Fox News Network is alternating between interpreting the current government shutdown as a lovely “slimdown” and as President Obama tormenting the people of the United States. They’re not treating it as anything the Republican Party has any responsibility for.
In the Obama-torments-the-good-folks line, “Fox & Friends” did an October 5 follow-up story on the closure of a WWII memorial, showcasing the anger of veterans who wanted to visit it. It is closed because almost all federal parks are closed. Because of the shutdown.
There was video of an outraged veteran using the c-word (“crap”). Then the hosts ranted about the bravery of WWII veterans, the “Greatest Generation,” and the horror of their not being able to visit monuments in their honor. “The only reason they’re doing this is to make people suffer,” raved Tucker Carlson. “The government is acting as your enemy! Has this ever happened before?”
(Why no story on my sadness at not being able to visit Pinnacles National Monument? I want to see condors, damn it.)
To finish the story off, since they didn’t have video of Obama cackling evilly and twirling his long mustache, co-host Anna Kooiman drew a stark contrast between the veterans’ tragedy, a Republican National Committee offer to pay to keep the veterans’ memorial open – and Obama’s pledge to pay out of his own pocket to keep the Museum of Muslim Culture open during the shutdown. The Museum of Muslim Culture!
Except no. No such pledge. That did not happen. The idea apparently came from a October 2 satirical story on the satirical website, National Report, which runs only satirical stories. It was a satire. A joke. Made-up. Fox believed it and passed it on as reporting.
Oh, let’s be fair. Why would they suspect such a believable story? Just because it’s from a publication that has on the same front page stories about dog food tainted with LSD (nice pic of tripping pup), Japanese kids causing an earthquake by jumping off chairs simultaneously, and Jesus boycotting Hobby Lobby? Fox probably gets stories from National Report all the time.
The error was brought to Fox’s attention, and Anna Kooiman apologized. On Twitter.
Just met w producers- I made a mistake yday after receiving flawed research abt a museum possibly closing. My apologies. Won’t happen again.
That’s a terrible apology. But it’s very compact. In a few short sentences we get evasion of responsibility, vagueness about the offense, and an unconvincing pledge of reform.
It’s the producers’ fault. She was given flawed research. About “a museum possibly closing”? – It’d be hard to know what that’s about if you didn’t watch that particular show. Something possibly happening to some museum somewhere.
The apology is also in the wrong place. This is important. You apologize and/or correct in the same place where you made the mistake. So a broadcast inaccuracy should be corrected on broadcast, not on Twitter. So far, that hasn’t happened. Regular “Fox & Friends” watchers who don’t also read the Kooiman’s entire Twitter stream won’t know they were fed a lie.