By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Fox moves from eccentric to weird

Is it just me, or do the Fox News Channel‘s recent missteps strike you as qualitatively different from what has come before? It’s as though your eccentric uncle has finally gone off the deep end, his uncertain grounding in reality having given way to something else entirely.

The latest, as you may have heard, is that Fox altered photos of two New York Times reporters to make them appear more sinister, elongating their faces, yellowing their teeth and giving one of them a receding hairline.

That follows Fox’s labeling Michelle Obama as “Obama’s Baby Mama!”, and Fox host E.D. Hill’s wondering whether the Obamas’ playful fist bump was a “terrorist fist jab.”

You can dismiss all of this as right-wing propaganda if you like. I’m not so sure. It strikes me as genuinely nutty, and it makes me wonder whether the rudder has fallen off.

Think it has anything to do with Roger Ailes’ being unhappy over the nice things Rupert Murdoch has said about Barack Obama? Just wondering.

Discover more from Media Nation

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.


Tweaking Gmail with IMAP


Dean screamed


  1. Peter Porcupine

    DK – they have a loooong way to go to catch up to Olberman and his organ music, Blitzer and his ‘restating’ of what a guest ahs said, Mathews and his tingling leg spasms, or…

  2. Don, American

    Michelle herself introduced the “messiah” as “My baby’s daddy.”

  3. Anonymous

    Fox has done quite an effective job over the years building enough of a reputation that this doesn’t strike anyone as out of the ordinary. I don’t think this has anything to do with happiness or unhappiness on Ailes’ part. Like the ideas that feed sketch comedy, this is just another example of a small group of writers/producers sitting around a room wondering “What can we do this week?”

  4. Steve

    It’s not really right-wing nuttiness, it’s deliberate Republican partisanship (which is sometimes indistinguishable from right-wing nuttiness, it’s true). They will take their taling points directly from the RNC. They will skew their news coverage to hit on Republican campaign themes. I predict it will only intensify, moreso now that the Bush/Rove campaign apparatus has taken over the reins of the McCain campaign.

  5. Bill Baar

    ditto on PP’s comments…why the big to do here on two obscure reporters?Obscure to most of the world that is…What ever is going on here seems of importance only to media types.

  6. catherine

    I didn’t know anyone still watched Fox. Ooops! Maybe I really meant I didn’t know anyone still depended on tv for information.

  7. Anonymous

    Steve Doocy (and his kid at Villanova) creep me out. I’m uncomfortable just looking at him never mind hearing him.

  8. Anonymous

    Some of the people on here really are far-left loons aren’t they?The “Bush/Rove campaign apparatus has taken over the reigns on the McCain campaign”…Have another one Markos…If you’re talking about Steve Schmidt, he’s been a high-level operative on the McCain campaign since the beginning, and his ties to Bush are no greater than most of the other Republican operatives you see running around stealing your rights.

  9. Anonymous

    Just to be clear, has Fox actually apologized for, or even acknowledged, the NYT fabrications? This is just speculation, but I can’t help but notice that both reporters in question have Jewish surnames, and the alterations included enlarging their noses. It’s the sort of stupid caricature you’d see in Weimar Germany 75 years ago. Would love to see Bill O’Reilly’s take on this fair and balanced presentation of the news.

  10. David Rogers

    right wing or left wing leanings aside. it is concerning that a news agency would present false information (doctored photos) in a news story. And that fact that FOX News hasn’t admitted as much is equally troubling.

  11. Steve

    Isn’t it funny how you can have a real name and picture next to your post, but some anonymouse (9:20) still gets it wrong. And even the little grain of substance that’s buried in the pile of name-calling is incorrect. Is this all the McCain supporters have this year?No, it’s not just Schmidt. It’s the demotion of Rick Davis and the complete restructuring of the campaign apparatus. It’s Nicole Wallace and Greg Jenkins. Expect the same load of bamboozlement you’ve gotten for the past eight years, with a direct conduit into the national discourse through the Fox News network.

  12. Will Seberger

    It’s ‘news’ for entertainment purposes.ALL the major outlets are becoming aware that people watch/read so they can either “Amen, brother” along with the script, or throw popcorn.The sentiment is that no one actually goes looking for the real story.Trust me, this is a problem on both sides of the aisle.If Fox accused Obama of being Osama bin Laden’s long-lost cousin, it would only drive more traffic to their service, especially as the industry spends so much time reporting on….the industry.

  13. Anonymous

    I think Fox has less respect for its audience than ever before. All the networks do, and it pushes their coverage further down the road of parody. Fox is just funnier that CNN.

  14. Anonymous

    Don, American said… Michelle herself introduced the “messiah” as “My baby’s daddy.”Where and when did she say this?

  15. Wise_Fool

    Why is it that people don’t ever want to look at things from a simple, COMMON SENSE point of view? This has little to do with partisan politics or left-right leanings, when you compare it to the basic, scary notion that ANY news organization would DOCTOR PHOTOS to be put on the news!!!!Are you people all that frigging stupid that you think this matters more if you’re liberal versus conservative? GET REAL, MENTAL MIDGETS… this is about truth, and its adulteration. I don’t care which news station does it, I don’t care what their prior reputation is, I don’t care what political party Rupert Murdoch keeps sewn on his underwear-made-of-money…. To touch any photos with the INTENT OF CHANGING ITS MEANING — connotative or explicit — is so morally reprehensible and ethically bereft I can’t even stand it. But all you weirdos think this is something more to do with party lines than a general truth? Jeebus Cripes, this is exactly why the American Public seems to still need a party system; BECAUSE NONE OF YOU SEEM TO THINK FOR YOURSELVES, you just pick a prefabricated side of a prefabricated’s a suggestion: borrow your kids’ US government book, and READ IT. Maybe then you can start to think for yourselves about what is right and wrong.Please America, Wake Up.

  16. Anonymous

    “Why is it that people don’t ever want to look at things from a simple, COMMON SENSE point of view?”……..Because to do so requires at least some empathy, some willingnes to compromise one’s feelings for the benefit of both sides. Unfortunately, the “me-first” american mindset, the “greed is good” mantra that now defines our country has made compromise impossible (due mostly to the fact americans don’t know a societies should be guided by a POLITICAL and an ECONOMIC system…Capitalism has become both). We are a me-first and everyone else can go to hell society.

  17. Anonymous

    I just found out that this “distortion” of the picture was on “Fox & Friends”.Fox & Friends? A morning chit-chat show?This is a show about celebrity, fun, and entertainment.You expected Edward R. Murrow style reporting from Fox & Friends?Second, they distorted his picture…because he distorted their ratings in his column…and they were having fun with him.One good distortion deserves anohter!Payback is a bitch….

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén