Yesterday Fox News aired a brazenly biased video that could have passed for a Republican attack ad against President Obama. It confirmed the widespread, well deserved, reputation of Fox as the PR arm of the Republican Party.
The video was quickly and harshly criticized by pundits and television critics from across the political spectrum. Even Fox recognized the highly inappropriate nature of the video in their own response. First they removed it from their web sites. Then they edited it to remove all traces of the Fox & Friends connection to it and reposted it online. But even the revised version was deemed too far over the line and they later deleted that as well.
The news of this partisan escapade was reported by numerous media outlets including:
- Atlanta Journal Constitution
- McClatchy Washington Bureau
- CBS News
- Washington Post
- Daily Beast
- Seattle Times
- Hollywood Reporter
- Huffington Post
- National Journal
- Baltimore Sun
One notoriously absent news bureau that failed to report on the matter was Fox News. In fact, there was no mention of the story from any Rupert Murdoch news division except for a reprint of an Associated Press story buried in the Wall Street Journal online.
Most notable, Fox & Friends had nothing to say about their embarrassing participation in this blatant political activism. Their program this morning completely ignored the matter, even though they had all gushed with effusive praise for the video yesterday when they ran it.
Fox’s response to the controversy was a tepid statement saying only that the matter had been “addressed” with the producers. There was no detail as to whether that meant there would be any disciplinary action. Contrast that with the response to inappropriate behavior a few weeks ago by NBC personnel who misleadingly edited an audio transcript of George Zimmerman. They were promptly terminated and public notice of such was given.
There can be no mistake that this was not the work of a rogue associate producer. The video required many hours of work on company time. It would have to have been approved by multiple people on its way to broadcast. The abundance of stock video and music in the piece required that someone with authority approve the expenditure. So the excuse that no senior level executive was aware of it simply does not ring true.
The fact that Fox is so embarrassed that they can’t even publish an honest account of what happened is evidence that they knew they were wrong and that they will go to great lengths to cover it up. It illustrates ever more conclusively that Fox News is not a credible news enterprise and should not be treated as one by their viewers or their peers.