Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer claimed Thursday that the network had made an “honest mistake” when they aired 2010 footage of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) being booed at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), as opposed to the 2011 footage where he was cheered.
Appearing on Fox News last Tuesday, host Bill Hemmer asked Paul why people had booed him when the 2011 results were announced, playing the wrong clip as a basis for his question.
Paul, the 76-year-old libertarian Republican, passed it off same as he did the year prior, when the hosts of Fox and Friends asked him virtually the same questions regarding the exact same footage.
“It was clearly a mistake: we used the wrong video tape,” Hemmer explained Thursday. “There are similarities between last year’s event and this year… Ron Paul won both years, however there are audible boos in 2010, while you heard a lot more cheering this year.”
“It’s an honest mistake,” he concluded. “We apologize for the error and we look forward to having Representative Paul back on our program very soon.”
In a similar “mistake” years back, where Fox News showed old video of a Sarah Palin rally that made a recent event seem much bigger than it truly was, management responded by threatening to terminate employees responsible for on-air mishaps.
“Effective immediately, there is zero tolerance for on-screen errors,” a Nov. 2009 Fox News memo warned the newsroom.
“Mistakes by any member of the show team that end up on air may result in immediate disciplinary action against those who played significant roles in the ‘mistake chain,’ and those who supervise them,” they wrote.
“That may include warning letters to personnel files, suspensions, and other possible actions up to and including termination, and this will all obviously play a role in performance reviews.”
The network did not specify what disciplinary actions were taken in the case of Ron Paul’s CPAC footage.
This video is from Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, broadcast Feb. 17, 2011.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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