Murder Room: The Dark Origins of Newshound Self-Deception

Revealed at last: where the gals from Outfoxed get all that "bias" they find in Fox News.

Even though the “reporting” (loosely described) by the newshounds (another fine product from the Outfoxed mafia) has long been discredited, they continue to perpetrate their frauds. In a fashion typical of fanatical ideologues, their work becomes more and more unreliable as their bias leads them to see and hear things that simply aren’t there:
At 1:03 p.m. ET today (September 24, 2004) on Dayside w/Linda Vester, after a full fledged "FOX NEWS ALERT" with all the bells and whistles, Vester said: "Fox News alert. We've just got some breaking news on the CBS document scandal." After summarizing the "CBS document scandal," Vester said, "a Texas newspaper reported today that Lockhart tried to convince Burkett to give him the memos."

What happened to the rest of the sentence?!?

VESTER: A Texas newspaper reported today that Lockhart tried to convince Burkett to give him the memos, but Bill Burkett's former attorney has just called Dayside to say that is not true.
In my opinion this segment was pretty low...If the only thing Fox's viewers remember about this segment is the incorrect information that Lockhart (instead of CBS) tried to get the documents from Burkett, they'll be happy as clams.

Fox was the first news channel to put Quintanilla on air to report that the paper had retracted the story, but the newshounds see dark motivations in reporting this--even though Fox was ahead of the curve, getting the correction on the air before the newspaper itself put its retraction out on the wire. To the anti-Fox terriers, reporting a retraction is just a clever trick to make people think the story has not been retracted! But maybe this is not so inexplicable. The doggies probably want news channels to follow the hound policy on mistakes and errata: just leave them uncorrected.

Please sir, may I have another:
At 11:58am (EDT) Carl Cameron reported from WI, with the Kerry campaign. His report included the snide comments that if Kerry isn't ready for the upcoming debates he shouldn't be running, & that Kerry is honing his attack messages.

But Cameron's "snide comment" was just reporting what the candidate himself said!

CARL CAMERON: Well, Senator Kerry's really in Wisconsin, ostensibly to prepare for the debate, but as he said just a moment ago at the River Valley Middle School, after a year and a half on the campaign trail, he's pretty much got to be ready already or he shouldn't be running for President.

And then there’s this bizarre entry:
Gregg Jarrett and a PR person, discussed the upcoming debate on Thursday on Fox News Live, 3:47 PM. A few minutes later, a representative from the Bush Campaign joined Jarrett to discuss the same subject....Jarrett read a quote about Kerry's appearance. "Mr Kerry's anvil like chin conveys power but his drooping eyes are signs of age. He must smile more."

What the curs don’t want you to know is that this quote is from Sunday’s New York Times (an article about the contrasting debate styles of the candidates). Fox only showed the article on-screen, and repeatedly identified the Times as the source! And of course, despite the use of quote marks, the anti-Fox terriers mangled the actual words:

"We don't recognize that facial structures speak volumes," said Caroline F. Keating, a professor of psychology at Colgate University who has studied status cues transmitted by facial features. Mr. Kerry's face, she said, is the greater study in contrasts. His anvil-like chin conveys power, but his droopy brows and hooded eyes send an unwelcome signal of age and lethargy. To counteract this, Professor Keating says, he must show more animation and smile more, as he has been doing lately. "Smiling brings people in close," she said.
Then they talking about verbal abilities. "Mr Bush mangles words but Kerry rambles. It's difficult for Kerry because he has advisors, reads alot and that makes it hard for him to boil his positions down." The conclusion was that Bush has the advantage.

A double misquote, partly from the Times:

Both candidates have syntactical minefields, now very familiar to voters, that they must avoid. Mr. Bush sometimes mangles the language, while Mr. Kerry has a tendency to ramble, when an audience wants punchiness.

...and partly from the guest, PR expert Peter Marijanian, for whom the newspooches appear to have little respect:
I was not able to get the name of the PR person in the segment at 3:47PM. The name was mentioned quickly but usually the guest is tagged while they speak. If this guest was tagged, I must have missed it.

Yes, you did.
At 4PM, a Bush representative appeared to discuss the debate. When the segment ended Jarrett said, "In the interest of being fair and balanced, we wanted to have a representative from the Kerry campaign to give their take on the debate but unfortunatly they could not make anyone available. We just wanted to make that known."...If they were really concerned about being fair and balanced, they could have waited before airing the one sided viewpoint.

Sure. News outlets should only report stories if a Democrat agrees to participate; anything else should be spiked. If Paul Krugman doesn’t get his column in to the Times this week, well the paper should just stop running everyone else’s column, because that’s the fair thing to do. And if your local newstand doesn’t get their shipment of The Nation on time, they should remove The Weekly Standard from their shelves.
It didn't look like there was anyone on either segment representing Kerry.

Here’s a little information on Marijanian, from his website:

He has served on the national advance staffs of the Dukakis/Bentsen '88 campaign, Clinton/Gore '92 and '96 campaigns, the Gore/Lieberman 2000 campaign, and has also assumed advance assignments for former Vice President Gore, having traveled domestically, and internationally to Denmark and Japan, in that capacity.

But for the perfect exemplar of how the newspoodles hear what they want to hear, and thus create “bias” out of their own imagination, we submit the following for your consideration:
I was taken aback by Carl Cameron's use of the term "murder room" when referring to John Kerry's debate practicing. I have never heard that phrase before and found it very negative and disturbing. Of course it was not repeated in Mike [sic] Centanni's report on Bush's practices.

CARL CAMERON: Just about every single day, Sen Kerry will spend several hours with a handful of staffers, essentially rehearsing, going through what is referred to in the business as “the murder board”. Kerry’s top aides will throw their toughest barbs at him, trying to practice him up for the attacks that they expect to get from President Bush in the debates Thursday night.

The murder board is a technique for debate preparation, nicknamed after American lawyers who drill homicide suspects for trial. Its use is described here:

Request knowledgeable colleagues to form a "Murder Board." This is a realistic dry run that simulates the forthcoming presentation. Have this practice session videotaped or at least tape-recorded. Have the "audience members" assess your delivery style, body language, choice of words, etc. Ask them to give you a frank and honest evaluation, and to ask you tough questions likely to be asked by the demanding audience you are preparing to face...

So again a “negative and disturbing” example of horrible slanting by Fox News proves to have been nothing more than a fevered fantasy of the newshounds. Will they post corrections to any of their inventions? If you believe that, you are barking up the wrong tree.

posted: Tue - September 28, 2004 at 12:06 PM       j$p  send