Sanford police say that they have “no indication” of neo-Nazis patrolling the town where 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed on February 26 by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, says Mediaite. But a Fox Orlando affiliate, WOFL, has aired an uncritical report of the Detroit-based National Socialist Movement (NSM) doing just that and interviewed the group’s leader, Jeff Schoep; the segment is on Little Green Footballs.
Even more, not only does the Fox reporter not question Schoep’s claims. She introduces the NSM by saying “There’s another civil rights group in town.”
As Judd Legum on Think Progress notes, a brief summary of that Fox news segment was posted online with the title “Civil rights group patrolling Sanford.” This summary was removed and a new story with the title “Neo-Nazi group patrolling Sanford” posted. The video is the same but an Editor’s Note now says:
The report originally published Saturday inadvertently referred to the National Socialist Movement as a civil rights group. We intended to refer to them as a “self-proclaimed” civil rights group.
Schoep had described the NSM as a “white civil rights organization” in the Miami New Times blog post that first mentioned the neo-Nazis were patrolling Sanford’s streets.
Again, Sanford police dispute that such patrols are going on, as Mediaite takes care to point out with reference to a post on the blog Legal Insurrection by William Jacobson, a professor at Cornell Law School. But Fox News, or at least Fox’s Orlando affiliate, is not so concerned about getting the details — the facts — right.
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Photo of the NSM in Columbia by KOMUnews