Fox News Busted

Ken AshfordRight Wing and Inept MediaLeave a Comment

Still have doubts that Fox News is an arm of the Republican Party?

This should lay those doubts to rest.

Yesterday, on Fox News' Happening Now, host Jon Scott told his viewers:

"The Senate is expected to pass the $838 billion stimulus plan — its version of it, anyway. We thought we'd take a look back at the bill, how it was born, and how it grew, and grew, and grew."

What followed was a series of graphic slides showing the evolution of the stimulus bill, complete with dates and sources.  Like this:


The problem?

Each graphic slide — the text, the sources, and dates – came directly from a February 10 press release issued by the Senate Republican Communications Center.

How do we know?

Because the press release contained a typo.  And one of those typos made it onto Fox's graphics.  Here it is:


Notice the date on the graphic?  It cites to the Wall Street Journal of December 19, 2009.

And if you check out the Senate Republican press release, you'll find the same typo:


WALL STREET JOURNAL: “President-elect Barack Obama's economic team is crafting a stimulus package to send to Congress worth between $675 billion and $775 billion over two years, according to officials familiar with the package…” (“Stimulus Package Heads Toward $850 Billion,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/19/09)

But the Wall Street Journal article was published on December 18th, in the year 2009.

Fox's research?  Simply parroting GOP talking points…. verbatim.

[H/T: Media Matters]

UPDATE:  From Washington Monthly

Fox News literally got the Republican press release this morning, and soon after, aired it as if it were news. It's one thing to take the party line on every issue, but when a news outlet starts running GOP press releases — without even bothering to correct the party's typos — you know the network has given up entirely on being taken seriously.

It's worth noting, of course, that this is not only ridiculously partisan, it's also unethical — Fox News led viewers to believe the Republican talking points were actually the result of network research. If Fox News is going to pull a stunt like this, it should at least have the honesty to disclose the source.