Matt Dornic at Fishbowl DC:
After a few footage mishaps at Fox News like their recent slip-up: “Fox News Uses Old Palin Footage,” the higher ups at the network have had enough.
In an email obtained by FishbowlDC, FNC management alerted the Newsroom that they were going to a “zero base” newscast production, defined in the memo…
“That means we will start by going to air with only the most essential, basic, and manageable elements. To share a key quote from today’s meeting: “It is more important to get it right, than it is to get it on.” We may then build up again slowly as deadlines and workloads allow so that we can be sure we can quality check everything before it makes air, and we never having to explain, retract, qualify or apologize again.”The memo warns that those involved in future “mistake chains” will receive “warning letters to personnel files, suspensions, and other possible actions up to and including termination.”
John Cook at Gawker:
First Fox got caught lying about the crowd at Michele Bachmann’s healthcare protest, then it got caught lying about the size of the crowd at Sarah Palin’s book-signing. But the straw that broke the camel’s back came last week when producers showed a screenshot of a horrible cruel attack on Sarah Palin called Going Rouge when they should have showed a screenshot of a brilliant sacred book by Sarah Palin called Going Rogue.
So now they’ve decided to start caring about “quality” to avoid embarrassing Palin again in the future, and sent out a staff memo, obtained by FishbowlDC, threatening everyone who screws up again with “termination.” To that end, and to make things easier since facts are hard, Fox will “zero base” production, eliminating everything that has a potential for being wrong from each broadcast. It will be exceedingly boring to watch, but at least Roger Ailes will never have to “explain, retract, qualify or apologize again.” Because the whole “never apologize, never back down, always attack” routine only works if you don’t constantly get caught lying.
Josh Marshall at TPM
This makes sense. Fox News’ “on-screen errors” have been ridiculous for years, from deceptive footage, to absurd on-screen text, to chyron mistakes (such as identifying former Rep. Mark Foley as “D-Fla.” at the height of his sex scandal).
As it happens, nearly all of these “on-screen errors” serve to benefit Republican goals and preconceived narratives. Must be a coincidence.
But now Fox News is going to address this. Good for them. At the risk of sounding picky, though, when might the network take a “zero-tolerance” approach to the accuracy of the rest of its broadcasts? “On-screen errors” have clearly been a problem, but it’s not as if the rest of on-air reporting has been accurate.
How does Fox News trim the work force during a terrible recession without mentioning layoffs at all? Just put out an “internal memo” announcing a sudden & comical “zero tolerance” for the constant fuckups and intentional lies that make Fox News so funny. (The memo went out Friday, so it didn’t mention today’s hilarious idiocy.) Expect about 45% of the Fox News staff to be jobless by New Year’s.