Critics of the Fox News morning program Fox & Friends have often charged the show’s three hosts with essentially providing free airtime to GOP candidates, lawmakers and surrogates with little to no representation from their Democratic counterparts. But Wednesday morning’s foray marks a new low in the network’s willingness to do the Republican Party’s heavy lifting for it.
Fox News produced its own 4 minute attack video disguised as a retrospective of President Obama’s first term in office and aired it as a “Fox & Friends Presents” special. The ad opens with images of cheering voters during the 2008 election, before devolving into a wildly misleading juxtaposition of then-candidate Barack Obama promising change with rising unemployment rates and national debt. Watch it:
At the conclusion of the video, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy thanked one of the show’s producers for editing together the segment “for weeks.” But it only took hours for network brass to perhaps recognize the implications of Fox News producing and airing its own attack ads, because they quickly pulled from the Fox News website with no explanation. Even conservative sites balked at the idea of Fox News producing its own political attack ads.
Fox News CEO Roger Ailes has long defended his network from charges of bias, explaining — incorrectly — that only the network’s primetime hosts are explicitly partisan. But as this ad clearly demonstrates, the network’s collusion with the Republican party runs much deeper than the 5pm to 10 pm time slots.
“The package that aired on ‘Fox & Friends’ was created by an associate producer and was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network,” Bill Shine, executive vice president of programming at Fox News, told Yahoo News. “This has been addressed with the show’s producers.”