Will Fox News hold Beck to its Dan Rather standard?

Fox News' Glenn Beck recently aired a video indicating that an ACORN employee shot and killed her husband, without first bothering to verify whether the husband is, in fact, dead. He isn't. The video is, in other words, a fraud. But that didn't stop Beck from calling it evidence of “murder” and perhaps even “premeditated murder.” Of a person who is still alive.

Sean Hannity aired it, too.

Here's a bunch of Fox News “reporters” who are outraged about the murder. Which didn't happen. Because the guy is still alive:

So, given Fox's promotion of this hoax-video ... how did Fox react to the allegedly-forged documents used in a CBS news report about George W. Bush's apparent failure to fulfill his commitments to the Texas Air National Guard?

Here's Hannity, after Rather was replaced as anchor of CBS Evening News:

HANNITY: I'm not as forgiving as you are here, Bernie [Goldberg], and I'll tell you why. This case of forged documents, this was 50 days outside of a political election. If it weren't for brave people like Ben Barnes' daughter and Colonel Killian's wife and Colonel Killian's son, you know something? This could have had an impact, a significant impact, may have even resulted in a different outcome in this election.

This -- this is a disgrace, what went on here, that they ignored all of the exculpatory evidence, Bernie. And the fact is, crimes were even committed, if you believe -- you know, according to reports, forging documents and transmitting them, that's a federal crime, a state crime and a county crime in Texas.


First of all, I want to point out, he's not gone. He's still at “60 Minutes,” at least for the time being. So he hasn't gone away here. Secondly...


HANNITY: An article in The New York Observer today revealed some new information about the CBS investigation into the “Memogate” scandal. According to the story, freelance producer Michael Smith, he taped many of his conversations with CBS investigators and executives in the weeks after the scandal broke.

Smith told The Observer that the tapes of his conversations proved that nobody at CBS, quote, “seemed interested in the truth.”


You used the word “bias.” You used the word “arrogant.” You know, based on this story that he broke here, not caring about getting to the truth of the investigation, maybe we can add the words, “elitist,” “political,” “liberal,” “unethical,” even? [Fox News Channel, Hannity & Colmes, 3/9/05]

And Fox News Correspondent Rick Leventhal:

LEVENTHAL: Unlike his colleague, Tom Brokaw, who retired with glowing tributes late last year, Rather leaves under the dark clouds of his flawed “60 Minutes Wednesday” report on President Bush's National Guard service that aired last September.

It was based on documents most likely forged. He tried to defend the piece and its questionable source materials, but later, apologized on air. One of his co-workers was fired, three others were asked to resign; Rather and his bosses were not. [3/5/09]

And Fox anchor John Gibson:

GIBSON: Ellis, can you explain why Dan Rather, with all the experience we've been talking about and Rick talked about, would commit the basic errors that went on in Memogate, if there was not a bias behind it?

HENICAN: No. Because he screwed up. He made a mistake as a reporter and got embarrassed. It had so little to do with ideology and so much to do with bad reporting. People in this business make that mistake.

GIBSON: Rich Noyes, Dan Rather obviously made a mistake, but Ellis doesn't seem to be willing to admit that the case you're making, that the reason Rather made the mistake was he was disposed to disliking Bush and he would bend his own rules.

HENICAN: You have no idea whether that's why he made the mistake. That's silly for both of you to say.

GIBSON: Well, I do know, but why?

HENICAN: You have no evidence of that at all! You're against the guy.

GIBSON: His career is the evidence!

HENICAN: No! The guy made a mistake! You have no idea what's in his heart! That's silly!

GIBSON: Rich, isn't that evidence?


GIBSON: Ellis, you don't think that what was going on in this Memogate story, whether Rather was behind it, or it was really Mary Mapes, but Rather went along with, was bring down this President? Rather called himself a big-game hunter! [3/5/09]

Any chance we'll see this level of outrage directed at Glenn Beck for unquestioningly airing an apparently fraudulent tape in order to portray an ACORN employee as a murderer? Beck has, after all, been pretty clear that he is trying to bring ACORN down.

UPDATE: Sean Hannity & Bernie Goldberg, November 23, 2004:

HANNITY: You're way ahead of the curve every time these stories come out.But you know, I met Dan Rather during the convention. He couldn't have been nicer. On a personal level he was a very nice man. And I mean that sincerely.
But let's just go down a path for a second here. Imagine, 50 days out of an election, somebody gave me documents, little old radio and TV talk show host Sean Hannity, that turned out to be forged documents about John Kerry, and similarly, they had connections to the Bush campaign. Would I be here tonight talking to you?
GOLDBERG: Well, you might be here or you might not be here, but every liberal in America would be all over you and all over Fox.And liberals are, if not defending Dan Rather, they're saying things like, “Well, let's not judge him by that,” and things like that.
Listen, if Dan Rather got documents from his, quote, “unimpeachable source,” and that unimpeachable source was somebody who came from the right instead of the left and was out to bring down John Kerry and his campaign instead of George Bush and his campaign, there's no way Dan would have ever proceeded with that story.

Hannity, 1/10/05:

HANNITY: You're missing the point here, though. This is 50 days out of an election. It could be a turning point in the election. And if these are forged documents, that is a crime. That is a corrupting of the news and a betrayal of trust on a level that I don't think we've seen in our lifetime.

Hannity, 9/10/04:

HANNITY: I was just thinking to myself, you tell me if I'm wrong here, if Republicans had forged documents or had gotten forged documents and gave it to a news organization, and they turned out to be false, wouldn't this be a much bigger story in the mainstream media?