Hey, kids! Do you ever get tired of Fox News’ crops? I don’t mean the food they might be literally growing, in Glenn Beck’s Doom Room, in preparation for Imminent Socialist Panic. I’m talking about the way they manipulate video to make it look like people are just straight up saying the opposite thing they actually said. Well, it’s been bothering the media critics at Media Matters For America for some time, and they have, for a long time, been cataloging “examples of Fox News hosts and correspondents cropping comments by progressives and Democratic political figures in a manner that misrepresents them.” A new mash-up video offers some side-by-side examples of what they’re talking about.
Some constructive criticism? I think the third example — Obama’s “empathy” criteria for Supreme Court justice — isn’t the best example of a Fox cropping. While it’s certainly true that Major Garrett’s statement, “That aggravates those who feel that justices should follow the Constitution and legislative intent,” seems to neatly ignore the fact that Obama’s next statement was “I will seek someone who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our Constitutional traditions, who respects the integrity of the judicial process, and the appropriate limits of the judicial role,” the fact is, just about every news organization honed in on the “empathy” part of the statement. It became the sound bite from that press exchange.
In a more lengthy report, however, Media Matters has other candidates that are fitting examples of these games with videotape, well worth reviewing. Key examples include Sean Hannity’s intentional omission of Obama’s admonishment of Europeans’ “casual…insidious” anti-Americanism to make it look like Obama was apologizing for the United States, and Wendell Goler’s splice-happy report that made it look like Obama was in favor of “European-style health care,” when he was actually specifically opposing it. Also close to my heart is Fox’s misleading insertion of an out-of-context Joe Biden clip into a report, for which the network eventually had to apologize. At the time, I opined:
It’s very sad, and weird, because Fox News would have made their point just fine if they hadn’t included the misleading part of this clip. All they’ve really done is demonstrate that they do not have enough faith in their own editorial premises to avoid bolstering them with falsehoods. But more to the point, whoever is responsible for putting this video together needs to accept a new prevailing reality, that stupid little lies like this will be debunked and exposed very quickly, so they may as well just cut out this nonsense entirely.
Yet they persist!
(Also on AlterNet)