Friday, October 01, 2004

all the news that fits, we print

a break from the constant debate blogging...

fox news printed and then retracted a totally-false hatchet piece against kerry. the article had kerry referring to himself as a "metrosexual" and attributed to him outlandish quotes like "Didn't my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!" and "It's about the Supreme Court. Women should like me! I do manicures."

josh marshallfound the article online (being sure to save a copy to his hard drive as evidence) and started making some calls. soon enough, the offending article disappeared without explanation. a few hours later, josh spoke with fox spokesman paul schur, who told him

"Carl [Cameron] made a stupid mistake which he regrets. And he has been reprimanded for his lapse in judgment. It was a poor attempt at humor."

you might recall that pundits at fox news cackled ceaselessly that heads should roll at cbs for a recent scandal involving memos that were basically true but whose authenticity cbs could not totally verify (although cbs certainly put in some serious work to authentify them). but this is a story where totally false, potentially libelous content somehow slipped through the editorial process and was reported as real news, even though no rational editor could've believed kerry would have said such things.

to their credit, fox eventually posted a retraction and apology:

Earlier Friday, posted an item purporting to contain quotations from Kerry. The item was based on a reporter's partial script that had been written in jest and should not have been posted or broadcast. We regret the error, which occurred because of fatigue and bad judgment, not malice.

what's that about broadcast? it's bad enough that something like that could end up on their website passing for news, but are they indirectly confessing that they actually put these false quotes on-air? that would be horrible if true... i wonder if someone out there has footage of this.

No comments: