In a major announcement that will rattle the foundation of cable news, Fox News has announced that they are closing up shop and will end all broadcasting activities in the near future. The memo from Fox management that went out today was somewhat ambiguous as to timing, but the message was clear:
The specific language in the internal memo referenced the recent spate of “errors” made by presenters and production staff. These errors, which many believe were intentional, include airing videos of rallies with Tea Baggers and Sarah Palin that gave false impressions of attendance. Therefore, Fox announced a new “zero tolerance” policy for mistakes. The practical effect of such a policy, however, is to go dark. Given the voluminous quantity of mistakes and misstatements that are part and parcel of the culture of Fox News, it would be too costly and time consuming to keep up with the corrections.
Here is an example of the sloppy production work by Fox employees. It features a discussion of Sarah Palin’s new book, “Going Rogue” but displays a picture of a book critical of Palin called “Going Rouge.”
It’s too bad they didn’t use this version of Palin’s book:
The plan, according to the memo, is for Fox to scale down prior to signing off: And employees who fall short in the interim face serious repurcussions:
“[E]ffective immediately, Newsroom is going to “zero base” our newscast production. That means we will start by going to air with only the most essential, basic, and manageable elements.”
“Mistakes by any member of the show team that end up on air may result in immediate disciplinary action against those who played significant roles in the “mistake chain,” and those who supervise them. That may include warning letters to personnel files, suspensions, and other possible actions up to and including termination.”
In the event that Fox executives reconsider this decision, they will have their work cut out for them. Media Matters has documented many more Fox flubs. On the upside, without Fox promoting fringe characters like Palin and Glenn Beck, the Republican Party may recover from their association with the asylum crowd and the extremists who populate the rightist network.