People who watch Fox News closely are familiar with the fact that Fox has been misleading viewers with deceptively edited videos for years. On the June 26 edition of Special Report, Fox aired an edited clip of President Obama that is interesting because it is symbolic of the whole story Fox is trying to tell about the 2012 presidential election.
During a report about the campaign, correspondent Ed Henry noted that some Democrats are not planning to attend this summer's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Then, he aired an edited clip of President Obama's speech at a June 26 campaign event in Atlanta:
HENRY: [Sen. Claire] McCaskill is the ninth no-show so far among officeholders across the country, including Pennsylvania Congressman Mark Critz. Critz's office bluntly notes internal polls show in his district, the president is down double digits to presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
OBAMA: They'll say, you know, the economy is bad, and it's Obama's fault. [break] And because times are tough and because they're spending these ungodly sums, you know, it's going to be close.
HENRY: While the president did not complain about big money last time, when he enjoyed a massive edge over Republican John McCain, his campaign aides privately say Romney may raise $100 million this month alone, which is why the president today penned a fundraising letter warning supporters, “I will be the first president in modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign.” [emphasis added]
The White House transcript of the event in Atlanta reveals what Fox News didn't think was worthy of inclusion in its report (in bold):
OBAMA: [T]his is still going to be a close election because the economy is still tough and folks are still frustrated. And what that means is that you're going to have more money spent in this election than ever before by the other side on negative ads. And their message will be simple. They'll say, the economy is bad and it's Obama's fault. (Laughter.) They suffer a little bit of amnesia so they don't remember -- (applause) -- all the stuff that happened before I was sworn into office, but that's going to be their message.
And because times are tough, and because they're spending these ungodly sums, it's going to be close.
Fox is doing its best to sweep away this very fact: that the economy was in a time of historic trouble before Obama took office.
As we have written:
The economy inherited by Obama, it turns out, was “sliding backward” at a rate not seen in 50 years. Between the 2008 election and Obama's inauguration, the economy lost 2 million jobs. The month Obama took office, the economy shed 820,000 jobs.
Economists are still uncovering the depths to which the economy had sunk during the waning years of the Bush presidency: In July , the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the economy shrank by 8.9 percent during the final 3 months of 2008 -- far more than initially thought.
Despite this reality, Fox presents the idea that President Bush could be at fault for the recession as "patently ridiculous," and Fox host Megyn Kelly recently told her viewers that “the blaming Bush thing” doesn't “seem to be resonating.”
But Kelly is wrong. Fox and the rest of the conservative media have not succeeded in persuading the public that Obama is to blame for economic problems. In a recent Gallup poll, more than two-thirds of respondents said Bush deserves “a great deal” or “a moderate amount” of blame.
All the more incentive for Fox to shield its audience from statements like the one it cut from the clip of Obama's speech.