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Thursday 23 June 2011

Revenge Of The Edited

To demonstrate that he does more serious stuff than give Sarah Palin an hour’s softball, Chris Wallace invited Daily Show host Jon Stewart to be his guest last Sunday morning on Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). Stewart came away from the meeting certain that he had landed the killer blow, by getting Wallace to admit that Fox was not impartial.

The problem was that Stewart was not in charge of editing the interview, as Fox and Wallace were. Thus it was that the material broadcast was cut to favour Wallace, with Stewart seemingly having sudden mood swings, such was the heavy handedness of the splicing. But the full version of the interview was made available online (see it HERE).

Some of the to and fro can be seen in this video, which has been put together by Media Matters For America (MMFA), where Stewart rebuts the charge that he hides behind the “comedy” categorisation of the Daily Show, suggests that Wallace is on Fox mainly to give the channel some credibility, and mentions the idea that Fox hosts have “marching orders”, which doesn’t go down well with Wallace.

But on that edit job, Stewart was not going to let matters rest, and on the Tuesday night Daily Show started a segment by finding that he had got a fact wrong in the Wallace interview, on Fox viewers being misinformed. This had been pointed up by the PolitiFact site, and Stewart duly retracted his assertion and apologised, saying that this was the only right thing to do.

He then turned to Fox, and that channel’s appearances on PolitiFact. Sadly, the video is not available in the UK, but you can see HERE the annotated list put together by PolitiFact: compared to Stewart’s one “false” rating, Fox had managed a total of 21, made up of fourteen “false” ratings, five “pants on fire” howlers, and both the 2009 and 2010 “lie of the year”.

And of course Fox has not retracted even one of those, let alone apologised. As I said before, fair and balanced my arse.

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