The information coming out of Fox News is often misleading or clearly incorrect. People ask me, “Spocko, is there anything we can do about this? Can’t the FCC do anything? What about the FTC and truth in advertising laws?”
How can Fox employees get away with calling themselves journalists when they are acting more like lobbyists or employees of a PR firm?
Are there every any negative consequences for people who intentionally lie while calling themselves journalists? Can’t some groups who give credentials for being “the press” take them away? Why should Fox get a higher level of protection from libel than other corporations? Is having a tagline, “Fair and Balanced” and the word “News” in your logo all it takes? (If so I’m launching Spocko’s Brain News Network with the tagline, “Vulcans Never Bluff.”)
Why do they get all the benefits of being the press without any of the responsibilities?
I had some of these questions myself so when Fox News recently broadcast a chart that was clearly wrong (but wrong in a way that made Obama look bad) I decided to ask them of the SVP of media relations at Fox News.
Here is my letter.
Media Relations Fox News
Dear Ms. Briganti:
On Monday December 12, 2011, Fox News Network, L.L.C., broadcast a chart entitled Unemployment Rate Under President Obama. The source was listed as the 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Numerous writers have pointed out the visual errors in this chart (link) and called into question whether they were genuine mistakes or intentional efforts to mislead.
I would like to hear your official statement about this chart and its errors; and how it came to be created and broadcast. I would also like to know if there will be any consequences for the people who created and aired this chart. Read the rest of this entry →