On Sunday, the New York Times asked Fox News for an on-air retraction and apology, after a story aired that appeared to blame the paper for publishing intelligence information that the show claimed led to the escape of a top ISIS leader.
“I am writing on behalf of The New York Times to request an on-air apology and tweet from Fox & Friends in regards to a malicious and inaccurate segment ‘NY Times leak allowed ISIS leader to slip away,’” the letter to Fox News read.
The on-air segment in question aired Saturday during the morning program Fox & Friends and claimed ISIS leader al-Baghdadi was “able to sneak away in the cover of darkness after a New York Times story went to print in 2015.” The story was based off an article published Friday evening on Fox News’ website, co-written by national security reporter Catherine Herridge.
Later in the day, Fox News responded by noting the article by Herridge had been updated and accused the Times of “hyperventilating to the media about a correction.” In a statement, the network said that “the New York Times didn’t reach out to anyone at Fox News until Sunday afternoon for a story that ran Friday night.”
President Donald Trump tweeted about the Fox News story on Saturday:
The Failing New York Times foiled U.S. attempt to kill the single most wanted terrorist,Al-Baghdadi.Their sick agenda over National Security
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017
The Times noted in an article on Sunday that the Pentagon itself issued a press release containing the intelligence information three weeks before the article was published in the newspaper in 2015. “No senior American official complained publicly about the story until now, more than two years later.” The paper also noted the Pentagon was aware of the details of the article before publication and did not object.