Megyn Kelly Obliterates Liberal Media, White House for Moving on from ISIS Attack on Philly Cop

Leading off Monday’s Kelly File on the Fox News Channel (FNC), host Megyn Kelly took the liberal media and the Obama administration to task for having all but moved on from the January 7 attack by an ISIS-inspired Muslim on a Philadelphia police officer with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest downplaying the event hours earlier to ABC’s Jonathan Karl.

Before turning to FNC contributor and former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, Kelly declared that in the roughly three days since a radical Islamist gunman shot the police officer: “[W]e are hearing new questions about why the White House and the mainstream media seem determined to ignore the original attack and a warning that the threat to law enforcement from over.”

Kelly then turned up the heat on the liberal media for their obsession over the Poweball jackpot and Sunday talk shows boasting about their interviews with 2016 presidential candidates:

Just days after a self-proclaimed Jihadist attempted to assassinate a Philadelphia police officer, the larger media seems to feel that stories about Powerball and the golden globes are more important than this investigation. Across the board, networks are barely acknowledging the story, not to mention the officer who stopped a terrorist who pledged allegiance to ISIS. Even the more serious Sunday shows barely, if at all, touched on this story, touting big gets with the candidates, but largely failing to ask them about this attack.

Upon a quick examination of the Monday evening newscasts, Kelly’s argument more than squares with reality as ABC’s World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News ignored this story completely. Meanwhile, NBC Nightly News offered the lone coverage with a two-minute-and-two-second report from correspondent Stephanie Gosk.

Following soundbites from four Sunday talk show hosts, Kelly explained that “it was a similar story at the White House briefing today, where it took a full 20 minutes for any reporter to even bring up the attack in Philadelphia.” 

As for when it did happen, ABC’s Jonathan Karl pressed Earnest (in a soundbite that didn’t make the airwaves of World News Tonight): “The attempted assassination of a police officer in Philadelphia, does the White House consider that a terrorist attack?” Earnest simply responded: 

This is something still being investigated by the Philadelphia Police department and, um, they have not concluded that it actually is an act of terrorism, but given some of the circumstances of the event, obviously that is something we're all wondering right now.

Kelly spoke with Thiessen moments later and exclaimed that she doesn’t understand how disconnected the left has been on the story with case in point being new Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney denying the attack had connection to Islam:

We saw the same thing on Friday, when the mayor of Philadelphia was like, this had nothing to do with Islam. Meanwhile, the murderer is like, it was all about Islam. Islam was the reason I did it. My affiliation with ISIS, my pledge of allegiance to ISIS and my belief that law enforcement does not uphold the values of the Koran, and the Philadelphia mayor saying, ‘don't believe him. I know better than he does what motivated this crime and it wasn't Islam.’

Thiessen responded by pointing out how multiple family members that have been interviewed have cited his radicalization occurred after traveling in the Middle East and that he conducted the attack on behalf of ISIS.

“He confesses it’s about ISIS. He did exactly what ISIS said to do in a video. I mean, how is this not terror,” Thiessen opined.

Tell the Truth 2016

Going back to the White House’s passive response, Kelly unloaded on them for their silence thus far with no known communication to the injured officer or his family:

Why is the White House not speaking to it? Okay, let's accept the statement for today that we're wondering, we're going to do our investigation and you know, unless we see a direct correspondence from al-Baghdadi telling him to do this, which by the way, as you pointed out in your initial answer, we kind of have, we're not going to declare it terrorism. Okay, let's say they're doing their investigation. Why wouldn't the President call the family of this officer? Nothing, no contact with the officer or his family as far as we know, and no statement from the white house, never mind the President, on what we saw in Philly. 

The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s The Kelly File on January 11 can be found below.

FNC’s The Kelly File
January 11, 2016
9:00 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking Tonight; New Questions Over Media/Admin Response to Attack on Officer in Philadelphia]

MEGYN KELLY: Breaking tonight, just more than 72 hours after a lone gunman says Islam and ISIS inspired him to attack a police officer, and we are hearing new questions about why the White House and the mainstream media seem determined to ignore the original attack and a warning that the threat to law enforcement from over. Welcome to The Kelly File, everyone, I'm Megyn Kelly. Just days after a self-proclaimed Jihadist attempted to assassinate a Philadelphia police officer, the larger media seems to feel that stories about Powerball and the golden globes are more important than this investigation. Across the board, networks are barely acknowledging the story, not to mention the officer who stopped a terrorist who pledged allegiance to ISIS. Even the more serious Sunday shows barely, if at all, touched on this story, touting big gets with the candidates, but largely failing to ask them about this attack.

(....)

KELLY: And it was a similar story at the White House briefing today, where it took a full 20 minutes for any reporter to even bring up the attack in Philadelphia, never mind Josh Earnest, he didn't volunteer it and when they finally did, the President's chief spokesman seemed to suggest, well, we're really not sure what happened in this case. We're still wondering. 

ABC’s JONATHAN KARL [TO EARNEST]: The attempted assassination of a police officer in Philadelphia, does the White House consider that a terrorist attack? 

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST: This is something still being investigated by the Philadelphia Police department and, um, they have not concluded that it actually is an act of terrorism, but given some of the circumstances of the event, obviously that is something we're all wondering right now. 

KELLY: We're wondering right now?

(....)

9:03 p.m. Eastern

MARC THIESSEN: He said he told the police he pledged allegiance to ISIS and then we find out from some of his friends, his family friends they say well, he became radicalized after he traveled to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. I mean, this is not hard, folks. This is terrorism. 

KELLY: Like, I don't understand. We saw the same thing on Friday, when the mayor of Philadelphia was like, this had nothing to do with Islam. Meanwhile, the murderer is like, it was all about Islam. Islam was the reason I did it. My affiliation with ISIS, my pledge of allegiance to ISIS and my belief that law enforcement does not uphold the values of the Koran, and the Philadelphia mayor saying, ‘don't believe him. I know better than he does what motivated this crime and it wasn't Islam.’

THIESSEN: And his family friends who were interviewed said he traveled, they said it was because of ISIS. They said, well, how do you solve this? They said, go and destroy ISIS. That was a quote from his aunty who was interviewed by one of the papers. His family knows it's about ISIS. He confesses it’s about ISIS. He did exactly what ISIS said to do in a video. I mean, how is this not terror? 

KELLY: Why is the White House not speaking to it? Okay, let's accept the statement for today that we're wondering, we're going to do our investigation and you know, unless we see a direct correspondence from al-Baghdadi telling him to do this, which by the way, as you pointed out in your initial answer, we kind of have, we're not going to declare it terrorism. Okay, let's say they're doing their investigation. Why wouldn't the President call the family of this officer? Nothing, no contact with the officer or his family as far as we know, and no statement from the white house, never mind the President, on what we saw in Philly. 

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center