BANGKOK – US-based news network FOX News continues to describe Monday’s Erawan Shrine bomb attack as an anti-Hindu act of Muslim fundamentalist terror, sources reported on Wednesday.
On Tuesday’s edition of the network’s “Fox and Friends” morning news show, hosts Heather Childers and Ainsley Earnhardt reported that the sacred Hindu shrine of Erawan in “traditional US ally Thailand” had been “blown to pieces” by a “probable Muslim terrorist attack.”
“The country of Thailand, a US ally surrounded by hostile Muslim neighbors Malaysia and Indonesia, has seen its quiet capital city Bangkok nearly destroyed by a terrorist bomb on its most holy Hindu temple of Erawan,” Childers began the report.
Despite the early stage of the ongoing investigation, in which the Thai government has stressed that neither motive nor suspect could be identified yet, FOX News labeled the bombing incident as “BANGKOK’S 9-11” in large, all-cap graphics on the screen, along with sub-titles that included “ANTI-HINDU HATE CRIME” and “HOLY WAR SHATTERS PEACEFUL NATION.”
The Erawan Shrine’s status as a multi-religious cultural site that is predominantly visited by Buddhists and non-religious foreign tourists was not mentioned.
The program’s coverage of the bomb attack featured a colorful map of Southeast Asia, showing Thailand surrounded by Muslim nations to the south and Communist nations everywhere else. A zoomed in map of Bangkok showed that the blast site was only two kilometers from “known Muslim gathering spots” Bumrungrad Hospital and the Grace Hotel.
Thailand itself was described as “the country with many US military personnel, as well as spicy food, and the former home of known pedophile and possible Jon-Benet Ramsey murderer John Mark Karr.”
Ernhardt then introduced “terrorism expert and former Navy Seal” Fred K. Walters, who explained the long history of Muslim terrorism, beginning with the 1071 Battle of Manzikert against the Byzantime Empire, and ending with the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings.
“The attack on Erawan, merely a decade after the attack on Raja’s Restaurant in Kuta Beach is no coincidence,” Walters said, noting that both sites “are kind of Indian.”
“The Muslim intolerance of other pagan religions is well-documented,” he added.
Childers then introduced Reverend Jim O’Halloran, who encouraged everyone to pray for the souls of the victims and believe in angels.
The Erawan bombing incident was also a headline topic in subsequent FOX programs, including “The Real Story” where Gretchen Carlson investigated whether the attack might have been prevented if Thailand has looser gun-control laws, and later on “The O’Reilly Factor” where host Bill O’Reilly speculated on which Republican presidential candidate Thai people should support in the 2016 election.