Weak…

TVNewser has FNC’s Senior Vice President of Development Joel Cheatwood offering an utterly unconvincing defense for Glenn Beck getting caught up in a hoax concerning ACORN…

Joel Cheatwood, FNC’s SVP of Development tells TVNewser, “As Glenn has steadfastly maintained throughout the show’s coverage of this latest ACORN scandal, the individuals on the tapes are not the real story.”

Then why oh why did Beck go ape and demand that people look into her story? Of course it was about the individual in this tape. Why else would Beck go ape over this segment, which didn’t air anywhere else on FNC’s news programming? A better statement would be to say that they should have looked into it before they jumped to conclusions and they have taken steps to make sure this won’t happen again. That’s standard operating procedure for any news organization that gets played like that. To try and spin the story in order to save face is something you’d more often find in the O’Reilly or Olbermann playbook. But then again, FNC says Beck’s show isn’t news.

Update: According to Olbermann tonight, Fox and Friends’ Gretchen Carlson also talked about the clip. Does FNC not consider Fox and Friends news?

19 Responses to “Weak…”

  1. That whole statement from FNC was weak. I really hate the excuse that Beck is not “news.” True (which is why he can spend time on his opinions) but does that really excuse him from fact-checking? According to FNC, it does.

    It’s a shame that he insisted on showing this latest video. Up until now, he appeared to actually be doing solid work.

  2. These networks have lost control of their personnel and shows. They get a “hot” anchor or host or personality and let them run with things.

    It’s such a mix of news and opinion and analysis and commentary and some of this and some of that the usual standards can’t be enforced.

    Maybe won’t be enforced more than can’t; but certainly both.

    So, the audience can no longer tell what they’re getting.

  3. Very true, stevemg.

    Just saw the update; does anyone consider Fox and Friends “news”? I certainly don’t.

  4. See what is driving crazy Glenn. I thought something set him down the crazy path and seems it has turned up. He is spouting some old far right crank stuff from this guy.

    Meet the man who changed Glenn Beck’s life

    Cleon Skousen was a right-wing crank whom even conservatives despised. Then Beck discovered him..

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/09/16/beck_skousen/

    Seems he is hanging on and digging in to the John Bircher tin foilers and of course Ron Paul.

  5. bushleaguer Says:

    Yeah, that’s a pretty weak defense.

    Although it shouldn’t take away from the ACORN scandal, this sideshow is reminiscent of the “As a child, Obama went to school at a Madrassa” story that F&F ran with without doing their own research.

  6. BL, that is a ridiculous comparison.

    The woman SAID she killed one of her husbands.

    Also, ACORN’s lies to cover this up are ridiculous.

    First, they claim the woman was fooling with them and played them.

    Then they decide to say the woman was afraid of them & fearful what they might do.

    This entire organization needs to be SHUT DOWN.

  7. I wonder, what SHOULD have happened?

    Should Beck’s people have tried to call this woman’s former husbands? Should they have done the research on unsolved murders where she might have lived?

    I think Beck got burned by this (as well as FNC), but I wonder what exactly should have been done differently. Not play that bit of video until the police can check it out… perhaps, but as has been demonstrated, without Beck playing it, would anyone else have? In my mind, it’s a tough situation… if he holds back for more evidence, does the story get told at all? Do the police put this up as a priority and do the research, or do they ignore the issue because it hasn’t been on television yet.

    One could also argue (although, I’m not prepared to argue this myself, just playing a little devil’s advocate) that by requesting that his audience “look into her story,” he knew there was more information to be found… perhaps that she was a fraud on this level as well.

    If I had to sum up my bottom-line, it would be this: A weaker than expected -and needed- from FNC management, predictable attacks from those who attack Beck and FNC regardless of the situation, and a murky bit of pseudo-journalistic responsibility. In other words, it’s not so black and white as it appears to be.

  8. Re: Fox & Friends: Up until a couple years ago the format included a clear line separating its “hard” news segments from its talk show portions. The line is still there but has been blurred recently. It’s a legitimate criticism of the show.

  9. bushleaguer Says:

    bigred – If you read what I said, you would know that I wasn’t making excuses or anything of the sort for ACORN (” it shouldn’t take away from the ACORN scandal”).

    That aside, it was just another case of jumping the gun without doing independent research. What’s more, an apparent taped confession of first-degree murder should be taken seriously – not merely used as “here’s another example of why ACORN is bad.”

  10. BL, your comparison to the Madrassa story is still way off base.

  11. How is this any different than those that were “taken in” by the Clinton “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” hoax or the Obama “amputations for fun and profit” hoax?

  12. I would say there’s a big difference between that and Clinton’s lie. There was no way to verify it before airing it since it occurred and official presser. That’s not the same as getting a video tape and not checking its validity before airing it. I’m not aware of the Obama one so I can’t voice an opinion there.

  13. This topic has gotten convoluted. FNC shouldn’t be airing ANY video of a possible murder confession without investigating it first. And “it’s not a news show” is a ridiculous statement about a network with the word “News” in the title. If it’s presenting video in a news-type environment, i.e. not Caught On Tape or Red Eye, it can’t just throw things at the screen as if there’s no journalism required.

  14. Come on Joe… don’t make sense, it make me uncomfortable to agree with you.

  15. I don’t know that FNC shouldn’t have aired it at all because, in a sense, it shows this particular ACORN employee, at least, didn’t fall for the ruse and so nothing in this footage clearly shows them doing what the other videos clearly caught them on.

    Doesn’t excuse the fact, however, that some clear disclaimers about unsubstantiated confessions should have been included and joe’s entirely correct about his “it’s not a news show” point.

  16. bushleaguer Says:

    bigred – How so?

    My point is this – in both cases there was a lack of independent research. The two episodes don’t mirror each other, of course. But Fox should have done their own research into the “Madrassa” story and they should have turned that particular ACORN tape over to the police to verify the authenticity of that woman’s story before airing it. I saw that tape on both Beck’s show and Hannity’s show and they never said – “By the way we turned this tape over to the cops to check into this woman’s story about killing her husband.”
    In both cases, without doing their own homework, they presented a story that wasn’t true.

  17. […] is about as evasive and unconvincing as Joel Cheatwood’s unconvincing defense of Glenn Beck and FNC getting had by an ACORN employee saying she killed her husband. Not only does […]

  18. THANK GOODNESS FOR FOX NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..

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