Last Thursday, Fox News issued an on-air apology after ThinkProgress reported that the network had recycled old file footage of Sarah Palin rallies to assert that she is currently getting huge turnouts on her book tour. The file-footage switch-up came a week after The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart caught Fox’s Sean Hannity using old footage to inflate the size of a tea party, forcing Hannity to admit that he had “screwed up.” Now, FishbowlDC reports that Fox’s management has issued a memo declaring that “Effective immediately, there is zero tolerance for on-screen errors”:
Effective immediately, there is zero tolerance for on-screen errors. 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,” and those who supervise them. That may include warning letters to personnel files, suspensions, and other possible actions up to and including termination, and this will all obviously play a role in performance reviews. So we now face a great opportunity to review and improve on our workflow and quality control efforts. To make the most of that opportunity, effective immediately, Newsroom is going to “zero base” our newscast production. That means we will start by going to air with only the most essential, basic, and manageable elements. To share a key quote from today’s meeting: “It is more important to get it right, than it is to get it on.” We may then build up again slowly as deadlines and workloads allow so that we can be sure we can quality check everything before it makes air, and we never having to explain, retract, qualify or apologize again. Please know that jobs are on the line here. I can not stress that enough.
After the Palin footage mishap, The Swamp reported that it was “highly like[ly] that serious disciplinary action will be taken for those responsible behind the scenes in the control room.”