I'm willing to grant the fact that when you put together a daily three hour morning show like Fox & Friends, mistakes are bound to happen (labeling Elie Wiesel a “Holocaust Winner,” for example).
However, incidents like this really test the limits of what can be considered an honest mistake.
As protests and legislative gridlock continue in Wisconsin regarding Gov. Scott Walker's (R) proposal to strip public employee unions of collective bargaining rights, Gallup released a poll yesterday showing that 61% of people would oppose a similar proposal in their state. If you thought Fox would either ignore the poll or claim it is inaccurate, you underestimate the network's capacity for blatant dishonesty in service of pushing GOP propaganda.
This morning, responding to Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman saying that mainstream Republican governors “are not siding with Governor Walker,” host Brian Kilmeade responded that “Gallup, a relatively mainstream poll, has a differing view.” Kilmeade then completely inverted the poll results, claiming that 61 percent supported ending collective bargaining for public employee unions.
At the end of the show, Kilmeade offered a brief correction, saying that he “had it reversed” when discussing the poll.
Now, it's possible that Kilmeade's butchering of the poll results can be chalked up to his inability to read a poll or misspeaking.
However, it wasn't just Kilmeade who “had it reversed.” Fox News had a graphic ready to go that repeated Kilmeade's distortion, suggesting that this misrepresentation was premeditated by the network:
As indicated by the leaked internal Fox emails released by Media Matters, Fox & Friends producers have been known to script the types of attacks we see from the hosts. With that in mind, it's worth asking: how did this happen?
Did a Fox producer misread the poll? Did anybody bother to check whether the graphic was accurate? Did they decide to just willfully misrepresent the poll in the hopes their viewers wouldn't ever check to see if they were lying? Or are we somehow supposed to believe the incredibly unlikely scenario that both Kilmeade and whoever creates the F+F graphics just happened to make the same mistake?
In this case, Kilmeade's correction isn't good enough.