Conservative media have seized on the case of a beheading suspect in Oklahoma, zeroing in on the suspect's Islamic faith to fan fears of a creeping Islamic radical threat on U.S. soil. As part of Fox News' concerted publicizing of the case, the network's Megyn Kelly interviewed an anonymous man who claimed to attend the same mosque as the suspect; the interviewee depicted a mosque rife with radicalism. But CNN's Brian Stelter reports that the network has deleted the interview from its website and social media accounts.
The interviewee's face was blacked out in the interview, as he told Kelly that publicly, "the mosque will not promote terrorism or any kind of radical acts," but that it was another story behind closed doors.
"But when they're among friends and congregants only, they will promote the true teachings of Islam," the man told Kelly, "which include the offer to non-Muslims -- the choice, rather -- that you must convert, live under Islamic rule, or be fought against."
Now, Stelter finds that links to the video generate error messages. Meanwhile, Fox News Insider has deleted its tweet promoting the interview.
While Stelter's report raises questions about the veracity of the interviewee's claims, Fox News did not respond to his inquiries.
Update, 5:12 p.m.: In a statement provided to Talking Points Memo, Fox News stood by its interview and blamed its deletion on an "error in judgment" by a producer. The interview has been restored to Fox News' website:
"Noor" knowingly agreed to appear on The Kelly File in silhouette and was given the option to disguise his voice, which he chose not to do. Following the interview, "Noor" expressed apprehension about his voice not being disguised and in response, a producer removed the video out of concern for the guest’s personal safety . This was an error in judgment. Once management was made aware of the situation, the video was put back up in its original form.