This has not been a good couple of days for Fox. They are in the midst of a public relations debacle of their own creation.
Will their credibility further erode? One can only hope.
Black Eye #1: The Moody Memo
The Huffington Post reported last Thursday on an internal memo at Fox News, sent by their Vice President of News, John Moody.
The memo read, in part,
"let's be on the lookout for any statements from the Iraqi insurgents, who must be thrilled at the proposal of a Dem-controlled Congress."Later in the memo,
"just because the Dems won, the war on terror isn't over."By all appearances, it certainly looks like Fox was looking for ways to discredit and undermine the Democrat's victory at the polls.
Leading up to the elections, a popular GOP talking point was how a victory by Democrats was also a victory for terrorists. This memo lends credence to those who charge that Fox is simply an extension of the Republican propaganda machine.
To date, John Moody has not denied that the memo is genuine.
Media Matters has prior examples of Moody memos that have surfaced in the past. They include this, from April 6, 2004,
On the war in Iraq: "Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of US lives and asking out loud why are we there? The US is in Iraq to help a country brutalized for 30 years protect the gains made by Operation Iraqi Freedom and set it on the path to democracy. Some people in Iraq don't want that to happen. That is why American GIs are dying. And what we should remind our viewers."Wednesday, in the Huffington Post, Cenk Uygur brought up a justifiable comparison. If Dan Rather can be relegated to obscurity over charges that he slanted a story on Bush's National Guard duty, why should John Moody be held to a different standard?
As Uygur correctly pointed out, the charges against Rather merely found that Rather hadn't properly vetted his sources, as opposed to fitting the news to conform to an agenda.
What's Moody's excuse?
So much for "fair and balanced."
Black Eye #2: The O.J. Murder Simulation
It's bad enough that O.J. Simpson is about to release a book which details how he would have killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman if he...ahem...had actually done the crime.
The book. "If I Did It, Here's How It Happened," is about to be published by Regan Books, a Rupert Murdoch property.
The National Enquirer was first to break the story. MSNBC, referring to the Enquirer article, had this to say,
The early part of the book tells how Simpson fell in love with Nicole and how the marriage collapsed, reports the tab. He goes on, according to the article, to describe in gruesome detail the killing of his ex-wife and Goldman; he stipulates that the murder scenes are “hypothetical.” But, notes the tab, the descriptions are “so detailed and so chillingly realistic” that readers are left with little doubt as to what really happened.Word is that Simpson was paid 3.5 million to write the book.
Simpson can never be retried for the murders because of double jeopardy laws, according to the Enquirer, which also claims that Simpson aims to keep any book money instead of paying it out in a civil suit judgment against him by spending it all quickly.
To make matters worse, Fox, to maximize on Murdoch's investment, is now planning to air a 2-part television interview with Simpson that will echo the theme of the book.
The interview will air at the end of the all-important November sweeps.
Extra TV had this to say about what viewers can expect,
In the two-part sit-down interview, scheduled to air Nov. 27 and 29 on FOX, Simpson talks without boundaries about the 12-year-old murders as if he’d done it.This is morality? These are the purported 'family values' that those who swear by Fox allegedly adhere to?
All I know is that some serious blood money is changing hands here and, in this case, Simpson's hands are no more crimson than those of Rupert Murdoch.