Hatchet job: Fox crops Reid statement to pretend he has a "political scandal"

››› ››› KAREN FAMIGHETTI

Special Report deceptively quoted a statement from Sen. Harry Reid's office to advance what Bret Baier called "a political scandal" involving a former low-level staffer. But the portions of the statement Fox News omitted make clear that the alleged misconduct occurred before the staffer joined Reid's office and that the office had been unaware of the allegations.

Fox selectively quotes from statement to support claim of "political scandal" for Reid

Baier introduces report by asserting Reid is dealing with a "political scandal." On the October 27 edition of Fox News' Special Report, host Bret Baier introduced a segment on the alleged misconduct of a former low-level staffer to Sen. Harry Reid by saying, "The last thing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid needed was a political scandal as he fights to hold onto his seat from Nevada. But he has one tonight."

Report omits key portions of Reid statement. During the segment, correspondent Shannon Bream reported on allegations that a former low-level staff member of Sen. Harry Reid, Diana Tejada, was married to a Lebanese national, Bassam Mahmoud Tarhini, seven years ago in order to permit him to stay in the United States and lied to federal authorities about the marriage. Bream's report suggested that Reid's office may have known about the allegations. But in reporting Reid spokesman Jim Manley's statement, Bream eliminated the sentence that makes clear that Tejada's actions took place before she worked for Reid, as well as a phrase stating that the office had been unaware of the allegations against Tejada:

BREAM: Reid's office says, quote, "The staffer at issue is no longer with our office...the bottom line remains that this story was a desperation measure by partisan Republicans, who have stooped to slinging mud about junior staffers to score points in the waning days of [Sharron Angle's] campaign."

On-screen text quoting the statement indicated with an ellipsis that the middle of the statement had been omitted:

Full Reid statement: Office was "not previously aware" of allegations of misconduct, which "took place several years before" staffer worked for Reid

Reid statement: "Our office was not previously aware of these allegations. ... The conduct alleged, which took place several years before the staffer worked for Senator Reid, was clearly wrong." Manley's statement to FoxNews.com is as follows, with the portions that Special Report omitted in bold:

Our office was not previously aware of these allegations and, following an internal investigation, the staffer at issue is no longer with our office. The conduct alleged, which took place several years before the staffer worked for Senator Reid, was clearly wrong. But the bottom line remains that this story was a desperation measure by partisan Republicans, who have stooped to slinging mud about junior staffers to score points in the waning days of her campaign.

Posted In
Government, The Senate
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bret Baier, Shannon Bream
Show/Publication
Special Report with Bret Baier
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