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“When Does Fox News Apologize?”: After Years Of On-Air Idiocy, Why Walk Back Your Business Model Now?

Nearly two years ago, Fox News luminary Shepard Smith delivered a memorable apology. On a slow-news afternoon in September 2012, Smith’s afternoon program followed a protracted car-chase in the Arizona sticks. Its coverage of the drama was so intense that producers failed to cut away from the scene when the driver got out of his car, staggered through a desolate area and shot himself.

Tonal perfection characterized Smith’s mea culpa: “We really messed up, and we’re all very sorry. That didn’t belong on TV. … I personally apologize to you that that happened,” said the host.

The theme of Fox News’s capacity for apology surfaced this week, after “Fox & Friends” co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy joked about the Ray Rice situation. On Monday’s program, the two were discussing the emergence of the TMZ.com video showing Rice assaulting his then-fiancee in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel. To wrap up the discussion, Kilmeade quipped, “I think the message is, take the stairs.”

Doocy, in the jocular spirit of a cable-news morning show during a discussion of domestic violence, joined in: “The message is when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera.”

With that, “Fox & Friends” prepped public expectations for a stone-faced apology. Tuesday morning, that didn’t happen. Instead, Kilmeade appeared to be blaming viewers for using their eyes and ears: “Comments that we made during this story yesterday made some feel like we were taking the situation too lightly. We are not. We were not. Domestic abuse is a very serious issue to us, I can assure you.”

CNN, like a good competitor network, found newsworthiness in the depravity of “Fox & Friends.” In a chat with host Carol Costello, CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter said, “It’s a cheap try yo pretend to apologize but then again, Fox News tends not to come out and apologize when their hosts say offensive things.”

Cue the Google and Nexis searches for “fox news apologizes.”

In August, Fox News’s Shepard Smith apologized for having called Robin Williams a “coward.” (Hat Tip: Johnny Dollar)

In April, Fox News apologized for a graphic that painted a distorted picture of Obamacare enrollment numbers.

In March, Fox News host Clayton Morris apologized for “ignorant” comments that he’d made about gender. (Hat tip: Johnny Dollar)

In October 2013, Fox News apologized for reporting — based on a bogus story — that President Obama had pledged to personally donate to the International Museum of Muslim Cultures during the government shutdown.

In February 2013, Fox News’s Tucker Carlson apologized for ripping Wiccans. (Hat tip: Johnny Dollar)

In July 2012, Fox News apologized for showing a picture of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels in a discussion of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky.

In July 2011, Fox News apologized after its politics Twitter account was hacked, resulting in a false message about the assassination of President Obama.

In November 2009, Fox News apologized for misrepresenting some footage of Sarah Palin.

So there’s a sampling of Fox News’s regretful moments of recent years (we don’t claim it’s comprehensive). The circumstances behind them vary — some correct factual mistakes, others remedy stupid, ill-considered remarks made in the error factory that is live television.

Does the network under-apologize for “offensive” remarks, as Stelter suggested? Who knows — a claim that broad and subject to value judgments is both unprovable and irrefutable, a perfect thing to say on cable news. Perhaps there is a contrast to be drawn with MSNBC, a network that went on an apologetic tear starting last November after offending the likes of Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, the “right wing” and others.

Despite the squishiness inherent in this debate, it’s clear that there’s an entire industry of apology demands directed at Fox News. Here’s a demand that Fox News host Megyn Kelly apologize for her comments about Santa and Jesus being white. Here’s a demand (from now-Fox News guy Howard Kurtz, in 2009) that Fox News apologize for using “partisan propaganda” on air. Here’s a demand that Fox News apologize for its Steubenville rape coverage. Here’s a demand that Fox News apologize to all Canadians for mocking their country’s military. Here’s a demand that Fox News apologize to John Kerry for catching his off-mic remarks (see comments section). Here’s a demand that Fox News apologize for some allegedly transphobic remarks by Dr. Keith Ablow (who produces apologizable statements in just about every appearance, it must be noted).

And on and on: Some of the demands are perfectly ridiculous, some compelling.

Of all the moments for which Fox News has apologized or received apology demands, none appears as regret-worthy as what went down on Monday’s edition of “Fox & Friends.” In advising “take the stairs,” Kilmeade appeared to be counseling domestic abusers on how to do their thing. Or perhaps he was counseling women not to get into elevators with their boyfriends. Abominable either way. Fox News — and “Fox & Friends” itself — has apologized for much less. Absent an explanation from Fox News itself, only pure arrogance can account for why the network whiffed on its responsibility to viewers. Years and years of on-air idiocy, after all, have propelled “Fox & Friends” to the top of the morning cable-news ratings. Why walk back the show’s business model now?

 

By: Erik Wemple, The Washington Post, September 10, 2014

 

September 12, 2014 Posted by | Domestic Violence, Fox News, Violence Against Women | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Unbridled Hypocisy”: Laura Ingraham Has the World’s Worst Imagination

Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham is outraged — outraaaged! — that President Obama met with some MSNBC anchors at the White House on Tuesday, according to her daily newsletter:

“Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Ed Schultz all stopped by the White House to discuss the President’s fiscal cliff proposal. Can anyone even imagine how the press would have reacted if Fox News hosts and conservative personalities had stopped by the Bush White House to discuss policy? They would have been rightly outraged.”

Yes, let’s all put on our imagination hats and try as hard as we can to imagine what that meeting would look like. George W. Bush would be seated in an Oval Office chair, doing jazz hands in front of a bust of Winston Churchill. On his left, Fox News host Sean Hannity would be pensively smelling his hand on a couch with conservative personality Michael Medved. On his right, conservative personalities Neil Boortz and Mike Gallagher would be sharing another couch. And, just for imagination’s sake, let’s put conservative personality Laura Ingraham in there, too, right next to the president. Now, obviously, such a scene never actually transpired, but — wait, what? Oh. It did.

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After Media Matters revealed Ingraham’s hypocrisy to the world, a producer responded with the classic “Ingraham didn’t actually write the newsletter, and also, the two things are totally different because I said so” defense.

During Laura’s brief radio hiatus, the Daily Fix is written by staff. Although I didn’t know Laura had visited the Bush White House with other conservative radio hosts, the circumstances of her meeting the president were quite different. Laura did not go to the White House to advise the president, but was simply briefed on policy for perhaps an hour.

For what it’s worth, the MSNBC hosts didn’t “advise” Obama. They were, uh, briefed on policy:

“This afternoon at the White House, the President met with influential progressives to talk about the importance of preventing a tax increase on middle class families, strengthening our economy and adopting a balanced approach to deficit reduction,” Earnest said in a statement Tuesday.

As embarrassing as this whole episode is for Team Ingraham, they’re not the only ones who should have done a little research before going into full fauxtrage mode about the MSNBC meeting. Take the hosts of Fox & Friends (please!), for example, who overreacted in typical fashion. “I’m shocked by that,” Brian Kilmeade said. “To invite five talk show hosts in, all from the same channel? That’s outrageous.” Mike Huckabee, who has a show on Fox News, claimed yesterday that the sit-down with Obama destroyed any “illusion whatsoever that there’s objectivity going on at MSNBC.”

 

By: Dan Amira, Daily Intel, December 6, 2012

December 7, 2012 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gingrich’s Next Two Weeks Of Policy Statements Revealed

Two weeks ago, Newt Gingrich said this is what he would do about Libya, if he were president: “Exercise a no-fly zone this evening”.

Yesterday, here’s what Newt said about Libya, where the United States is exercising a no-fly zone: “I would not have intervened”.

After a full day of people making fun of him, the former House speaker — who masquerades as an intellectual policy wonk but who is actually just a master self-promoter — explained himself in a lengthy Facebook post, Sarah Palin-style, that generally made no sense, Sarah Palin-style.

His position seems to be that he would not have intervened, but once the president said, “Gadhafi must go,” the United States had to intervene, to save face, and that’s when Newt would’ve exercised the no-fly zone, if he were president and had made that statement, which he wouldn’t have done.

Also, Gingrich says, now that we’ve done this we should also do it in the Sudan, Syria, Zimbabwe, Yemen and elsewhere, except we shouldn’t do it at all, anywhere.

We here at the War Room have just received, from the future, the next two weeks of Newt Gingrich’s public statements on Libya, and other assorted matters of national import.

“Meet the Press,” March 27

“What the president needs to do is have Congress vote on the use of ground troops in Libya, immediately.”

Neil Cavuto, March 29

“If I were president I’d unilaterally strike Iran right now instead of wasting our time and resources in Libya.”

Facebook, March 29

“My position on Libya has not changed: What the United States should’ve done is invade with a ground force, after receiving congressional authorization, but only if he hadn’t sought United Nations approval, which would’ve changed everything. Under the current circumstances, with the president already having totally blown it, our best option is a surprise airstrike on Iran.”

Human Events.com, March 31

“This is the single biggest foreign policy disaster I’ve seen since, literally, the Battle of Blandensburg, which I am writing a book about. We should pull out now and refocus on jobs, here at home.”

“Good Morning America,” April 1

“Look, if I was the commander in chief, I wouldn’t rest until we had Gadhafi’s head on a pike outside one of his gaudy palaces.”

Facebook, April 2

“Again, I’m distraught to see America so poorly led during this time of great international turmoil. My position is clear: The United States has a jobs crisis exacerbated by the failed policies of our current president, but after we committed ourselves to removing Gadhafi, we forced ourselves to take literally any action at our disposal to make that a reality, as long as we did it right, because if we aren’t doing it right, which we aren’t, but which I would, we should not do it.

“I also apologize to the hardworking staff at ‘Good Morning America’ for the incident with the chair, but I am growing tired of constantly answering such transparently biased questions about my very simple position on the conflict in Libya.”

“Face the Nation,” April 3

“I support gay marriage.”

“Fox and Friends,” April 6

“Gay people should be thrown in jail, forever, if they try to marry each other.”

Twitter, April 6

“deep respect 4 homosexual americans-vow to serve ALL americans if prez-inmate marriage will strengthen national respect 4 traditional family.”

 

By: Alex Pareene, Salon War Room, March 24, 2011

March 24, 2011 Posted by | Foreign Policy, Jobs, Libya, Middle East, Neo-Cons, Newt Gingrich, No Fly Zones, Politics, President Obama, Qaddafi | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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