Friday, April 27, 2012

Okay If You're A Fox Anchor: How The Propaganda Network Rigs The Debate

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

One of the techniques the propagandists at Fox News have mastered over the years marking their toxic rise in the media landscape has been to hold its competitors to standards that Fox itself has no intention of ever meeting. There's nothing Fox talkers love to attack other networks for more than their supposed journalistic sins -- while Fox itself has proven itself time and again as a relentless font of false "facts" and disinformation.

A recent example was the piece by the New York Times' David Carr castigating NBC for failing to correct a misleading audio edit on the air, even though the network did fire the producer responsible.
After broadcasting an audio clip on the “Today” show about George Zimmerman last month that hit the trifecta of being misleading, incendiary and dead-bang wrong, NBC News management took serious action: it fired the producer in charge and issued a statement apologizing for making it appear as if Mr. Zimmerman had made overtly racist statements.

The only thing NBC didn’t do was correct the report on the “Today” show.
What got everyone's panties in a knot? It was an edit that made Zimmerman appear worse than the full recording:
Here is how NBC edited the clip of Mr. Zimmerman, who is now charged with second-degree murder in the Trayvon Martin case:

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good. ... he looks black.”

Here is what Mr. Zimmerman actually said:

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.” The dispatcher then asks, “O.K., and this guy — is he white, black or Hispanic?” Mr. Zimmerman pauses and replies, “He looks black.”

The clip was first broadcast on March 22, but no one noticed until it was rebroadcast on March 27. Later, when word of the misleading edit got out, everyone from Sean Hannity to Jon Stewart reacted with disbelief, with good reason.
Got that? It was Fox News -- and Sean Hannity in particular -- who complained loudly about it. And indeed, the Carr piece is accompanied by a "Fox News Watch" graphic from a segment attacking NBC for the edit.

Which is funny, because we remember when it was Fox News doing the deceptive-editing schtick,. They didn't just do it once -- they did it repeatedly:

Hannity, for instance, has repeatedly run a deceptively edited video of Obama speaking abroad in order to smear him as being a president who presents a weak American face. It's almost a nightly feature of Beck's show, who uses selective edits to smear everyone from Van Jones to Jim Wallis to President Obama.

Indeed, selectively cropped video has been a specialty of Fox News generally for some time now, and it has been long remarked.
And here's the best part: Fox News never issued a correction, let alone an apology, for any one of these misleading edits. As far as we know, no producer has ever been fired for it. The best evidence that there have been no repercussions within Fox for these acts of journalistic malfeasance is the fact that these misleading edits have been used repeatedly and remorselessly.

They don't need to. Because they know the New York Times and Washington Posts of the world -- the supposed media watchdogs -- will never hold them responsible. But they will eagerly prove their Me-I'm-Not-Liberal-Media-Really credentials by lapping up any instance of misfeasance by the established, non-propagandistic journalistic efforts of the traditional networks and trumpeting it, giving the Foxites and their followers further proof of the Liberal Media Conspiracy at work.

This isn't to defend NBC's edit. But you have to wonder when our so-called watchdogs are going to start copping to the reality that Fox News violates basic standards of journalism on an hourly basis, if not more frequently. As yet, nobody but the dirty hippies has been willing to come out and say that the king of the parade is wearing no ethics. Instead, we get a steady diet of false-equivalency crap.