What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Fox News' Last Comic Standing: Carl Cameron

Carl Cameron is the chief political correspondent at Fox News. He's featured in Robert Greenwald's documentary Outfoxed. Cameron is shown interviewing candidate George W. Bush during the 2000 election. Cameron is also shown chatting with Bush a few minutes before the interview, and we learn that Cameron's wife had been working for the Bush campaign. In a news organization driven by journalistic ethics, Cameron would not have been allowed to interview Bush, because of a little thing we journalists call a "conflict of interest."

Fox News and conservative pundits had very strong reactions to the revelation that a New York Times reporter, Jayson Blair, had fabricated stories; and, of course, conservatives screamed bloody murder when it was discovered that CBS News had used forged documents in a story about George W. Bush's National Guard service.

How do conservatives respond when one of their own fabricates quotes for a story featured on the Fox News web site? With silence.

Carl Cameron, for whatever reason, wrote up a mock press release about the first presidential debate, including a number of phony quotes attributed to John Kerry. The piece was quickly removed from Fox's web site, not before other sites mirrored the story, which can be read here.

Remember, this is the same fellow who covered the Bush campaign in 2000 while his wife worked for the campaign.

Some of the quotes:

"Didn't my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!" Kerry said Friday.

With the foreign-policy debate in the history books, Kerry hopes to keep the pressure on and the sense of traction going.

Aides say he will step up attacks on the president in the next few days, and pivot somewhat to the domestic agenda, with a focus on women and abortion rights.

"It's about the Supreme Court. Women should like me! I do manicures," Kerry said.

"I'm metrosexual — he's a cowboy," the Democratic candidate said of himself and his opponent.

Oh, man, my sides are splitting. The Daily Show really needs to hire Cameron, he's a friggin' hoot.

Fox News quickly took action, by removing Cameron's comedic masterpiece from the web site and offering up a lame apology:

Earlier Friday, posted an item purporting to contain quotations from Kerry. The item was based on a reporter’s partial script that had been written in jest and should not have been posted or broadcast. We regret the error, which occurred because of fatigue and bad judgment, not malice.

Damn fatigue!

Presumably Cameron is keeping his job, and I haven't seen any reaction from right-wingers about the incident. I have to wonder what Roger Ailes, the president of Fox News, would have done if, say, Alan Colmes had written up something that put George W. Bush in a bad light and it was published on Fox's web site? I imagine Alan would be looking for a new job.

Now, I don't know how old Cameron is, but I'm guessing he's older than 18. See, when I was 18 and fresh out of the Defense Department's school of journalism, I drafted up a phony bit of correspondence that I left on a conference room table. I was young and stupid, so I wasn't punished, but still, Cameron is the chief political correspondent and should know better.

That's Fox News: fair and balanced, unless its correspondents are fatigued.


Post a Comment

<< Home