Not Good: Fox Shows Conyers Instead of Jefferson

Via the AP: Fox News apologizes for tape goof

Fox News Channel apologized on-air Tuesday for running tape of a different congressman while reporting Monday on the indictment of Rep. William J. Jefferson on bribery charges.

The network ran footage of House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers of Michigan instead of Jefferson. Both congressmen are black.

Fox blamed the mistake on a 22-year-old production assistant hurriedly grabbing a wrong videotape. Fox’s Washington bureau chief, Brian Wilson, said he was mortified by the error.

Mistakes happen, to be sure–but for Fox News to make this one just plays into the idea that conservatives/Republicans think that all black people look alike.

Sometimes fairly or unfairly certain mistakes are more serious depending on who makes them. If Dan Quayle misspells something that has more of an effect than if Al Gore Does. Or, if John Kerry changes his mind or equivocates he looks like a flip-flopper, while another candidate can get away with it. Same deal here–if CNN had made this mistake, it probably wouldn’t have been noticed.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. anjin-san says:

    Fox has a long history of this sort of crap. You had to love the recent voter fraud story, featuring video of, you guessed it, black voters. And only black voters. Guess white folks don’t cheat…

  2. Christopher says:

    Gee, Steven, looks like YOU are he one doing the assuming here. I guess that makes YOU the supposed racist.

    And anjin-san jap-boy: the asserted voter fraud was about black voters not getting the chance to vote. You moron!

  3. Anjin-San says:


    Sorry, but you are really far too stupid to respond to.

  4. ATS says:

    I’m sure this isn’t the same mysterious 22 year old that labelled Mark Foley as “(D-F)”.

    In only because he or she is 23 by now.

  5. cian says:

    I’m sure this isn’t the same mysterious 22 year old that labelled Mark Foley as “(D-F)”.

    …And spells Obama with an ‘s’ instead of a ‘B’. Busy guy.

  6. Mark says:


    It was CNN that mistakenly called Barak Obama Osama, not Fox.

    It was CNN who also put the big X on Cheney while speaking.

  7. cian says:

    Stupid facts!

    Thanks for the correction Mark.

  8. just me says:

    Actually it was Teddy Kennedy that called Obama “Osama” although CNN may have done it too, I just know Kennedy screwed the name up as well.

  9. Triumph says:

    Same deal here—if CNN had made this mistake, it probably wouldn’t have been noticed.

    This is weird coming from you, Steven–since you spent a couple of days last week lambasting CNN for their lack of adherence to facts.

  10. G.A.Phillips says:

    whats the difference? If you have seen one liberal you have seen them all.