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. Michael, Gallatin, Tennessee

    FOX is pure propaganda and it should be forced to clearly label all its programing as such.

    September 18, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  2. Jim Loomis

    Fox News lies ... and we're surprised??

    September 18, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  3. Oliver

    Everyone knows CNN, ABC, CBS and FOX are biased in their own way. (Dan Rather blasting George Bush, then getting fired for it, FOX and the Tea Parties yada yada). Who cares? The networks take themselves far too seriously when in fact they nothing more than a 24-7 comedy blitz of (mis)information. When in doubt, throw it out.

    September 18, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  4. Joel Parkes

    Well, it's obvious. Fox News, like it's parent organisation, the Republican Party, only understands lies and distortions as a means of influencing people. Why let truth get in the way of the old 'us versus them' divisive strategies that Karl Rove mastered?

    September 18, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  5. Karen

    EVERYONE knows Fox News lies!

    September 18, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  6. John, a true true independent

    Barjack, the problem is that it's not a 'right spin', it's a readily obvious lie designed to sway the uninformed. The stuff you said is nice but it doesn't apply here.

    September 18, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  7. Lars

    The networks should file a class action for Libel.

    September 18, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  8. Mr, Puzzled

    All the whining about FOX Whiners? What am i missing? The name calling is a real "turn on." Good grief!!! Get a grip, people, and calm down.

    September 18, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  9. Mary

    Quit being sheep, people, Listen to all the news to get the truth. And make up your own minds instead of letting the media do it for you.

    September 18, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  10. Dale

    1 million + people--1 million +
    The media's mentioned may have covered the event but barely. I'm very dissapointed in those stations for not making it a top story. If this was a gay rights group you all would have aired it for days. And they would have had 10+ seperate articles each about it.

    Tell the American people the whole truth and wiut trying to sway their thinking. Is the media's really that bias or are they in with the government. Wait till the government tell them exactly what they can report and what they cannot. It's coming..........

    The media's have a responsibility to publish everything and keep the people informed wether the government likes it or not.......IF NOT your to blame as much as the government and the people "When they see the light" will not forget who misled them.

    September 18, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  11. Jules H of PA

    I recently began calling FOX News, FEAR News; because all they do is feed on and exploit the fears of their viewers to perserve their unsustainable close-minded, pseudo-patriotic vision of what they think America used to be.

    But what's scarier still is that so many of the viewers drink all of the Kool-Aid Fear News dishes out.

    In Fear they trust.

    September 18, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  12. Chad

    The ridiculous part of all this: this is a news story that Fox News generated in the first place. Yup, they made it up. Fox News created these tea party protests (along with Dick Armey – the disgraced congressman who helped run this government into the debt for which they are protesting... supposedly). They organized them. Glenn Beck, the 9/12 ringleader, is on Fox News.
    They are not reporting the news, they are making it up! And they have the hutzpah to criticize other networks for not indulging them???

    September 18, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  13. VGal

    Seriously? Does anyone actually take Fox to be a real news source? I laugh hysterically every time I read their motto "fair and balanced" – anyone, ANYONE with at least one ounce of a brain knows they are not fair and balanced. (Neither is MSNBC either – but they don't try to pretend that they are.)

    September 18, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  14. Dan

    Wrong, CNN. You didn't provide cover that was fair or equitable. CNN still promotes the illegal alien agenda and the free, socialist agenda, that requires funding from all the tax payers.
    Listen up, you cannot sustain this country on tax and spend policies that takes the funding from the working class and gives to those who refuse to work. Review history. It didn't work in Roman times and it didn't work for USSR.

    September 18, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  15. Rebecca

    I am so tired of the false reporting by FOX news. A person with any intelligence will check multiple sources before believing anything they report. They should be sued for slander. Grow up Fox News!!!

    September 18, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  16. R McArthur

    Fox is simply pointing out that the so called :mainstream media" is not doing their job. And why are they not doing their job? Either they are incompetent or they are in bed with Obama and the Democrats. And they wonder why their ratings are in the dumper. Media, start doing your job!

    September 18, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  17. VGal

    It also goes to show that the conservatives feel that they can outright lie to people and get away with it.


    September 18, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  18. sickofthebs

    Just like everything else FOX news does ... lie and make Americans hate each other. FOX news is a joke. They don't report the news, they take the news and twist it and spin it to make everyone angry and confused. They are like the television version of those tabloids you see in the supermarket. I flip it on to get a good chuckle, then put the real news on.

    September 18, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  19. Justme

    Another note to RICK - that "last story".. didn't cover the story of why the majority of the people were there. It, instead, focused on the "element" of people that were there due to racist intentions. That is NOT covering the story. That's looking for the worst of 10 thousand people. No matter where you are in the country – there are "elements" of the extreme. Blacks that don't like white.. whites that don't like blacks.. gay rights activists that break into churches.. individuals that want to incite violence.. but these are fringe elements. There were not tens of thousands of racists on the steps of Washington.. there were tens of thousands of conservatives that care about where their money is going, that care about the principles of this country and that feel like it is their right to protest and be heard. That story was NOT covered. So that really takes away 2 of your whopping 4 examples. The other 2 – were at 9:30AM and 11:30AM. How many stories did you do when there were gay rights protests???

    September 18, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  20. Dr. Stephanie

    It is so sad that the Republican party's only strategy is to create negativity and to erase some of the progress made with race relations in this nation. They are all coming off as idiots and every "bright" idea ends up backfiring, so keep up the good work.

    September 18, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  21. Robyn

    Happy to see you guys defending yourselves for once.

    Courage in media is rewarded with more viewers! As well as being its own reward.

    Good on you, CNN.

    September 18, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  22. Dan

    Unless the news is about calling those who oppose the current liberal agenda racists, then it isn't aired.
    Unless the news is about calling those who risk their lives for the sacred freedoms the liberals are walking into the dirt, then it isn't aired.
    Unless the news is about giving free education, free housing, free food, free medical to illegal, law breaking foreigners, then it isn't aired.

    September 18, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  23. Dan

    As a former small-town newspaper reporter, I tried my hardest to cover the news as completely and honestly as I could. But I also got burned out trying so hard. I was mediocre at best.

    In a later class on information systems, I learned that news is just information, and information has just enough subjective qualities that you can read bias in the way almost any story is covered – if you really want to see it. Those subjective qualities are determining the balance between making a story complete, with enough information and context that the reader needs to make accurate judgements, while still making it clear and concise, and not confusing the reader.

    And finally, I found there are as many conservatives in news coverage as neutral independents and liberals and probably always have been. Reporters are just people who love their job in information-distribution.

    September 18, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  24. paris

    get off your pity party.....those of us right wing, Christian, pro-lifers, we ain't never gonna change our minds, so you yankees can just keep feeding the masses this junk. Ain't gonna fly! no way, no how. We know how it all turns out......

    September 18, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  25. JSR-NY

    "How did, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN miss this story?"
    Fox's news should add one more NY Times Megazine. My hubby has
    subscribed NY Times so I'd checked I couldn't find any Van Jones's radical comments or ACORN-FRAUD-VOTERS.

    September 18, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
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