Fox News sparks anger with Toronto shooting coverage
News of a deadly mass shooting in Toronto's Greektown neighbourhood is spreading across the world this morning as police investigate how — and why — a lone gunman killed two people and injured 12 more on an otherwise beautiful Sunday night.
Fox News is one of many international media outlets to jump on the story, which broke exactly three months after a tragic van ramming attack thrust Toronto's violence problem into the global spotlight.
Nobody in Canada is taking up issue with the American cable network reporting on the shooting, because that would be ridiculous. News is news.
Some in the country are upset, however, by how Fox is treating the story.
"Terrorism was not being ruled out as a motive after a gunman fired into packed Toronto restaurants and cafes Sunday, killing two people and injuring 12 others before dying in a gun battle with police..." reads the first paragraph of a lead story on FoxNews.com.
"Terrorism has not been ruled out at this hour," said Fox News anchor Laura Ingle at the beginning of a news segment about the shooting.
"We are hoping to learn new information regarding a motive," she continued, "but as of last night, police say they do not believe this was a random act of violence."
The first word in the article : terrorism— Simon Blain (@simblain) July 23, 2018
There's no sign or proof that it was, but @FoxNews can't help themselves. If they can spread fear and hatred, you know they will.#Toronto #TorontoShooting
Of particular offence to some is the implication that Syrian refugees might have had anything to do with Sunday night's deadly attack.
When the Danforth shooting story appeared at the top of the Fox News website, two related links were included beneath the headline.
One related story pertained to April's van attack near Yonge and Finch, which led to 10 murder charges and 16 of attempted murder for 25-year-old Alek Minassian of Richmond Hill.
The second headline linked to a video called "Has Canada lost track of thousands of Syrian refugees?"
That video begins similarly, with a host talking about Canada's refugee crisis.
"As the world grapples with the refugee crisis and the threats from terrorists pledging to infiltrate their ranks, a new op-ed claims that Canada may have lost track of 50,000 Syrian refugees," he said.
"The liberals had a plan to monitor whether the mostly Arabic-speaking refugees were learning English or French, working, receiving social assistance and going to school, but the government has failed to follow through."
Look at the lead story. Then look at the placement of the follow on story. The shooter has so far been described as a white male. Fox News has zero reason to associate the Toronto shooting with Syrian refugees. Shameful. pic.twitter.com/LkJRg1F4w7— Paul Wagner (@pmwagner) July 23, 2018
Toronto's emergency shelter system has been struggling to support an influx in refugee claimants over the past few months, but police have not linked this problem (or anything close to it) to the Danforth Avenue shooting.
Currently, all we know is that three people are dead after a 29-year-old man carrying a handgun opened fire in an area filled with restaurants and cafes.
The gunman is one of those who died, but it is not yet known if he was killed by police or died by suicide. Police have not yet confirmed or even openly-speculated as to what the shooter's motive may have been.
Screenshot by Lauren O'Neil
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