The credibility of Fox News was called into question after former George W. Bush White House press secretary Dana Perino pushed a bogus story about a competitor.
Writing under the headline, "Always be wary of Fox News," Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple wrote about a new poll the newspaper conducted with ABC News.
“I thought it was amazing that ABC News would do this poll, commission a poll, work on the poll, and then not report on the poll,” said Perino. “That was pretty amazing to me that they would bury it that way, because it is super bad news for the president, especially if you are going into a midterm election where things are close in many of the races: You don’t want everyone thinking that they want you to be a lame duck president before you even get through that.”
Wemple noted that ABC News published 16 pages of polling details, an online story when the poll was released on Tuesday, a three-minute segment on ABC News Live, a "prominent mention" on “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, a story on "World News Sunday," and multiple mentions on social media.
Wemple noted he "asked Fox News to cite the basis for Perino’s claim. Fox News declined to issue a statement on the matter."
With the network silent, the media critic offered his analysis.
"A couple of lessons here. One is that you should never, ever accept at face value any claim on Fox News -- except when it comes from the network’s polling operation or election-night desk," he wrote. "Two is that the crisis of trust in American media outlets won’t abate until Fox News’s sleazy commentary abates."
Read the full column.