Who does somebody have to falafel around here to get fired?
Short of being caught sexually molesting Roger Ailes’ teenaged Shih-Tzu, it’s pretty hard to get fired at Fox news:
Fox News, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this week, is as unbeloved as ever by the rest of the media. But at least lately my colleagues seem to be resigned to the cable news channelâ€™s existence – even though that â€œfair and balancedâ€ tag still sticks in pretty much everyoneâ€™s craw.
Still, when Fox News chief Roger Ailes came to Los Angeles this summer to speak to the Television Critics Association, I noticed the audience was less antagonistic than Iâ€™ve seen them be over the years to, say, Bill Oâ€™Reilly.
The snappiest Ailes got in L.A. this summer was when someone asked about Fox Newsâ€™ plans to expland into local news programming. â€œWhat are you worried about?â€ Ailes snapped. â€œThat weâ€™re going to do fair and balanced reporting at the local stations?â€
â€œWe havenâ€™t had to fire our executives or our reporters or our anchors or anybody else for making up the news,â€ Ailes continued. â€œMaybe weâ€™re a little too in-your-face at times. But basically what we do is cover the story, and we havenâ€™t been forced to eat our words because weâ€™re actually telling people whatâ€™s going on. Sometimes thereâ€™s more than one point of view, and we try to reflect that.â€
Cue Carl Cameron:
After FOX News Channel chief political correspondent Carl Cameron wrote a fake news story mocking Senator John Kerry that was published October 1 on FOXNews.com, blogger and journalist Joshua Micah Marshall posed a question to the network: “Why did comments very similar to Cameron’s fabrications come up again and again from FOX commentators on debate night?”
As Marshall noted on October 1, the story as it originally appeared — part of a FOXNews.com “Trail Tales” report containing several other items — falsely attributed quotes to Kerry in an attempt to ridicule him over a manicure, which Cameron reported he received on September 30. Later that day, FOX News Channel issued a retraction and an apology, and the fake story was removed from the “Trail Tales” report. According to a New York Times article, FOX News Channel spokesman Paul Schur said: “This was a stupid mistake and a lapse in judgment, and Carl [Cameron] regrets it.”
Following are some of the fabricated quotations appearing in Cameron’s fake story:
“Didn’t my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!” Kerry said Friday.
“Women should like me! I do manicures,” Kerry said.
“I’m metrosexual — he’s a cowboy,” the Democratic candidate said of himself and his opponent.
But Cameron’s fake news story was not the first sign of FOX’s fixation on the purported manicure. Prior to the first presidential debate, Cameron reported on Special Report with Brit Hume that Kerry got “a pre-debate manicure.” FOX News Channel hosts and contributors quickly picked up on Cameron’s report, discussing the reported manicure five separate times in the three hours preceding the debate. No other cable news channel mentioned the topic.
Hell, you can’t even get fired at Fox for bad shower porn…