Democracy Soup

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Fox ‘News’ sponsors teabagging Tax Day parties to win the Media Putz

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Originally published on MediaPutz.com on April 16, 2009

Fox “News”

The bowl games at the end of the college football season used to have simple names: Cotton, Rose, Sun, Orange. Now, we get AT&T Fed Ex Capital One Papa John’s Tostitos bowls. Sponsorships run amok, but these are businesses trying to associate their name on a product for publicity.

This week, we had the “FNC Tax Day Tea Parties” — at least, this is the way the events were portrayed on the Fox News Channel. The day featured FNC personalities on the road as part of the process: Neil Cavuto in Sacramento, CA, Glenn Beck in San Antonio, TX, Sean Hannity in Atlanta, and Greta Van Susteren in Washington, DC.

You may have heard the phrase from serious journalists that “they never want to be part of the story.” A good journalist knows this. But then again, we are talking about the Fox “News” Channel.

Covering events is part of what journalists do. Promoting events, including but not limited to putting your initials before the event, is not what journalists do.

There are several Fox News contributors who are directly involved with the teabagging parties. Then there is the outright hosting of a party as Fox “News” new Web site, The Fox Nation, will “host a virtual tea party.”

What’s funny is watching how the Fox “News” Channel promotes the tea parties, but sometimes goes out of their way to say that they aren’t sponsoring the tea parties. From Steve Doocy of “Fox and Friends”:

“Right here on Fox & Friends, we’re going to be kicking things off throughout the day. And Fox isn’t sponsoring any of this stuff.”

Gee, Steve. According to the transcript, no one said you were sponsoring the events. Guilty conscience??

Having Neil Cavuto try and justify the difference in covering events was made even more hilarious as he claimed the channel covered an event (Million Man March) that happened before the channel went on the air. Nice research there, Neil.

But it’s what Cavuto said before his Million Man goof that speaks volumes to the “journalism” practiced by FNC.

“we are going to be right in the middle of these protests because at FOX we do not pick and choose these rallies and protests.”

Smack in the middle of the teabagging: a very strategic position. Seriously though, you aren’t supposed to be in the middle of anything. You stand outside and you cover.

It would be nice if there was footage of Fox “News” covering the Iraq War protests with equal passion, but of course, there is no video.

The piece de resistance was on Teabagging, er, Tax Day when Cavuto was caught exaggerating the crowd in Sacramento by at least 100%-200%, according to Daily Kos.

Why would you need to exaggerate the count unless your tie-in credibility would have otherwise suffered?

Fox News likes to pretend it’s in the journalism and cable news business. But its support of teabagging events is much more in line with its actual mission, spreading right-wing propaganda under the guise of “fair and balanced” and “journalism.”

For giving this honorable profession yet another black eye, Fox “News” wins the Media Putz of the week award.

Fox “News” previously won the Media Putz on May 15, 2008.

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Written by democracysoup

April 16, 2009 at 6:00 am

Posted in media criticism, MSM

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