After showing viewers of the May 7 "Fox & Friends" a montage of network news coverage portraying Times Square bombing suspect as a down-on-his-luck family man, Fox News anchor Steve Doocy interviewed Media Research Center President Brent Bozell for his reaction about the media's portrayal of Faisal Shahzad (MP3 audio available here; click play in embed at right for video):
STEVE DOOCY, Fox News anchor: Brent, when we put those little clips together, it sure makes it sound like they're trying to find, you know, rationalize why that guy did it, and obviously, it's because he lost his house, and he was down on his luck, they say.
BRENT BOZELL: It can't be terrorism, and it's not just television. Here's an AP story: "Faisal had a pretty enviable life. He earned an MBA, he had a well-educated wife, he had two kids and owned a house in a middle-class suburb of Connecticut. In the past couple of years, though, his life seemed to unravel."
Here's the headline from Newsweek: "Did the economy make him do it?" Here's the headline from AOL: "New York bomb suspect cooperates, but motive a mystery." This is unbelievable! It's not a mystery, folks.
The guy went to Pakistan, what, 13 times? He trained with al Qaeda. If you talk about a person who was rich and did this, and scratch your head, I got another name for you. Osama bin Laden, he's rich too, he did the same thing. What does it matter how rich your parents were, this man is a terrorist...
Later, Doocy asked Bozell what the MRC had found when it compared treatment of Shahzad to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. The NewsBusters publisher noted that while the networks accurately portrayed McVeigh as a terrorist but then sought to tar the conservative movement by association. By contrast, Bozell argued, the networks are hesitant to explore Shahzad's affiliation with radical Islamic terrorism.