Inside Fox News.
October 30, 2003 8:50 PM   Subscribe

Inside Fox News. Charlie Reina, employed by Fox News from 1997 to 2003, tells it like it is. Reina: The Memo warned us that anti-war protesters would be "whining" about U.S. bombs killing Iraqi civilians, and suggested they could tell that to the families of American soldiers dying there. Editing copy that morning, I was not surprised when an eager young producer killed a correspondent's report on the day's fighting - simply because it included a brief shot of children in an Iraqi hospital.
posted by skallas (12 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

Thanks for the Salon link! I wonder how long until they notice they misspelled "Romenesko" repeatedly.
posted by GaelFC at 9:27 PM on October 30, 2003

It's worthwhile to check out the Poynter thread on this one. Here's Reina's letter.
And here's a snarky follow-up by an exec vp. Nothing new for Romenesko but the memo angle is neat. Also, PoliticalWire is asking foxxies with copies of the daily memo to come forward anonymously, so perhaps we'll hear more about this in the near future. Note to self: Laugh at Fox, stay in print journalism, plug ears everytime someone mentions Blair or Glass.
posted by Happydaz at 1:13 AM on October 31, 2003

If anyone is interested, The Atlantic Monthly had an interesting article about Murdock in September.
posted by The God Complex at 2:07 AM on October 31, 2003

From that snarky follow up:
People are proud to work here. They are proud of the product we produce...
If anyone wants proof of that vacuous nature of Fox News (and no doubt plenty of other commercial news outlets) they need look no further than that statement. I can just imagine some pep talk from a Fox exec to his team "Remember guys, we're not here to report the news, we're here to sell ideas."
posted by chill at 2:11 AM on October 31, 2003

Sounds like a fair and balanced right wing spin machine.

I prefer honest information myself.

Damn liberal media!

I do have one question I would love to have a definitive answer to:
Does Rove or Norquist supply these daily talking points?
posted by nofundy at 4:58 AM on October 31, 2003

Reina excuses obedient journalists too easily. Many, if not most, Fox writers will probably nod their heads in agreement as they read the daily memo. What kind of people would apply for a job at Fox News? And what kind of people will actually get it? You can exercise a lot of influence through your hiring policy alone, without any need for direct editorial instructions.
posted by Eloquence at 5:00 AM on October 31, 2003

Further evidence that conservatives have become deranged with the notion that there are no standards of objectivity, and so it is fair game to advance any sorts of agendas under the name of "News" - the Foxoids seem to be sliding down a slippery slope in their inchoate sense that advertising and PR somehow shape truth, and reality - or, to rephrase - that a fiction repeated endlessly becomes real.

Fools. All of this would be forgiven if they would only employ, as news anchors, attractive young men and women wearing skimpy clothing, or none at all, like some of the Russian newscasters.
posted by troutfishing at 5:09 AM on October 31, 2003

Fools. All of this would be forgiven if they would only employ, as news anchors, attractive young men and women wearing skimpy clothing, or none at all, like some of the Russian newscasters.
I think Fox believes that making most of the on-air women bottle-blondes (with bad makeup, too) accomplishes that for them.
posted by amberglow at 5:35 AM on October 31, 2003

As a followup: Fox seems to be really successful at what they're doing. And I don't think there's a problem with journalism that begins with a particular ideology. Hell, the guardian certainly does it in Britain. I just wish fox would be HONEST about their right-wing bias. Maybe this will force them to? Doubt it.
posted by Happydaz at 7:53 AM on October 31, 2003

Promoting spin as the yardstick of truth isn't exclusive to any newsmaker or news outlet.
posted by darukaru at 8:46 AM on October 31, 2003

I know this is OT, as well as being frankenesque FNC bashing ("liberals are generally better looking/have better sex/have more fun/etc. than conservatives"), but has anyone noticed the FoxNews has the UGLIEST crew around? I only watch FoxNews at the gym with the volume turned down, which is probably why it's all the more striking to me.

Brit "tardz" Hume, Bill "liver spot" O'Reilly have got to be some of the homeliest people I have ever seen on the small screen (all due respect to the fetching Dennis Franz). I know that this is beside the point, and is probably an improvement upon the generally plastic local anchors that abound, as well as the big hair chic in the early days of CNN, but by God, some of the FoxNews people are just plain hard to look at.

</cheap shot>
posted by psmealey at 10:21 AM on October 31, 2003

Yo, any of y'all who haven't been back to Romenesko's Letters page since you originallly posted, you may be interested to know that this charge from "one disgruntled ex-employee" has, as of 12:15 EST, been corroborated. I'll paste the most relevant portion...

From DAVID COHEN: The daily Fox News Channel coverage memo exists. I saw one once while visiting a friend who works there. It was different from memos I've seen at other news organizations. At the other news organizations, I've seen notes on coverage and providing direction on things like, "don't ignore this element," or "lead with reaction" on stories where there has been little or no movement in a period of time.

In a 24/7 news operation assembled by a couple of hundred people, the memo serves a useful function in ensuring consistency of numbers, pronunciation and other facts. Very helpful when wires and other sources disagree. The Fox memo was the only one I've seen that suggested a political line.

posted by soyjoy at 10:52 AM on October 31, 2003

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