Fox Fake Crowd Videos
For the second time in a week, Fox News has been caught using old video to give the false impression of larger-than-actual turnout at appearances of politicos they supported. Sufficiently embarrassed at having been caught, Fox executives are promising “serious disciplinary action” for those responsible.
While the incidents add fuel to the fire that Fox is a Republican shill outlet rather than real news — and there’s growing truth to that charge — the real story here is that Fox has joined the larger trend in broadcast journalist of becoming a hype machine.
I was a big fan of Fox News when I first came across it a decade or so ago. Mostly, I just watched Brit Hume’s nightly “Special Report” newscast, although I did occasionally watch some of the talking heads. At the time, I found it a refreshing alternative to the networks and CNN, all of which had a significant leftward bias but pretended otherwise. Fox — or, again, at least the Hume show of that time — had a slight rightward bias but it seemed genuinely interested in being “Fair and Balanced” and more-or-less living up to its “We Report, You Decide” mantra.
Somewhere along the way, it became both more partisan and more shrill. Everything was Breaking News and hype.
The thing is, it’s not just Fox.
As I’ve mentioned perhaps too many times, I’ve long since drifted away from watching television news on a regular basis, finding the Internet a much more efficient and less aggravating means of getting information. But I catch news shows from time-to-time, usually while traveling or because someone else has the television on. And everything from “Good Morning America” to the nightly network news promos to local news radio is in the same hype mode. It’s all crisis this, emergency that, and tragedy the other.
It’s like Jerry Springer is suddenly in charge of all news programming.
Still, Fox is in a special category because it is perceived as the conservative network. Too many of these episodes and it will simply be dismissed as hackery by all but the most die-hard Republicans.
There are already a goodly number of conservative-leaning outlets such as Drudge, WorldNetDaily, and CNS that even unabashed Republicans are embarrassed to cite as sources for their arguments.
Fox isn’t there yet. It would be a shame if it crossed into that territory, however, as there’s no road back.