Is there a more incompetent news network on the air than Fox News? This is an operation that has screwed up so often that the management had to issue a memo warning employees to stop screwing up. Apparently it didn’t do much good because the “errors” are still rampant.
This morning on Fox and Friends, Brian Kilmeade sought to slam down a Democratic guest who asserted that the public was standing with the unions against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
In rebuttal Kilmeade referenced a poll in USA Today that showed that 61% of respondents favored legislation that would strip unions of their collective bargaining rights. He also presented the graphic to the left to illustrate his point.
There’s just one problem with that. The numbers are the reverse of what was shown and said. In reality, 61% oppose stripping unions of their collective bargaining rights. Forty-four minutes later, in the final minute of the program, Kilmeade apologized for the error and displayed a corrected version of the poll graphic. However, this was not a typo. During the debate Kilmeade was ready to rebut the Democrat with what he said were the poll results. So he had the same numbers as the botched graphic in his program notes. Kilmeade was able to falsely argue that the public was behind the governor during the debate segment, but the correction came at the end of the show with no further discussion.
Isn’t it odd how every time Fox News makes a mistake like this it favors their right-wing slant? Numbers are reversed; criminal Republicans are identified as Democrats; maps are mislabeled. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.
The brass at Fox News, however, is not amused. After a spate of embarrassing errors over the past couple of years, a memo was issued to all employees warning that there would be a “Zero Tolerance” policy for such shoddy performance:
“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.”
So who is going to get the axe over this one? If I were a Fox News employee I wouldn’t be too nervous. There have been numerous foul ups like this since the memo went out and no known repercussions for any of them. Apparently the memo was just window dressing to make it appear as if Fox was taking steps to forestall these mistakes. But with no follow through it can only be assumed that they weren’t mistakes to begin with.
This is policy at Fox News. They deliberately disinform viewers during lengthy “news” segments, then issue brief corrections later in the day, far removed from the original discussion. And sadly, their peers at other networks continue to defend them as a news enterprise.