How Tolerant Is Fox's 'Zero Tolerance' Policy?

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Jess Levin (202) 772-8162
jlevin@mediamatters.org

How Tolerant Is Fox's 'Zero Tolerance' Policy?

Media Matters sends fourth letter to Fox News' Clemente about glaring on-air error

WASHINGTON - Today, after Fox News' legal analyst Andrew Napolitano falsely claimed
that Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) "changed his vote to 'Yes'" on health
care reform legislation after President Obama appointed his brother to
the federal appeals court -- Matheson, in fact, voted 'No' on both the
Senate bill and the reconciliation package -- Media Matters for America's
Ari Rabin-Havt issued an open letter to Fox News Senior Vice President
Michael Clemente asking how this error would be handled in light of the
network's "zero tolerance" policy. Rabin-Havt has sent Clemente three previous letters regarding other glaring errors.

The letter reads:

Dear Mr. Clemente:

Again, I write to you concerning a glaring error on your network.

On yesterday's edition of Fox & Friends,
Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano advanced the false smear that
President Obama bribed Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) by appointing his
brother to the federal appeals court [emphasis added]:

Congressman
Matheson, a Democrat of Utah, voted "No" first time around. The White
House nominated Congressman Matheson's brother to the United States
Court of Appeals for the 10th circuit. He changed his vote to "Yes."

 [...]

So,
there's a point to beyond which you can't go. It is a crime to offer
someone something of value in order to influence their vote or their
official governmental behavior.

Not
only have these allegations been debunked by Rep. Matheson, the White
House, Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT), and the Bush-appointed former judge
who previously occupied the seat, but Rep. Matheson did not
"change his vote to 'Yes.' " Rep. Matheson voted "No" on the House's
health reform bill in November, and again voted "No" on both the
Senate's health care bill and the reconciliation package last weekend.

As
I did in my previous letters, I'll remind you that the quality control
memo your network issued in November states that "mistakes by any
member of the show team that end up on air may result in immediate
disciplinary action against those who played significant roles in the
'mistake chain.' " But I'll also add that, unlike previous "mistakes"
that only damaged your network's reputation, this one damages the
reputation of an elected official. I can't think of a better time for
you to implement the "zero tolerance" policy.

Sincerely,

Ari Rabin-Havt

Vice President for Communications and Research

Media Matters for America

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Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

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