Fox has repeatedly suggested that the White House pressured Ford into pulling an ad featuring a Ford driver who was critical of the auto-industry bailouts. Fox has continued promoting the story despite the fact that both Ford and the White House have denied the allegation.
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Fox Continues Pushing Claim White House "Pressured" Ford To Pull Ad
Malkin: Ford Story "Bespeaks" A "Long Pattern Of Bullying And Intimidation" By The White House. On the September 29 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin said, "Apparently there was some leaning on the company to pull the ad." Despite noting that Ford denied outside pressure, Malkin claimed the story "bespeaks ... this long pattern of bullying and intimidation of corporations" by the White House. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/29/11]
Gasparino: "It's Kind Of Like A Call You Get From Don Corleone." On the September 28 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Charles Gasparino compared alleged White House influence on Ford to "kind of like a call you get from Don Corleone." Guest host Eric Bolling further claimed, "You don't put the ad together, put it out there, and then yank it quickly unless they get pressure from somebody." Gasparino later stated, "I'd like to know exactly who pressured them. I mean, that person should be pressured to resign." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/28/11, via Media Matters]
Hannity Claims Ford Story Is "A Brand-New Scandal That's Brewing In The Motor City." On the September 28 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity called the Ford story "a brand-new scandal that's brewing in the Motor City." After playing the ad, Hannity acknowledged that both Ford and the White House denied claims that there was influence involved in pulling the ad, but went on to claim that "not everyone is buying these explanations." [Fox News, Hannity, 9/28/11, via Media Matters]
Malkin Uses Ford Story To Claim Obama "Has Been The Chicago Bully In Victim's Clothing From Day One." Later on Hannity, Malkin used the Ford Story to claim that Obama has "a long pattern of bare knuckles, brass knuckles intimidation... many of these companies are scared out of their pants by this White House and its bullying." Malkin later said, "This guy has been the Chicago bully in victim's clothing from day one." [Fox News, Hannity, 9/28/11, via Media Matters]
Cavuto: The Ad "Was Off The TV Airwaves Because The White House Didn't Think It Was A Good Ad At All." On the September 28 edition of Fox News' Your World, host Neil Cavuto claimed that "it was a pretty good ad, but it came and went pretty fast. It was off the TV airwaves because the White House didn't think it was a good ad at all." Cavuto also hosted "ad guru Jerry Della Femina," who agreed with Cavuto's suggestion that the "timing of it being suspended was unusual." Cavuto did note that "Ford says that is not the case." [Fox News, Your World, 9/28/11, via Media Matters]
Both Ford, White House Have Denied Allegations Of "Pressure"
Ford: "We Did Not Pull The Ad Due To Pressure." In a post on its Twitter feed, Ford called the claim that the ad "had to be pulled" "completely misinformed," adding, "we did not pull the ad due to pressure. the ad ran 4 weeks which is what the campaign called for":
Ford: "This Is Ford's Decision, And Part Of Our Usual Practice." In his Washington Post piece about the "pressure" allegations, Greg Sargent quoted Ford spokeswoman Meghan Keck saying, "The ad was replaced with another ad, which is our usual practice when an ad runs its course. There was no pressure from the White House or the administration. This is Ford's decision, and part of our usual practice. This is one ad in a series that features real Ford customers talking in their own words." [The Washington Post, 9/27/11]
White House: "The Detroit News Story Is Not True." In his post, Sargent also quoted from a statement by White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer: "The Detroit News story is not true." [The Washington Post, 9/27/11]