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. Peoples Voice

    Is there any doubt that the people at FOX have gone completely crazy.

    There is no lie they are not willing to tell. No matter how easily proved it is a lie.

    They are a danger to our country, America!!

    September 18, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. Jo Ann Moody

    All the channels report both sides even if they do lean one way or another except for Fox. That is why it is called Fake Fox news. They only tell one side. They will put a liberal on but not let them speak without interrupting the whole time. I stopped watching it several years ago. I would be surprised if they showed anything other than the tea party coverage.

    September 18, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  3. karl j.dragowski

    i hear they are doing a remake of The Three Stooges;it will star sean hanitty-glen beck-dick morris and rush limbaugh as shep

    September 18, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. Steve Adams

    Shouldn't the FCC get involved here. This ad was patently false on its face and is designed to libel and slander the other networks who actually (for the most part) report the news. I believe we should all voice our complaints to the FCC, after all aren't they supposed to regulate the airwaves for content.

    I believe that a large fine or suspension of broadcast privileges for 30 days would be a good start to send the message. Then if Fox continues it's campaign of defamation, the next step should be the suspension of their broadcasting privileges.

    As long as these lies and purposeful misinformation is allowed to pervade our airwaves growth in this great country and the principles of truth and justice will be at great risk.

    The FCC must not allow bold face lies to be presented as news on our publicly owned airwaves!!

    Steve Adams

    September 18, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  5. Patrish

    It's probably just as well I missed a lot of the Tea Party coverage. I would have asked them why they are so trusting in capitalism, and isn't that what we have working now. The banks have collapsed, the housing market is a disaster, jobs are going overseas, high health care costs, credit card rates rising, and the high rate of homes foreclosures. So capitalism is good because?? The only ones that seem able to afford their health care are the medicare folks. Oh, wait, that's a government program - I guess I really don't understand these financial issues very well.

    September 18, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. Dyan, Minnesota

    Barjack, there is a difference between putting a spin on things and bald face lying. To claim that the other networks didn't cover a story when they really did, is a lie. If they had claimed that they had better and more comprehensive coverage, then that would be a spin and your point would be a fair one. Unfortunately, that's not what they did. Fox choose to lie, and they deserve to be called out for it.

    September 18, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  7. proud dem in nc

    The Fox News Chanel is a joke. How they can sit there straight faced and say they are "fair and balanced" is amazing. Hannity, Beck, Gingrich, Coulter, Rove and the rest of those right wing crazies are nothing but hate mongers and bigots. What can you expect from people when their party is lead by Hush Lumbaugh!!. These people care about nothing except their wallets and bringing down this country. I have NEVER seen a POTUS treated as shamefully as Pres. Obama has been treated. Their party is in freefall and their desperation is showing. Tea baggers just want an excuse to bash Obama. Losers!

    September 18, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  8. Francis K. Ibara

    Fox news in general are good except for a few but going down hill with several slanted people, like Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh. They are open Repuublican and against anything that the Deomrats.However, sometimes they do stupid things like this ad.

    September 18, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  9. srichey

    Wow! Was there another civil rights rally in Washington?

    September 18, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  10. Dennis

    FOX should have said the other networks didn't report it in the distorted way they would have liked.

    September 18, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. Gentle Giant

    Fox News is crap, they were before this, and they will continue to be. It is more biased than any news organization known. Republicans spoon this crap on their kids from toddler age on. It is the only way to continue the fight, because anyone who actually thinks for themselves would plainly see through the smoke and mirrors. GOBAMA!

    September 18, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  12. Billy, an Independent

    FOX's broadcast license should have been revoked long ago. I know the main networks, other than CNN, may seem to be biased on some issues some of the time but FOX has always been at another stratosphere. Their listeners are brainwashed and can't discuss any issue intelligently. FOX is a clear and present danger to our democracy...

    September 18, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  13. Ken, AZ

    It appears that FOX has a lock on the brainless, knuckle-dragging, Neanderthals that make up the Tea Party. Of course FOX covered the event end-to-end: they were one of the primary sponsors.

    September 18, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. Charlie

    Fox is smartly following the lead of Joe Wilson and legions of angry republicans. These days, the content of what you say doesn't mean anything. It's how loud you say it. Joe Wilson, Serena Williams, Kanye West, and the tea party protests all demonstrate that the media and public care about spectacle over intelligent debate. Need further proof? Keep an eye on the most popular stories on CNN and you'll quickly see the truth in this.

    Fox understands that if you attack your competition, you'll get ahead. How you attack doesn't matter. Just look at the weak, defensive response from CNN. Instead of hitting right back at Fox, they immediately defend their coverage, which makes Fox look even stronger.

    Look at Joe Wilson. No one knew anything about this guy. So he yells at the president, basks in the media spotlight, and has now become a household name.

    Fox may be the most slanted news network. They may have the least talent of any major news organization. But they understand, better than most, that if you look strong, simple people will follow you.

    It's just like high school. You have a few bullies and their stupid followers on one side, and smart kids going for debate team and class pres. on the other.

    If America was one big class, republicans would be the bullies yelling and shouting so no one can hear what the smart kids have to say.

    What we need is for the smart people to go toe-to-toe with the bullies. What's the point of having great ideas if they're being drowned out by people yelling "nazi" and "communist".

    September 18, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  15. Maria

    I say all the networks named in this ad should get together and put out an ad directed to Fox News that simply says, "YOU LIE!"

    September 18, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  16. Justin

    Every 24/7 news channel has leanings, but Fox just isn't credible. They blatantly make things up and say things that aren't true. If you have to proclaim that you're "fair and balanced", odds are you aren't.

    If you want a truly fair viewpoint watch a news hour on something like BBC America or even PBS. They just say what happened today, not over-analyze it with talkings heads from multiple sides.

    I think CNN is the closest to neutral of the big three 24/7 channels, though Lou Dobbs is getting into Glenn Beck territory on the ridiculous scale. I change the channel when Lou comes on now. He used to be more credible. MSNBC is flaming liberal, but they at least don't flat out lie like Fox does.

    I can't take Fox seriously. Higher ratings doesn't make you accurate. It means you're saying what passionate, angry people want to hear.

    September 18, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  17. Dan

    Reading the comments here reminds me of about everything in our culture. Everyone is screaming at everyone else. Everyone is convinced of their virtues but not of others' virtues. Everyone is convinced of their version of reality.

    So, we have become a country of people who yell at each other rather than of people who listen to and respect each other.

    Where is your pride, people? Stop blaming the other guy.

    Our problems are not due to other peoples' beliefs. Our problems are due to how easy it seems to be for us to fight each other. We think other people who disagree with us are not fellow Americans with different beliefs but instead are enemies. And this belief, surprise! creates enemies.

    I for one am tired of it. I don't care what you believe, within limits of decency. But I do care how you talk to and about people who disagree with you.

    September 18, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. Anthony from NY

    As a former history teacher I make it a point to seek news from a variety of sources. I must admt i was shocked by the scant or lack of coverage by the listed news agencies. Especially when you compare it to the extensive coverage given to the Bush protester's. What was even more troubling was the coverage was mostly negative including such things as the dispute over the number of protesters., and the signs they carried. Reporters founf it to be offensive that Mr. Obama was portrayed in a negative way includinding to look like Hitler. This was the theme of most of the reporting. Why the sudden outrage? Where was their anger when Bush was portrayed as Hitlet or hung in effigy and even burned in effigy. So it's not only that the listed agencies gave little or no coverage, when they did cover it it was far from fair and balanced. Maybe this is why Fox numbers are so much better then the other news organizations. I will continue to seek a variety of news sources i just hope that All the news agencies will remember its not only what you cover but how you cover it.

    September 18, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  19. Brian

    I don't watch TV much, but I do read the news online. I looked for the story about the Tea Party protests and ONLY found it on Fox News. CNN and the others never seem to report anything bad about the dems or anything good about the Republicans. Fox is the only one that reports good and bad from both sides. By the way, if you disagree with this, look for the story about ACORN right now before you comment on this. You won't find it here, but you can hear all about it on Fox. Want all the news? Stop reading CNN.

    September 18, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  20. Ed in Cary

    Fox needs a new by-line. Something like:

    Fox... where Facts go to die


    Fox... where Facts don't matter

    September 18, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  21. Amanda

    Fox News is always called "False News". That confirms it,

    September 18, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  22. Kevin

    I came home from a previous engagement Saturday night (12th) and was anxious to see what the crowd was like and what I was missing. My computer's start page is, and I couldn't find out details (crowd size, problems etc). You see, I tend to watch Fox News, read CNN & MSN online, because I don't buy into anyone's BS. Truthfully, for a 15 minute scan, there wasn't much on CNN or MSN (10:30 pm EDT)

    There was practically NOTHING on either outlets prior to the protest, so FOX wasn't being disingenious with the ad.

    I think the conclusion that was jumped in this CNN article is coverage during the event, because I can assure you, there was little -to- none prior to the event.

    Nice spin though!

    September 18, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  23. Coherent1

    LMBO off at Fox for this one! Rick Sanchez blasted their lying booties with full truth. Now I hope everyone gets to see how Fox delivers their Fauxny News. They lie all the freakin time. Glad somebody called them on it. Fired up! Ready to go!

    September 18, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  24. Obama 2012

    Fox caters to inbred, white trash bible nazis and gun fascists. The right wingers are delusional if they think that Fox isn't biased towards their twisted beliefs.

    September 18, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  25. Pat in IL

    I keep wondering why Fox "News" is still on the air. They could at least change their name to Fox Bias-backed up by lies and exaggerations, which would be much more realistic.

    September 18, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
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