Fox News is coming under fire for a four-minute video that aired on the Fox & Friends morning show on Wednesday that was billed as a look back at Barack Obama’s “hope and change” campaign message of 2008 but had the look and feel of a campaign attack ad.
The video features clips of President Obama’s speeches from the campaign and during his term in office where he talks about change. The video also contrasts Obama’s statements about the importance of reducing the deficit, unemployment rate, gas prices and food prices with ominous music and on-screen cartoons that depict the increases in each category.
“The video starts with 'Fox & Friends Presents' on the screen, making this an explicit argument from the news channel itself,” conservative commentator Ed Morrissey wrote on the Hot Air blog.
“Should a news organization produce and publish attack ads like this? I know the initial response will be that other news organizations offer biased perspectives and hagiographies of Obama that go well beyond a single video … and that response is entirely valid," he added. "However, we usually criticize that kind of behavior with other news organizations, too. If anyone wanted to look for evidence that the overall Fox News organization intends to campaign against Obama rather than cover the campaign, this video would be difficult to refute as evidence for that claim.”
Baltimore Sun television critic David Zurawik added: "Today's version of the morning show featured an anti-Obama video that resembled propaganda films from 1930s Europe more than it did responsible TV politics of today. And the remarkable thing was that the witless crew on the couch that serves as hosts for this show had the audacity to present it as journalism and congratulate the producer who put it together."
Morrissey wrote in his blog post that Fox had pulled the video, but as of Wednesday afternoon it still appeared on the show’s home page.
Bill Shine, Fox's executive vice president of programming, issued a statement Wednesday saying the segment was unauthorized. “The package that aired on FOX & Friends was created by an associate producer and was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network. This has been addressed with the show’s producers,” Shine said.