to Iyad Hilal, whose group, Loftus said, has ties to those responsible for the July 7 bombings in London. But Hilal moved out of the house about three years ago.

Fox apologized and said Loftus has been reprimanded. Loftus doesn't sound anywhere near apologetic:

Loftus also apologized and told the Los Angeles Times last week that "mistakes happen. ... That was the best information we had at the time."

Sorry, but three year old information hardly qualifies as anything approaching "best information." Why wasn't this guy fired?

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  • Re: Fox Anchor Wrongly Labels House a "Terrorist (none / 0) (#1)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:45 PM EST
    Hey, at least he had good intentions. Well, ok, he didn't. But we haven't had a good old-fashioned lynching in a while!

    Re: Fox Anchor Wrongly Labels House a "Terrorist (none / 0) (#2)
    by DawesFred60 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:45 PM EST
    So this nut case john Loftus gave out a address that could get someone killed?..its time to find a real good lawyer,so this poor family can move into john Loftus home real soon. yes he would have been some low life federal prosecutor, would love to know how many innocent people he put away?

    Re: Fox Anchor Wrongly Labels House a "Terrorist (none / 0) (#3)
    by bad Jim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:45 PM EST
    This was in the LA Times on Thursday morning, and Kevin Drum noted it: Loftus: "I thought it might help police in that area now that we have positively identified a terrorist living in [Orange County]," he said. Drum: Note to Loftus: the next time you want to let police know about a terrorist living here in the OC, call the police. This being Fox News, the message is that there are terrorists among us. This is good for their ratings and reinforces their audience's world view.

    Re: Fox Anchor Wrongly Labels House a "Terrorist (none / 0) (#4)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:45 PM EST
    Stay alert, and stay with Fox.

    In the words of Bugs Bunny "what a maroon". Looks like Roger Ailes and the boys will be coughing up some cold cash for their indiscretion.
    "That was the best information we had at the time."
    Wow, that's the same excuse the Bushies used for lying their way into Iraq. Hopefully, we'll see how it stands up in a court...for both offenses

    Re: Fox Anchor Wrongly Labels House a "Terrorist (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:46 PM EST
    ah yes Fox News. Anyone who hasn't made Newshounds a regular stop, well you should.

    Re: Fox Anchor Wrongly Labels House a "Terrorist (none / 0) (#7)
    by jen on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:46 PM EST
    Did Fox news report on the outcome?

    Re: Fox Anchor Wrongly Labels House a "Terrorist (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:46 PM EST
    He meant to give out Pat Robertson's address, an honest mistake.

    Re: Fox Anchor Wrongly Labels House a "Terrorist (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:46 PM EST
    Fox News: We distort, you comply.

    Apparently Loftus has apologized in a writtern letter to the family, and a couple of announcements have made their way into the LA Times, but FNC has yet to either broadcast a retraction of the story or at least mention that the alleged terrorist master bomb maker no longer lives at this location. Being a shill for the Republican party means never having to admit you were wrong. Where do I sign up?

    I've yet to see anyone comment on the wrongness of Loftus' attack against his original target. Suppose the "terrorist" hadn't moved out three years ago. Suppose he was still living in the house. Wouldn't this still be wrong?

    Quaker, that was my first thought too. I don't care if Timothy McVeigh came back from the dead and moved in to that house, there's no excuse for broadcasting the address of a private residential home of ANYONE. Even if Loftus was right (ha ha, I made a funny...), the alleged terrorist is still innocent until proven guilty. I don't know if it's a crime, but common decency and ethics, which I know Fox"News" is lacking in, should tell you not to air a private address. It's disgusting. This reminds me of the days of lynching, when black men's addresses would be publicized and mobs would gather to torture and murder them. And we like to think we've changed and matured as a society...