Thursday, May 7, 2009

Media Matters: Fox News: Fair and Balanced?

I received the following from Media Matters:

Fox News continues to make a mockery of its "Fair & Balanced" slogan.

Over the past two weeks alone, we have documented multiple instances of Fox News airing video clips of progressives that were cropped in a way that blatantly misrepresented their original statements.

For example, on the May 1 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, guest host Laura Ingraham presented clips of Al Gore's April 24 congressional testimony to suggest that Gore has profited from his environmental advocacy. The clips had been edited to remove his statements that he donates all of the money he makes from climate-related work to a nonprofit organization that seeks to solve the climate crisis.

Far from being a solitary instance, Fox's distortive editing is evidence of a larger pattern at the network. The same night Ingraham smeared Gore, Fox aired a report by congressional correspondent Major Garrett that purported to give "a description" of how President Obama's nominee to replace Justice Souter on the Supreme Court "will interpret the law." Garrett proceeded to air a statement by the president expressing how he views empathy as a quality he would like to see in a justice. Garrett then claimed that this sentiment "aggravates those who believe justices should follow the Constitution and legislative intent." But Garrett cropped out the very next sentence of Obama's speech, when he stated that he will "seek somebody who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our constitutional traditions, who respects the integrity of the judicial process and the appropriate limits of the judicial role."

Watch the video, then email Fox News and let them know we deserve the unedited truth, not manufactured smears.

Dating back to 2006, we have documented numerous examples of Fox News airing deceptively edited footage of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton, Rep. Barney Frank, and several Democratic senators.

These smears stand in stark contrast to basic journalistic ethics. Fox News is doing its viewers a disservice by providing them with blatant misinformation that blurs the line separating news and legitimate commentary from political activism and demagoguery.

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