On the popular Fox News show the Five (6/6/12), co-host Eric Bolling blasted Muslim advocates who are suing the New York Police Department over its spying program targeting Muslims, saying that in the last 15 years, “Every terrorist on American soil has been a Muslim.”
In fact, Muslims are responsible for a tiny fraction of terrorism in the U.S.; as a Rand study pointed out in 2010 (Extra!, 5/11), of the “83 terrorist attacks in the United States between 9/11 and the end of 2009, only three…were clearly connected with the jihadist cause.”
Bolling has made a habit of broadcasting false information about terrorism in the U.S. Last year (7/13/11), he bizarrely claimed that there hadn’t been any terrorism on American soil when George W. Bush was in office. He later (7/14/11) amended that to say “in the aftermath of 9/11”–which is equally untrue (FAIR Blog, 7/15/11).
Studies have suggested a correlation between primarily relying on Fox News for your information about the world and ignorance about basic facts. Those studies do not address whether the relationship is causal—in other words, it isn’t clear if watching Fox News makes one ignorant, or if less-informed people are somehow drawn to Fox News. Eric Bolling’s popularity on Fox does not clear up that question.