If you work for Mitt Romney presidential campaign or the Republican National Committee, you’ve got a friend at Fox News.
Any question that the “fair and balanced” network is anything but ended this week after the Fox and Friends morning program aired a four-minute anti-Obama attack ad that looks like something Karl Rove and Ted Nugent would have dreamed up during a mutual masturbation session.
Media critic Howard Kurtz was flabbergasted by how brazenly Fox went scorched earth on the president.
The thing has to be seen to be believed. It is a classic piece of negative propaganda, scary music and all.
The piece starts off with Barack Obama promising change, and then, banging the viewer over the head: A bag of money, labeled a $15.7-trillion deficit. Footage of begging homeless people. The jobless rate ticking up to 8.3 percent (though it’s down from 9.9). Shots of people using food stamps as Nancy Pelosi favorably mentions the program and the unbiased Newt Gingrich rips Obama as a food-stamp president. Rising gas prices. Rising food prices. Foreclosure signs. A pink piggy bank tumbling down the stairs. Speeded-up snippets of unseen voices delivering bad news.
And how did Fox & Friends react to this assault on the senses? “Hats off to Chris White,” said co-host Steve Doocy, crediting the associate producer who made the video.
I’m telling you, Mitt Romney’s campaign wouldn’t have produced this. The RNC wouldn’t have produced this. Karl Rove’s group wouldn’t have produced this. It is a parody of an attack spot and would have been laughed out of the political arena.
Fox reacted by yanking the video from its website and issuing a tepid statement from executive vice president Bill Shine: “The package that aired on Fox & Friends was created by an associate producer and was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network. This has been addressed with the show’s producers.”
Not authorized”? No denunciation of the video? No apology? No disciplinary action?
The fact that the hosts were happy with this latest video assault on the president is nothing short of revealing.
This is a moment of truth heading into the general election. Roger Ailes should denounce the video and criticize his network’s handling of it. He should make clear that such partisan garbage has no place on Fox News. Otherwise people will assume that Fox’s worst critics are right.
Newflash for Little Howie Kurtz: Fox’s worst critics are right and always have been. You can’t slide a piece of paper between the Republican Party and their official network, Fox News.
Fox and Friends isn’t like The Today Show or Good Morning America. Their primary interest has never been happy talk with celebrities or Jungle Jack Hanna sitting on the couch with a cockatoo perched on his shoulder. It’s always been a morning program wearing its political views on its shoulder.
A four-minute attack ad is coming from a much different place than an segment on how to make delicious low-cholesterol meals. Fox and Friends is a program on the Fox News channel and despite that obnoxious lie that Fox is “fair and balanced” there is no wall of separation between the network’s news, opinion and entertainment programming. It’s all designed to flow Fox’s right-wing agenda. Unless they produce a four-minute attack ad with Mitt Romney as the target Fox have proven themselves unfair and unbalanced.
Even a lousy program like F&F has to keep up some semblance of journalistic standards. It can’t engage in slander, it has to ensure they have checked their facts and when it runs a hit piece like this, it can’t hide behind the flimsy excuse it’s not a news or opinion program.
Any pretense F&F doesn’t have a political slant went “bye-bye” when they aired that segment and gave the associate producer a big wet kiss.
Not everybody wants a heavy-handed dosage of anti-Obama propaganda first thing in the morning with their corn flakes.
The surprise for wimps like Kurtz is Fox’s total abandonment of any semblance of impartiality and objectivity. Those of us whom have witnessed Fox’s rise to the ratings juggernaut it is, picked up a long time ago the secret to their success was to offer “news” in the most negative and polarizing way possible by demonizing Democrats and the Left in general and President Obama specifically. The three stooges who make up the Fox and Friends morning crew couldn’t have been more obvious with their support of Romney if they had worn, “We Like Mitt” T-shirts.
You call that what it is when you see it: media bias. It’s not just for liberals anymore.
- Fox News cuts Obama attack ad (salon.com)
- Fox News Is Now Producing Its Own Anti-Obama Attack Ads [Video] (gawker.com)
- Fox & Friends create and run ‘fair and balanced’ anti-Obama attack video (dailykos.com)