Shocker! FOX News “really messed up”


By now most of you are aware that FOX News exposed its viewers to the head shot suicide of a carjacker on live TV.  According to an AP report:

Fox News was covering the chase that began at midday Friday using a live helicopter shot from its Phoenix affiliate when the man driving the small vehicle stopped, ran into the desert and appeared to place a handgun to his head and fire.

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith told viewers minutes later that the video was supposed to be on a delay.

After a commercial break, Smith said “we really messed up, and we’re all very sorry.”   SOURCE 

Hey, if that’s Smith’s contention, who am I to doubt him?  I think this is more probable than believing, as some may, that they knew they were not on time delay and were simply trying to cover the fact up.  But for those of us who are familiar with perhaps the most biased news network on TV that can claim having the largest number of misinformed viewers,  getting things wrong is a business model for Newscorp, the multi-national company, owned by billionaire Rupert Murdoch, that lists FOX News as one of its subsidiaries.

You’ll remember Newscorp owned the now defunct British tabloid, News of the World, that has been charged by Scotland Yard for “engaging in phone hacking, police bribery and exercising improper influence in the pursuit of publishing stories”.   The incompetence of this scandal leads to Murdoch himself who now finds himself forced to resign from about a dozen News Corporation boards after being found by a UK parliamentary media committee report “of being ‘not a fit person’ to run a major international business”.

They say the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree and the numero uno acorn at FOX is Roger Ailes , more affectionately known to some as Jabba the Hut.   Ailes has made it his mission to skewer the news to favor right-wing ideologies.  His philosophy is assimilated by those who come on board for the cable news channel and what seems to be a pattern here is either sheer incompetence or deliberate deception where known mistakes are made.

In the case of sheer incompetence, which the airing of the carjacker suicide falls under in my opinion, we have as evidence the “news flash” FOX blurted out about how the  “individual mandate has been ruled unconstitutional”  just minutes before the actual Supreme Court ruling declared it constitutional.  Whoops!

On the other hand, for the argument that this was a case of deliberate deception, we find in an earlier screw up where FOX News got busted splicing a six month old video clip to make a compilation clip appear Biden said the “fundamentals of the economy is stong.”   It’s not the first time FOX has put false information out there, only to be caught later and apologize for it.  It’s a practice known as shoot first and express regret later, with the belief that people are easily duped into forgiving the apologist.

It’s not that FOX stands alone in making embarrasing errors, deliberate or otherwise, but that they actually set the standard for how to go about it in so many ways.  Yet they are not to be blamed for this unconscionable assault on journalism.  They are only catering to a market where about 30% of the American viewing public actually demand this kind of reporting.

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10 responses to “Shocker! FOX News “really messed up”

  1. I think one could spend a full work day every day just cleaning up the lies and misleading innuendo offered by Fox every day. They make NO attempt to report anything like the facts, only the opinion they want you to come away with. Funny thing is, we watch it occasionally just for the “opposite” assumption we make to everything they say. Whatever they are moaning about is what the GOP is afraid of. It’s an interesting game to play. Once Ohio is in the Obama column come election night, we will switch to fox to watch the suicidal screams! lol…can’t wait.

    • When you do watch them don’t you ever wonder how they keep a straight face when they make claims like Bill-O who feels he is “doing something noble”

      Actually Bill-O wasn’t able to keep a straight face after he said this to Ted Koppel. His laughter following this statement was perhaps one of the most honest expressions he’s liable to make.

  2. I’m not going to argue whether Fox News (the actual NEWS) is fair, balanced, or whatever. I would just add that many of the shows on Fox News are talk programs. O’Reilly (right-wing), Hannity (right-wing), Van Susteren (somewhat right-wing), and a few others are not news programs, but right-wing talk/opinion programs. Given this reality, you expect talking points, whether true or not.

    Before committing myself to an opinion one way or the other, I must investigate the Salon article. I’ll have a post on it sometime this week.

    I would like to see some leftwing talk programs on Fox News, just as I would like to see some rightwing talk programs on MSNBC (or whatever their new name is). Neither channel can claim to be fair & balanced until there is some balance in the type of programs they air.

    • “Before committing myself to an opinion one way or the other, I must investigate the Salon article. I’ll have a post on it sometime this week.”

      I provided the Salon article as one source Terrance because I thought it was more “readable”. Perhaps an even better source is an academic study that was done by World Public Opinion entitled Voters Say Election Full of Misleading and False Information

      “Neither channel can claim to be fair & balanced until there is some balance in the type of programs they air.”

      True. As far as I know the only conservative offering MSNBC has is Morning Joe with former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough.

      Also, I would challenge your view that only the talk shows are biased. One economic reporter on FOX that comes to mind as biased in Stuart Varney who used to have a program on PBS. Also, though perhaps you will not hear biases sounded out by reporters like you do on Hannity, O’Reilly and Fox and Friends, their news spots will omit certain issues that make the GOP and right wing look bad. For example, the braking news that their was legitimate voter fraud discovered in the Florida State GOP I believe got little to no attention by FOX.

      “The Republican Party of Florida is dumping a firm it paid more than $1.3 million to register new voters, after Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher flagged 106 “questionable” registration applications turned in by the contractor this month.
      In an interview with blogger Brad Friedman, Bucher described the “similarities in the signatures and certain characteristics in the applications that were very disturbing” on registration applications collected by the firm. The “disturbing” defects on the forms included addresses of existing registered voters changed to commercial buildings or addresses and, “in some places, they were changing political parties.”

      Yesterday, Michael Isikoff reported that the registration troubles had spread:

      NBC News has learned that four other Florida counties have also reported hundreds of possible fraudulent registration forms submitted by the firm, including apparent dead people being registered as new voters. Prosecutors in two counties are investigating possible voter fraud by the GOP consulting firm, officials said.” SOURCE

      Supposedly Strategic Allied Consulting of Tempe, Ariz. had “already been fired, not only by the state Republican Party but also by the Republican National Committee, which hired it to register voters in crucial swing states, including Florida. SOURCE

      Had the Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher been a Republican rather than a Democrat, this could well have gone unnoticed completely.

      • NOTE: This is the correct posting. The other one can be discarded.

        I provided the Salon article as one source Terrance because I thought it was more “readable”. Perhaps an even better source is an academic study that was done by World Public Opinion entitled Voters Say Election Full of Misleading and False Information.

        The study contains a note that reads “The WorldPublicOpinion.org project is funded in part by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Calvert
        Foundation.”

        The Rockerfeller Brothers Fund is notoriously progressive. Given their name sake, you wouldn’t expect they’d be anti-industry, anti-capitalist, and pro-leftwing – but their list of donors and causes signals this reality. Furthermore, research by The Daily Caller found that the Rockerfeller Brothers Fund was behind the push to eliminate the Keystone XL oil pipeline from consideration.

        We also know that WorldPublicOpinion.Org is funded by the Tides Foundation, an admittedly leftwing group.

        Of course, none of this necessarily indicates a bias against Fox News or conservatism. I can’t prove the study purposely targeted a certain demographic of conservatives – ya know, the uneducated, Bible Belt folks that “cling to god and guns.”

        I can’t prove any of that anymore than you can prove a bias against liberals by the Pew Research Center’s Project For Excellence In Journalism, whose 2008 study showed that Fox News provided the most “fair & balanced” election coverage.

        The study found that MSNBC was the most unfair and unbalanced network. Something, I think, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, a Democrat, already knew. He said MSNBC was “the official network of the Obama campaign” and chided them for being “absolutely embarrassing.”

        It’s no secret that MSNBC has a leftwing slant. The network itself admits to being slanted.

        Also, I would challenge your view that only the talk shows are biased. One economic reporter on FOX that comes to mind as biased in Stuart Varney who used to have a program on PBS. Also, though perhaps you will not hear biases sounded out by reporters like you do on Hannity, O’Reilly and Fox and Friends, their news spots will omit certain issues that make the GOP and right wing look bad. For example, the braking news that their was legitimate voter fraud discovered in the Florida State GOP I believe got little to no attention by FOX.

        I don’t know much about Stuart Varney, so I can’t comment on his political leanings. I do know, however, that Fox News did indeed cover that debacle in Florida.

        I won’t contest that Fox News is friendlier to conservatives than any other network, and I don’t think you would contest that MSNBC (or whatever it’s called now) is friendlier to liberals than any other network. Both networks operate with a certain level of bias, as do the organizations that give us these “studies.” I don’t trust any of them, to be honest. I think everyone is shootin’ an angle of some sort. Traditional media has turned into one big jerkin’ circle of political prejudice.

      • You’ve certainly done your homework I see Terrance. Good for you. I appreciate that. And though we can conclude that both FOX and MSNBC have opposing biases I would contend that MSNBC doesn’t pretend to pose itself as a true “news” outlet, whereas FOX does. Hell, it’s in their logo on every program, opinion-based or not – FOX News

        Perhaps one of the more objective sources of opinion regarding journalism today is the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR). I refer to them when I can so as not to promote a biased assessment of the issue I am addressing at the time. I truly wasn’t aware of the so-called “liberal” support of World Public Opinion or if there is a conservative bias by the Pew people. I do know that CJR’s major funders do not appear to be partisans for either side of the ideological spectrum.

        So, having said that, I have found a couple of their pieces that tend to support not so much that FOX is more biased than MSNBC but that FOX’s tag line of being “fair and balanced” is a misnomer. Here are comments from two separate articles from the CJR that bring this point home

        CNN includes opinion and analysis as feature inserts on its news shows, an adjunct to its news operations, but its great strength is news. The commentary often feels forced and superfluous. Fox is the opposite. It includes the news operations as an adjunct to opinion and analysis. It is much more of a talk-show network than a news network. In fact, it mimics one of Ailes’s first ventures into television news programming, an NBC-owned all-talk channel called America’s Talking. Fox News uses this model much more than it does CNN’s news model.

        The perceived problem is not that Fox’s straight news is relatively bias-free and its opinion programming overwhelmingly conservative. The problem is that the news portion is very small and the opinion portion very large. It would indeed be like a traditional newspaper opinion-news division if the ratios were reversed.
        Fox has a reporting and editing staff about one-third the size of CNN’s. Fox has many fewer bureaus, both domestic and international (again, about one-third CNN’s total). From personal experience covering news around the world, you almost always run into a CNN crew or stringer. You almost never run into a Fox reporter, and never one from MSNBC. SOURCE

        There are real consequences to this kind of biased and misleading entertainment packaged as news: viewers come away believing things that just aren’t true. According to a 2003 study by the University of Maryland, Fox News viewers are more likely than consumers of any other news source to believe demonstrably false statements. SOURCE

        I would point out to you too that the Pew Research Center’s Project For Excellence In Journalism, whose 2008 study found that Fox news “provided the most fair and balanced coverage of the election” never actually made that claim. What they did say is:

        1. Things look much better for Barack Obama—and much worse for John McCain—on MSNBC than in most other news outlets. On the Fox News Channel, the coverage of the presidential candidates is something of a mirror image of that seen on MSNBC.

        2. The distinct tone of MSNBC—more positive toward Democrats and more negative toward Republicans—was not reflected in the coverage of its broadcast sibling, NBC News. Even though it has correspondents appear on their cable shows and even anchor some programs on there, the broadcast channel showed no such ideological tilt. Indeed, NBC’s coverage of Palin was the most positive of any TV organization studied, including Fox News.

        Keep in mind that this 2008 Pew study was only focused on election night coverage for 2008. This hardly covers the rest of the news that goes on in the world

      • Larry,

        I think we agree. I never for a second believed that Fox News was some beacon of true journalism. And I’ve actually remarked to my wife that Fox News has an awful lot of talk shows to be calling itself a news network.

        I didn’t know that Ailes had launched a different programming venture in the past. I’ll have to look into that more.

        That’s about as much as we can agree on right now. I’d have to look at the statements one by one to know if Fox News viewers are giving demonstrably false answers to questions on any given issue.

        It wouldn’t surprise me if most people, regardless the network they watch, gave false answers. I’ve been doing an awful lot of phone banking for the Romney campaign here in Michigan….UGH. People are so stupid. Democrat, Republican, Independent. It doesn’t matter. So many say the dumbest things and give the most ridiculous answers to questions.

        I asked one lady who she was voting for. She says, “Obama. He’s at least a Catholic. Screw the Mormon!”

        I was like….WHAT?

        Then one guy said, “I’m voting Romney. Screw that n*gger.”

        Those are just two mundane examples of the kind of stupidity I deal with while working the phones. Ugh.

        I think you said you did some campaigning. You probably know what I mean. People are just dumb.

    • My hats off to you for doing the phone bank thing Terrance. If I thought there was a chance that Texas could swing for Obama I would be out there calling people and banging on doors to make that happen.

      I did do a lot of this back in 2004 when I was supporting Howard Dean in the primaries. and as I reported in my post a few days back – Get ye behind Me You Demon Vote Killer – there was this elderly lady who came to the door and, once she found out which candidate I was promoting, demurely put me off by saying, as she slowly closed the door in my face, “I think I’ll vote for the Christian”.

  3. I sometimes venture over to Fox, just to see what the other side is doing. But then I start shouting the “F-word” so much, The Wife makes me turn it off. :)

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