In a new video posted online today, Sotloff, in the same orange Foley wore, addressed the camera: “I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing,” he said before being beheaded.
ABC News cut into broadcast coverage with George Stephanopoulos anchoring and Brian Ross reporting. Ross reported the executioner said, “Obama, I’m back” while Sotloff asked the president why he was paying the price for American “interference in Iraq.” NBC News cut in at 1:48pmET with Brian Williams anchoring and Andrea Mitchell reporting. CBS News didn’t provide special coverage.
Wolf Blitzer first reported the news on CNN at 1:24pmET, going to foreign correspondent Karl Penhaul while showing stills of Sotloff next to a man who seems to be the same British ISIS member who executed Foley. “Obama back off and just leave us alone,” Penhaul reports the executioner said in the video. ABC News’ Foreign Editor Jon Williams tweets the executioner threatened British citizen David Haines‘ life at the end of the video. MSNBC’s Krystal Ball, filling in for Ronan Farrow, reported the news at 1:28pmET; Fox News’ Jon Scott reported at 1:33pmET. None of the networks aired the video.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest sent his condolences to the Sotloff family during an afternoon briefing while also stipulating the U.S. government has not yet verified the video’s authenticity. Last week, Sotloff’s mother, Shirley, sent a video message to ISIS pleading for her son’s life. Foley was a freelance journalist for TIME magazine and Foreign Policy.