Strangely unmentioned by either Fox or Media Matters was that one time in 1988 when America shot down an Iranian airliner, killing 290 people. Ronald Reagan didn’t do a primetime speech on that one, of course, because the U.S. doesn’t deliberately shoot down airliners — we were really sad about the loss of life, but we were also really sure it was an Iranian F-14 fighter before we fired on it (in fact, the commander and missile officer on the USS Vincennes got medals for their excellent performance). Even though the jet’s transponder signal identified it as a civilian plane. In fact, the U.S. has never formally apologized to Iran for that one, although we did pay out $131.8 million in a settlement to discontinue a case in the International Court of Justice. No apology needed there, because it was a war zone, and mistakes were made.
• Ukrainian military shot down a Russian passenger jet containing 78 people on 4 October 2001 as it flew over the Black Sea travelling from Tel Aviv in Israel to Novosibirsk in Russia. Russian crash investigators concluded the Tu-154 was hit by a Ukrainian ground-to-air missile despite the fact it was on its flight plan on an international airway which did not fall under any restrictions imposed by Ukraine. It exploded in mid-air, sparking speculation it was downed accidentally by Ukranian military on exercises in Crimea.