I received several emails last night about this clip from O'Reilly's show which had on FOX reporter Mike Tobin, who has been claiming he was punched by union protesters. It looks like he was fibbing about it, which is bad enough -- it's clear this is yet another case of fake right-wing victimhood like Kenneth Gladney. (Eric Boehlert has more.)
But on Monday night, Bill was trying to find out who these violent protesters were and where they came from and asked Tobin to supply the answers. You'd expect to see the bad weather of Wisconsin in the background as they ran their 'union protest' footage behind Tobin, right? Wrong.
O’Reilly sent his ambush goon Jesse Watters out to badger people protesting Fox outside their studios in New York. On Monday during an interview with Fox News’ Mike Tobin, who is reporting from Wisconsin, O’Reilly was at it again, calling chants that “Fox lies” from pro-union demonstrators “some kind of organized deal.” But during the interview, Fox aired b-roll of some unknown protest that contained physical confrontations among demonstrators and simply labeled it “union protests,” as if it was coming out of Wisconsin.
Update: The footage Fox aired during O'Reilly's discussion of the Wisconsin demonstrations appears to have come from a union rally in Sacramento, CA last week.
What's wrong with this picture?
If you guessed the snowless ground and palm trees in Wisconsin you win a big prize. Your sanity.
It just galls them that the Tea Party rallies were so out of control and produced insane signs and wackaloons saying racist things on a consistent level, while in contrast the WI protests have been orderly, supported by the police and have featured impeccably crafted signs. I think it also galls them that the protesters' chant: "Fox News Lies!" is hitting home, where it hurts. As the truth tends to do.
This is what's known as perpetrating a News Distortion on viewers and is strictly forbidden by the FCC. Fox News has done this type of distortion previously and I filed a complaint with the FCC and documented what they had done here.
Where to go to file a complaint:
News Distortion. The Commission often receives complaints concerning broadcast journalism, such as allegations that stations have aired inaccurate or one-sided news reports or comments, covered stories inadequately, or overly dramatized the events that they cover. For the reasons noted above, the Commission generally will not intervene in such cases because it would be inconsistent with the First Amendment to replace the journalistic judgment of licensees with our own. However, as public trustees, broadcast licensees may not intentionally distort the news: the FCC has stated that “rigging or slanting the news is a most heinous act against the public interest.”
The Commission will investigate a station for news distortion if it receives documented evidence of such rigging or slanting, such as testimony or other documentation, from individuals with direct personal knowledge that a licensee or its management engaged in the intentional falsification of the news. Of particular concern would be evidence of the direction to employees from station management to falsify the news. However, absent such a compelling showing, the Commission will not intervene.
For additional information about news distortion, see http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/journalism.html.
I'd also call into FOX News and ask them to stop distorting the news.
Address: News Corporation
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 852-7017
Fax: (212) 852-7145