Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Fox Zero Tolerance Policy for Errors

Hannity mixes 9-12 protesters video with the less impressive footage of Michele Bachmann's loon parade? Oops, we made a mistake. Robo-anchors claiming "pictures coming in just now" of huge crowds at Sarah Palin book signings when those "pictures" were 2008 Republican campaign rallies? Yeah, our bad. But the final straw was when a mistake wasn't in their favor.

During the umpteenth debate about whether Sarah Palin is a savior or a stooge, the producers flashed up the book cover not of Palin's "Going Rogue", but of Richard Kim and Betsy Reed's "Going Rouge", the counter argument brought to us by the editors of The Nation magazine, and had to air yet another apology.

So, in an effort to reduce or even eliminate careless mistakes maligning one of their own instead of their intended Democratic or liberal victim, mistakes that an eight year old wouldn't make, the powers that be at Fox have issued a "Zero Tolerance for On-Screen Errors" memo, describing immediate consequences, including possible termination, for gaffes like these in the future.

My guess is that these sorry producers got this memo and realized that they have to unlearn everything they've learned at FNC, because really, this isn't just a recent problem. This kind of stuff have been happening for years. How many times have we seen screwed up chyrons of disgraced Republican politicians with a "D" next to their name? And now that the White House has called them anything except a news organization, they're under the gun to avoid stupid mistakes, which have been ingrained in their psyche as just a little conservative tweaking to drive the point home. Now they must make a half-hearted effort at being "fair and balanced."

And this is just the producers' faux pas on the "news" sections of their programming. This doesn't even address the blatant Sean Hannity lies, or Bill O'Reilly misinformation, or the Glenn Beck lunacy that will continue unabated on Fox "News" Channel. That's still fine with them.

I wonder if this came about after the great Sean Hannity blew a gasket for having to apologize to a peon like Jon Stewart on his show, something I doubt he's had to ever do before with anyone or anything. There sat Hannity in his dressing room rehearsing an apology, probably like watching Happy Days' Fonzie admit he was wrong, before he was able to get through the whole thing without dry heaving.

So this now begs the question, if a FNC producer can get fired from their "news" division for a mistake, how soon before the entire Fox News Channel shuts down? Two or three days tops?

(H/T GottaLaff)

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