Fox News this week aired old footage during a report on Sarah Palin's book tour. Anchor Greg Jarrett pointed to massive 2008 campaign crowds and told viewers the images showed people gathering to see Palin as she promoted her memoir, Going Rogue. Fox called it a production error, and said it would discipline the people responsible. (Watch the clip.) But the incident came just a week after Fox's Sean Hannity apologized for illustrating a health care reform protest with footage from a larger, unrelated rally. Were these innocent mistakes, or is Fox News fudging facts to boost conservative causes?
Fox is acting like a propaganda machine: "Fox News is not operating like a news organization," says John Amato in Crooks and Liars. First Sean Hannity's "hoax" was uncovered by Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, and now this? "Inadvertent footage doesn't end up on a network show. That's a bogus explanation." This is a case of pro-conservative trickery.
"Fox News airs old footage from 2008 Palin rallies to pump up Palin's 2009 book tour. I filed an FCC complaint!"
Palin really is drawing huge crowds: Fifteen hundred people showed up — in freezing temperatures — to see Sarah Palin at a Michigan book store, says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. "Sarah Palin is a phenomenon, and the release of her book proves it. "Even the media that loves to deride her" can't deny that her book tour is attracting tremendous crowds.
"1500 wait in freezing weather to meet Palin on book tour"
Innocent error or not, this looks bad: "To be fair, this could have been an honest mistake," says Rachel Sladja in Talking Points Memo. But it doesn't look good coming so soon after Sean Hannity's apology for using footage from a big 9/12 rally to show how many people showed up for the smaller Capitol Hill tea party this month. And Hannity runs an opinion show — Greg Jarrett is "one of their straight news guys," so this one will hurt.
"Fox again uses old footage to beef up crowd numbers -- this time for Palin"
SEE THE WEEK'S LATEST COVERAGE OF SARAH PALIN:
• 2012: President Sarah Palin?
• Newsweek's 'sexist' Sarah Palin cover
• Grading Palin's Oprah interview
• Does the media hate Sarah Palin?
• Sarah Palin's sink or swim interview on Oprah
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Why you probably don't have Ebola — even if you shook hands with America's 'patient zero'
- Fall film guide: All the movies you should see in October
Subscribe to the Week