Kurtz: New Black Panthers story “widely viewed as overblown”

An interesting nugget from Howard Kurtz's write up of his recent interview with Fox News' Roger Ailes:

Fox has beaten the drums on some stories that the mainstream media have wound up following, such as allegations that led to the resignation of environmental aide Van Jones, and others--such as a voter-intimidation case involving two New Black Panther Party members--that are widely viewed as overblown.

Hopefully Kurtz's former colleagues at The Washington Post get the message.

This past summer, Fox News took the lead role in beating the drums that the Justice Department was hostile to enforcing voting-rights laws when the alleged wrongdoer was a racial minority -- completely ignoring the actual actions by the DOJ that clearly show it has enforced voting-rights laws when the alleged violators are racial minorities. Host Megyn Kelly at one point bragged that Fox “dragged the media kicking and screaming” to cover the story.

The Washington Post was one of the more credible mainstream media outlets that wound up lending credence to the manufactured scandal. During the height of Fox News' drum circle, Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander took the paper to task for not being out in front of the story. Alexander's column drew a sharp rebuke from Salon's Joan Walsh, who criticized Alexander for “keep[ing] the specious story alive.”

The Washington Post editorial board later criticized the phony scandal for being “fueled by partisan hyperbole, conspiracy theories and misinformation.”

Weeks later, the paper gave the story 2,600 word, A1 treatment.

Wildly overblown.