Sunday, July 25, 2010
Captain Obvious: It Does Not Matter When FOX "News" Played Tape
Notably, the host, Chris Wallace, was very prickly about exactly when FOX "News" actually aired the notoriously out-of-context video from the NAACP. Wallace claims that FOX never aired the clip before Sherrod resigned. This is only partially true, and a very disingenuous point. Bill O'Reilly, who tapes his program, The O'Reilly Factor rather than airing it live, was on the air saying that Sherrod "must resign" before the announcement was made, by bare minutes. But this means he had recorded it hours earlier. Also, FOXNews.com had already reported on the issue, with absolutely wrong information, such as stating that Sherrod was a government employee at the time of her story (which was really 24 years ago). FOX Nation (the extremely far right blog site) was also discussing the story in an unfavorable light. I have no doubt that Sean Hannity's and Glenn Beck's radio shows (which air earlier than their FOX shows) were already on this issue as well. So Wallace's "FOX never aired" the clip is a slice-and-dice of the facts, at best.
All of this points to the fact that FOX was running with this story. If Sherrod's resignation had come six hours later--or not at all--there can be no doubt that this would have been the 24/7 number one story on FOX. . .which it became anyway. What the White House was trying to prevent--in a regrettable, stupid fashion, I'm not afraid to note--is exactly what did happen. They wanted to squash a bad news cycle in the midst of a pretty good policy week, and they failed. Exactly when FOX aired the clip, is a bit of false framing, as though their journalistic integrity was the reason for holding back. BULL PUCKY. Clearly, this thing was a go, and all of Wallace's protestations can't make that go away.