Just a month after Fox News was caught reading verbatim from a Republican press release and presenting it as a news story, they have now dipped into territory that is so thoroughly unethical that it boggles the mind.
Media Matters caught a segment hosted by Martha MacCallum wherein she presented a state of affairs that she felt deserved a looking into.:
“Well, after weeks of economic doom and gloom, the Obama administration is now singing a slightly different tune. Take a look at what was said in recent interviews this weekend.”
Thereupon she played a video montage of President Obama and members of his staff saying positive things about the future prospects of our economy. Since Fox News spent most of last week complaining that Obama was too negative, it is ironic that they are now complaining that he is too positive. Would MacCallum prefer that Obama continue the doom and gloom for which she had previously chastised him?
But the bigger problem was that the video montage included a clip a Vice President Joe Biden saying that “The fundamentals of the economy are strong.” MacCallum characterized the whole clip as being comprised of comments made “in recent interviews this weekend.” Except that Biden’s remarks were made six months ago. Even worse, he was not expressing his own opinion that the economy was strong, he was mocking John McCain for saying so. MacCallum and Fox News cropped out the part where Biden said…
“Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that’s why John McCain could say with a straight face, as recently as this morning — and this is a quote: ‘The fundamentals of the economy are strong.‘ That’s what John says. He says that ‘we’ve made great progress economically’ in the Bush years.”
So MacCallum not only lied about when Biden’s remarks were made, she aired a video edited to appear as if Biden had said something when, in fact, he was quoting McCain as having said it.
It is just totally incomprehensible that anyone regards Fox News with any measure of respect.
Update 3/17/09: Twelve minutes into this morning’s program, Martha MacCallum raised the issue about the Biden video. She said that the video was indeed from six months ago and that Biden was quoting McCain. She then apologized for having “gotten it wrong.” While there was no explanation for how something this egregiously misleading occurred, I suppose it’s the best we can expect from Fox News.