MEDIA

Fox News Wrongly Reports ISIS Tweeted About Chattanooga Before Shooting

Always keep your timezones straight.

Fox News reported Thursday they were taking a “hard look” at a tweet suggesting ISIS had foreknowledge of the deadly shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but it turned out they got the tweet's timing wrong. 

"We're taking a hard look at a Twitter account -- an ISIS-linked Twitter account -- that seemed to have foreknowledge of the shooting in Chattanooga," Catherine Herridge, the network’s chief intelligence correspondent, said on "Your World." "The tweet went out at 10:34 with the hashtag Chattanooga referring to American dogs and a likely shooting. This, of course, was about 15 minutes before the shooting took place," she added.

Herridge mentioned the tweet again on a later segment. "It came, based on the time stamp, 11 minutes before the attack took place and, when you read the script, it seems to have had foreknowledge of what was going to come in Chattanooga," she told anchor Bret Baier, according to Mediaite.

Sean Hannity also mentioned the tweet, calling it a “warning about the attack.”

However, Herridge and Hannity were apparently viewing the tweet in the wrong time zone.

Twitter converts all time stamps to the time zone settings of a user's account when the user is signed in, but if they are not, all timestamps are in Pacific Time, digital marketer Rob Bettis explained to The Huffington Post.  

When viewed with Eastern time zone settings, the tweet in question appears to have been sent at 1:34 p.m., Mediaite noted -- nearly three hours after the shooting, which occurred at around 10:45 a.m. EST.

That means whoever initially spotted the tweet was either seeing it with Pacific Time settings, or just wasn’t logged in. 

Mashable editor Brian Ries was the first person to note the discrepancy, according to Media Matters.

 

Herridge admitted that there “are now some questions about the time stamp” on the tweet Thursday evening on "The O’Reilly Factor." She told Bill O’Reilly that she saw the tweet because it was “part of the social media that was circulating.” Towards the end of the show, anchor Bret Baier pointed out the tweet came out after the attack. Via Media Matters: 

 

The FBI identified 24-year-old Tennessee resident Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez Thursday as the suspect in the Chattanooga shooting that killed four Marines and left three other people injured. Abdulazeez was also killed in the incident.