New York Times media columnist David Carr weighs in with a terrific inside look at how Fox News tries to smother even the mildest of unfavorable coverage with freezeouts, smears and, yes, doctored photos. And, he admits, it sometimes works:
By blacklisting reporters it does not like, planting stories with friendlies at every turn, Fox News has been living a life beyond consequence for years. Honesty compels me to admit that I have choked a few times at the keyboard when Fox News has come up in a story and it was not absolutely critical to the matter at hand.
Carr also cites a Fox News spokeswoman who says the most recent outrage — altering photos of Times media reporter Jacques Steinberg and his editor — was no biggie because cable news programs often engage in such antics for humorous effect.
That, of course, is pathetic. There was nothing funny about the Photoshopping; the two men were simply uglified for an audience that had no idea what they actually look like. Carr finds the plastic surgery done on Steinberg to be anti-Semitic, which is a very tough accusation. But I think he’s right.
Thanks to Carr’s column, the war between Fox and the Times is now fully engaged. It will be interesting to see what comes next.