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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fox"News" : We Don't Just Alter Facts Anymore

Was there ever a day when Rupert Murdock and Roger Ailes network was actually credible? Seriously, I don't think I'm the only person that has ever asked that question.

By default, morning-show programs on ANY channel aren't exactly designed to stimulate your neurons into firing to such a degree that you have a grande epiphony and then set out to make your world a better place. They are scripted, formatted, and put into place for the express purpose of being back-ground noise while you eat your cereal and read newspaper or this blog.

Enter in two of the "three stooges" of the morning-show circuit: Brian Kilmede and Steve Doocy ( Gretchen Carlson was absent this one, but there's plenty the airhead princess has done or yet to do to get called-on later ).

The two did a segment on "Fox and Friends" recently where they were speaking about Fox's, The Bush Administration's, and their frothing-at-the-mouth followers' favorite boogie-men ( and women ) The New York Times.

From Editor and Publisher and Editor and Publisher

On the July 2 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade labeled New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and editor Steven Reddicliffe "attack dogs," claiming that Steinberg's June 28 article on the "ominous trend" in Fox News' ratings was a "hit piece." During the segment, however, Fox News featured photos of Steinberg and Reddicliffe that appeared to have been digitally altered -- the journalists' teeth had been yellowed, their facial features exaggerated, and portions of Reddicliffe's hair moved further back on his head. Fox News gave no indication that the photos had been altered.

After putting up the photos of Steinberg and Reddicliffe, Fox & Friends also featured a photograph of Steinberg's face superimposed over that of a poodle, while Reddicliffe's face was superimposed over that of the man holding the poodle's leash.

Below is a screenshot of Fox & Friends featuring the photo it used of Steinberg, with the original photo on its left. Comparing the two photos, it appears that the following changes have been made: Steinberg's teeth have been yellowed, his nose and chin widened, and his ears made to protrude further.

On Wednesday morning's edition of Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade aired the photos while discussing a piece in the June 28 edition of the New York Times. The piece pointed out what the newspaper called "ominous trends" in Fox News' ratings.

Neither Steinberg nor Reddicliffe were reachable for comment Wednesday. But Times Culture Editor Sam Sifton called the Fox photo work "disgusting," and the criticism of the paper's reporting "a specious and meritless claim."

"It wasn't a hit piece," Sifton told E&P. "It was straight news. This was a hit piece by Fox News. It is beneath comment." Asked if the paper planned to respond to Fox's actions, he said no: "It is fighting with a pig, everyone gets dirty and the pig likes it."

In his TV spot, Doocy called the Times report, written by Steinberg, a "hit piece" ordered up by Reddicliffe. The pair then made reference to Reddicliffe's tenure as editor of TV Guide owned by Fox News' parent company, News Corporation, which ended in 2002. Reddicliffe was hired by the Times in 2004.

Of course, to take anything that Fox does seriously is kind of a mistake in-and-of-itself. But, this is how the entire network operates. All their programs follow the same format - twist stories into such inrecognizable shapes that people are either confused or outraged. And if the outraged people say anything, just bring on 6 hard-line conservative guests and one milquetoast "liberal" guest. The later is beaten to a bloody, pulp to create the illusion of "power"

But, let's get back to the photoshop bit. Whom is the intended audience for this? Who is actually going to believe what is 'reported' about The Times? Do people actually believe they are being told the truth?

Truth-be-told, there is no intended audience. Not for "Fox and Friends", not for any program. It's all propoganda for people that already believe in every conservative meme there is.

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