Earlier this week Fox News broadcast a report on protests taking place in Russia. They made a point of noting the violent nature of the demonstrations and included dramatic footage of raging fires and rampaging protesters. The only problem with that is that the video Fox aired was not of the Russian protests. It was from protests that took place in Greece and even included shots of businesses with Greek signs.
This is not an uncommon occurrence on Fox News. There have been some notorious incidents when Fox fouled up, including one where Sean Hannity aired video of a well attended rally that he said was a Tea Party event. However, it was from a different rally entirely, and the real Tea Party gathering actually drew a rather meager crowd. On another occasion Fox News published an ad that accused CNN of failing to report on a Tea Party event, but the photo of the event that Fox used in their ad was taken off the air from CNN’s broadcast.
Also notable is this headline story and image that was featured at the top of the Fox News web site today:
What’s wrong with this picture? Once again it is not what Fox says it is. These are not protesters in Russia. They are protesters demonstrating at the Houses of Parliament in London. You would think that all of the English language signs would be a dead giveaway. But apparently Fox is unconcerned that their audience is smart enough to pick up on that.
These amateurish flubs are typical of Fox’s sloppy brand of pseudo-journalism. It demonstrates their lack of seriousness with regard to reporting and informing the public. What’s more, they are aware of the problem. A couple of years ago they distributed a memo to their newsroom warning of the consequences of continued blunders:
“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 will heads be rolling at Fox News? Don’t count on it. Fox doesn’t regard these incidents as mistakes. In fact, they are an integral part of their mandate. A mistake would be if they inadvertently allowed something truthful to get on the air. That would be cause for termination at Fox.