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Fox News and the 9/12 protest
How important is a video showing Fox producer Heidi Noonan stirring up demonstrators?
 

Fox News should be having a good week, said Chris Thomas in True/Slant. "The successful staging of the 9/12 protests—more or less organized by Fox’s Glenn Beck—provided the network with a ready-made scoop." But the victory turned sour after Fox took out a full-page ad in The Washington Post falsely claiming the other networks didn't cover the rally, and a video appeared on YouTube showing Fox producer Heidi Noonan "rallying a 9/12 protest crowd for a live shot." (watch)

It's not unusual for a producer to fire up the crowd, said Ryan Witt in Examiner.com, for "an entertainment-based television show or sporting event." But it's "considered inappropriate for a news broadcast," as Fox News acknowledged by saying that its producer was "inexperienced" and had been disciplined for her actions at the Tea Party protest.

At first glance, Heidi Noonan’s "'pump up the volume' gestures to the crowd seem innocuous," said Zeke Turner in Mediaite. "But when you consider FNC’s whole 'Fair and Balanced' credo, the interaction between producer and crowd is completely out of bounds." (watch Howard Kurtz discussing the Noonan incident) But this isn't just a Fox problem—newspapers are just as guilty when they alter photographs or otherwise provide "an augmented or altered version of the truth."

 

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