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James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist

The news anchor asked for the breaking story to be shown on a split screen

Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly expressed her frustration on air when an update on the Ferguson riots interrupted an interview about the death of American journalist James Foley.

An Isis video released overnight on Tuesday shows a suspected British jihadist beheading Foley in what is claimed to be a revenge killing for the ongoing US air strikes in Iraq.

When breaking news from Ferguson appeared on the screen during her covergae on Tuesday night, Kelly said: “Hold on…I realise… I realise something is happening in Ferguson, but we’re talking about something important here, so can you at least split screen the video.”

“The protesters and the police are clashing again, they’re clashing again. But we’re talking about the dead, the death of an American who was beheaded.”

Both US President Barack Obama and Prime Minster David Cameron have strongly condemned the video, which has been authenticated by the US intelligence community.

On Wednesday officials confirmed that a US  Special Operations mission tried and failed to free Foley and other hostages in Syria weeks before he was murdered by militants.

But Obama said America would not be deterred from carrying out airstrikes against the group.


Kelly's remarks came on the same evening that she criticised Missouri Governor Jay Nixon after he issued a statement in which he suggested that the officer responsible for fatally shooting black teenager Michael Brown in “broad daylight” should face a “vigorous prosecution”.

In a videotaped statement on Tuesday, former Attorney General Nixon said: “We have a responsibility to come together and do everything we can to achieve justice for this family; a vigorous prosecution must now be pursued.”

Kelly repeatedly slammed the “irresponsible and outrageous” statement, saying that Nixon had ignited a “firestorm” by “decid[ing] the guilt of the officer in this case long before any investigation is completed”.

In his statement Nixon emphasised his wish to seek “justice for the family of Michael Brown”. Two autopsies have shown that the 18-year-old was struck by six bullets fired by Darren Wilson, 28, on 9 August in Ferguson, St Louis.

Video: The latest from Ferguson

Kelly is well-known for making clear her views on air and has incited controversy in the past. In December last year Kelly was forced to defend herself after claiming Santa was white – “[he] is what he is” -  in response to an article by Aisha Harris that said the festive figure should appeal to all races.

And in July Kelly was accused of backpedalling women’s rights by opposing late-term abortions carried out for health reasons.

A spokesman for Nixon said on Wednesday that the governor's comments “were not intended to indicate prejudgment in this matter”.