September 18th, 2009
07:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Networks respond to false Fox ad


Fox News is under fire for a Friday ad that inaccurately accused its competitors, including CNN, of failing to cover last weekend's Tea Party protests in Washington.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Fox News is under fire for a newspaper ad they purchased Friday that inaccurately accused its competitors, including CNN, of failing to cover last weekend's Tea Party protests in Washington.

"How did, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN miss this story?" Fox's newspaper ad asks.

The answer: They didn't.

CNN provided live coverage of the rally in Washington on Saturday, dispatching more than a dozen personnel, including multiple camera crews and the CNN Express Bus, to cover the event. Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser was live at Freedom Plaza; Correspondent Kate Bolduan reported live from the Capitol and throughout the crowd; All Platform Journalist Jim Spellman provided live hits all day after traveling for weeks on the Tea Party Express Bus; and CNN Correspondent Lisa Desjardins was live for CNN and CNN Radio from the National Mall.

CNN's Rick Sanchez weighs in on Fox's ad

CNN's coverage also included numerous live reports and interviews with protesters and newsmakers, including rally day speaker Sen. Jim DeMint and activist Art Gerhart, who was on the set with anchor Don Lemon to discuss the event.

In addition, provided a live stream of the rally throughout the day.

ABC referred Friday to a statement by Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks - the group that organized the event – characterizing the network's coverage that day as "fair and honest." The rally story was featured on the network's morning shows, nightly news broadcast, in extensive radio reporting and online.

MSNBC also pointed to its own reporting. "Just like every other network mentioned in the ad, MSNBC covered last Saturday's protest," the network said in a statement.

CBS detailed its coverage of the event in a statement issued Friday afternoon.

"CBS News had multiple crews on site with our Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes reporting," the network said in a statement. "It was the lead story on the CBS EVENING NEWS; CBS Radio News provided hourly reports during the day and had the story in its rotating lead all day. They also processed the Nancy Cordes video and linked it throughout the site."

And CNN criticized Fox for its inaccurate statement. "Fox News' ad released today is blatantly false regarding CNN's coverage of the 9/12 rally," CNN said in a statement.

Watch some of CNN's Tea Party coverage here, and read some of our in-depth reporting.

Filed under: Tea Party Express
soundoff (794 Responses)
  1. Kirk

    "The same people who watch fox news are the same people who listen to Rush Limbaugh nuff said"


    September 18, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  2. anthony

    This is not news, CNN. Please report it when FOX News does not lie.

    September 18, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  3. Not Fooled by Murdoch

    This is so staged.

    The fake ad was done up so Fox could draw more attention to the tea party protests. The put up a fake ad knowing it would be attacked, thuis expanding their focus onto the event itself.

    Murdoch wants these guys to be martyrs for tax revolution.

    Very sad. The folks who attended were paid for by conservative think-tanks through FreedomWorks.

    Not Fooled by Murdoch
    Los Angeles

    September 18, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  4. Jon

    I check cnn everyday and while its true they covered the event it was embarrassing how far behind they were on the reporting it before Sept 12. The ACORN scandal is another example. It's like CNN, ABC, and CBS have to watch FOX to get their news.

    September 18, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  5. R Scott

    Me thinks you protesteth too much. R

    September 18, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  6. Todd

    This seems less like a " news article" from CNN and more like a retort. Bad journalism.

    September 18, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  7. Worried about the USA

    I do not understand the outrage. Fox and their announcers always says whatever they please. Facts and truth have never mattered to this network.

    September 18, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. Tony Justin

    The lead story all day on the CNN website was the tea party in DC. There was a big picture of the event on the upper left hand corner of the home page for So, how is this underreporting of the event? The humorous thing to me is that Rupert Murdoch, an Australian with financial reasons to promote a conservative agenda, tells the reporters and commentators what to say on a daily basis, and the viewers think it is "an all-American" network.

    September 18, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  9. jaye

    Who in their right mind is going to watch these teabaggers scream and yell and lie and use racial slurs against our president?
    It's not news...its more like a third reich rally.
    I honestly think the republicans are basing their rallies off Hitlers rallies.
    They're all sick and demented and disgusting. And they profess to be christians.
    They make me sick.

    September 18, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. bluebird

    I love Fox. Fox and CNN. Only two I can stand that aren't misleading and panhandling to the left a 100% of the time.

    September 18, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. Aspen Professor

    Speaking of the coverage ... Have you wondered where all the protestors got their posters, who manufactured them, who distributed them at the "Tea Party"?, and who is paying for the posters, and who is providing the buses to transport the protestors from one screaming location to another?

    Wouldn't releasing that information make a glorious story on the evening news?

    September 18, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  12. The Voice

    FOX is the neo-con network. Did anybody forget to post on the newspaper how they forgot to air Obama's speech to congress?? Now that is true fact.

    We need to rename it the "Bushie loyals Express" Network!!

    September 18, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. Alexandra

    I live in Ecuador, South America. My cable company provides me with CNN en Español as well as CNN International and also with the Fox News Channel. CNN en Español mainly covers news in Latin America and less in the USA. CNN International focuses mostly on Europe and Asia. So if I want round the clock information on what's happening in the USA I have to turn to Fox. Their conservative view point really bothers me, nevertheless, sometimes it is my only choice. I wish you could broadcast your domestic programation to cable companies around the world, as Fox does. That will give us a more balanced information of what is really going on. I would love to have CNN available!!

    September 18, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  14. AndyB

    Fox News should be slammed for calling themselves a News station. They're nothing but a bunch of liars that distort the truth to slant to the right.

    September 18, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  15. John

    Obviously FOX covers the news to the right of times covering the far right fringe and beyond. But that is why we have freedom of the press in this country. The fact that a huge majority of Americans think they are lunitics or from Mars doesn't matter - it is their constitutional choice.

    September 18, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  16. Randy

    Hey is anyone else fed up with FOX,MSNBC,CNN,CBS,NBC OR ANY OTHER NEWS OUTLET .. Can't we we just have news that is truthful
    with out the spin of the political parties, or favortism or which party the T.V owners of these companys are being paid to support. Is it not time
    in all of this Chaos to just tell the Ameerican people the truth & nothing but to the truth..

    September 18, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  17. Art

    Is it really a surprise! During the campaign McCain won every debate against Obama according to their broadcasts. Let's be honest FIX news is the news coverage of the White Supremist, Nazis and the Ku Klug Klan. They'd rather see a whiteman drive our country into the abyss then see a blackman save it. What I also find comical is how the right wingers think that by being against abortion it makes them holier than thou, but they have no problem with 47+ million people without health insurance many of them being children.......

    September 18, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. Justme

    quote from John, Chicago: "one of you idiots at Faux news said there was 2.5 million people"...

    actually, what fox news reported was there was a report sent to Obama stating that there could be as many as 2.5 million that showed... fox then followed this up by interviewing organizers of the event which stated that this was a gross exaggeration of expecation - a tatic done to belittle the actual outcome and make it appear as a failure. Honestly John – if your going to quote a report, get your facts straight.

    September 18, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. Matt in DC

    I don't understand why they didn't cover it as much as FOX. It was historic. The last time the Mall was filled with that many hateful, ignorant white trash was when the Klan marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in 1928.

    September 18, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. Jon

    Don't you guys see that this a plot by Fox News to get ratings and sucker all networks to publicize these one-sided events in the future. Wakeup News Networks it seems that Fox is getting the upper hand, shame on you CNN for the bait.

    September 18, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  21. kimberly

    faux "news" has a following ONLY of right wing nuts! There ARE NO moderate people watching that crap! YES they have hi ratings, um because they are THE ONLY RIGHT WING FRINGE CHANNEL!!! There are plenty of real news stations out there and they have to share all the other groups of people with their heads on straight! FAUX is NOT a news station, they are a loon fest. Beck is a joke, that cries on the air, and lies! Hannitty is constantly caught lying and so is bill o. AGAIN, no REAL American watches that channel for more than a good laugh!

    September 18, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. HEY CNN

    HEY CNN when you going to report that the government shut down water in California for farmers. And now farmers can't produce food! because the government rather save a tiny fish.

    Oh wait i forgot apparently you got better things to talk about! AT LEAST FOX TALKS ABOUT REAL issues that effect American people.

    September 18, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. carol

    Who cares about the shouting people who have no facts. They just yell and have nothing to contribute.

    September 18, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. Leslie B.

    I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the liberal media didn't give them much coverage; they have a record of under-reporting "conservative" causes and events. I'm not saying that Fox is less biased, btw.

    Typical case (and I bet CNN won't run this comment): last March, over TWO MILLION empty red envelopes were sent to the White House on March 31 as a protest against abortion. Not one of the organizers, nor anyone involved, could find any coverage by a major news outlet, including Fox. The White House postal service confirmed that they arrived.

    If two million pieces of mail had shown up at the White House all in one week on any other subject, there would have been at least a mention, if not a headline.

    "News" no longer means reporting facts; it means selectively announcing particular things and putting a major, biased spin on them.

    September 18, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  25. RPC

    Fox is an insignificant network, so why CNN, CBS, NBC et al would even bother to respond is beyond me...

    September 18, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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