Update (below): Fox News pulls video, claims it was ‘unauthorized’
Fox & Friends on Wednesday morning unveiled a four-minute advertisement that attacked President Barack Obama, which was created by Fox News associate producer Chris White.
“Lets talk a little bit about what the campaign slogan used to be for Obama, when he was a candidate,” Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson said before airing the video. “Remember, it was hope and change. The President said that he is still using that slogan in the way in which he hopes to get four more years. So we decided to take a look back at the President’s first term to see if it lived up to hope and change.”
The Fox & Friends ad implied that Obama was responsible for a $5.7 trillion increase in the national deficit, an increase in unemployment, an increase in the number of people on food stamps and rising gas prices. The liberal watchdog group Media Matter disputes all those claims.
According to Media Matters, which regularly criticizes Fox News, an outside group would need to spend $96,000 to have the four-minute ad run during Fox & Friends. The watchdog group said the ad amounted to free advertising for the Republican Party.
TV critic David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun said the ad “resembled propaganda films from 1930’s Europe.”
“Even I am shocked by how blatantly Fox is throwing off any pretense of being a journalistic entity with videos like this,” he wrote.
Update: Fox News pulls video, says it was ‘unauthorized’
Fox News has pulled the video below from its website, issuing a statement by network vice president Bill Shine that explains the segment was “created by an associate producer and was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network.”
It is not clear if anyone was fired for the mistake of broadcasting an elaborately produced anti-Obama propaganda reel, but the statement adds that the error “has been addressed with the show’s producers.”
“The fact that the hosts were happy with this latest video assault on the president is nothing short of revealing,” The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz opined.
“This is a moment of truth heading into the general election,” he wrote. “Roger Ailes should denounce the video and criticize his network’s handling of it. He should make clear that such partisan garbage has no place on Fox News. Otherwise people will assume that Fox’s worst critics are right.”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube on May 30, below: