Fox News Journalistic Integrity Goodness

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JONATHAN CHAIT AUGUST 3, 2011

Fox News Journalistic Integrity Goodness

I'm not sure how many readers are going to be interested in this, but I've been dragged into a pissing match between right-wing pseudojournalist Andrew Breitbart and various lackeys and critics thereof. A couple days ago, Breitbart clipped an exchange in which Norah O'Donnell asked Jay Carney about Democratic objections to the debt ceiling deal. Commentary quoted a portion of the clip to make it appear as though O'Donnell was describing those objections as her own.

I wrote about Commentary's misleading item. The Huffington Post stole aggregated the item, adding the twist that Breitbart had doctored the clip, for which it's since apologized.

Follow all that? Okay, meanwhile, various right-wing bloggers have hurled invective at me, and the Fox News story seems to finger me as the culprit for the Huffpo's inaccurate version:

The Huffington Post took their information from The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait, who claimed that the clip did not include a portion of the video where O’Donnell led into the quote by saying that Democrats were upset about the debt, not the reporter herself.

A careful examination of the clip reveals that it was not doctored at all by Breitbart, but that the beginning of O’Donnell’s quote was shrouded by ambient noise.

In fact, I did not claim Breitbart doctored the clip. Here is what I wrote:

Andrew Breitbart has clipped an exchange from today's press at conference at the White House. In the exchange, reporter Norah O'Donnell press Jay Carney by asking, "Democrats are saying, 'You gave them everything they wanted and we got nothing." Commentary has picked up the story, giving it the headline, "CBS's O'Donnell to Carney: We got nothing."

For any readers who don't read block quotes -- I assume this includes whoever writes stories for Fox News -- I specifically wrote that Breitbart clipped the entire exchange, and Commentary misleadingly edited the quote. Let me repeat: I did not accuse Breitbart of doctoring the quote. I accurately described Breitbart as clipping the entire question.

I'd huff and puff about how Fox News should be apologizing for leveling a false accusation in a story about false accusations but... eh, what's the point.

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posted in: jonathan chait, andrew breitbart, jay carney, norah o'donnell

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