No, I don’t think that title is hyperbole.
Via Talking Points Memo, here’s how a Fox affiliate “informs” its viewers:
A Fox affiliate in Baltimore aired a segment on Sunday showing footage from a “Justice For All” demonstration in Washington, D.C. in which it edited a chant to sound like protestors were shouting “kill a cop.”
“At this rally in Washington, D.C. protestors chanted, ‘we won’t stop, we can’t stop, so kill a cop,'” the WBFF broadcast said.
But the full footage, flagged by Gawker on Monday via C-SPAN, revealed that the chant was “we won’t stop, we can’t stop, ’til killer cops are in cell blocks.”
On being caught lying on the air, this is how the station responded:
We aired part of a protest covered by CSPAN that appeared to have protesters chanting “kill a cop”. We spoke to the person in the video today and she told us that is not what she was chanting. Indeed, Tawanda Jones, says she was chanting, “We won’t stop ‘til killer cops are in cell blocks”. We invited Tawanda to appear on Fox45 News at 5:00 and Fox45 News at Ten tonight for an interview so we can discuss the video and the recent violence in New York City. She has kindly accepted and we will bring you that tonight.
This is, of course, a double-dip of the bullshit. You can listen to the raw and edited clips at TPM. When you do so, you’ll see that there’s nothing but a lie in the phrase “appeared to have protesters chanting “kill a cop”.”
The Fox affiliate in Baltimore edited audio to create a statement no one said, one certain to inflame anger. Most important, as the GOP-led bullshit hailstorm around “anti-cop rhetoric” begins to founder on the fact that people like DiBasio, Holder and Obama didn’t utter any, audio like this provides an answer to folks like me and many here.
We say “show us this anti-cop stuff.” Give us links that plausibly tie those of us who argue that cops have been shown to be able to use excess force with impunity to the deaths of those two officers in Brooklyn.
They say, “let’s go to the videotape.” Which they manufacture.
Fox 45 Baltimore is a local broadcast station. As such, it is subject to licensing by the FCC. Once upon a time, it might have been possible to mount at least a vaguely threatening challenge to its license renewal for sh*t like this. The Reagan Revolution, aided by the GOP Congress under a Bill Clinton who did not wield a veto pen, has made that essentially impossible, while ensuring that broadcast TV will ever-increasingly belong to our oligarchs.
The FCC’s vision of the public interest standard and how to achieve diverse programming — underwent a significant transformation in the 1980s. As new media industries arose and a new set of FCC Commissioners took office, the FCC made a major policy shift by adopting a marketplace approach to public interest goals. In essence, the FCC held that competition would adequately serve public needs, and that federally mandated obligations were both too vague to be enforced properly and too threatening of broadcasters’ First Amendment rights.(17) Many citizen groups argued that the new policy was tantamount to abandoning the public interest mandate entirely.
Pursuant to its marketplace approach, the FCC embarked upon a sweeping program of deregulation by eliminating a number of long-standing rules designed to promote program diversity, localism, and compliance with public interest standards. These rules included requirements to maintain program logs, limit advertising time, air minimum amounts of public affairs programming, and formally ascertain community needs.(18) The license renewal process — historically, the time at which a station’s public interest performance is formally evaluated — was shortened and made virtually automatic through a so-called “postcard renewal” process.(19) The FCC also abolished the Fairness Doctrine, which had long functioned as the centerpiece of the public interest standard.(20)
In 1996, Congress expanded the deregulatory approach of the 1980s with its enactment of the Telecommunications Act.(21) Among other things, the Act extended the length of broadcast licenses from five years to eight years, and instituted new license renewal procedures that made it more difficult for competitors to compete for an existing broadcast license. These changes affected the ability of citizens and would-be license applicants to critique (at license renewal time) a broadcaster’s implementation of public interest obligations. The 1996 Act also lifted limits on the number of stations that a single company could own, a rule that historically had been used to promote greater diversity in programming.
The results? Unsurprising:
The range of programming has expanded as the number of broadcasting stations and other media has proliferated over the past twenty years. Yet market forces have not necessarily generated the kinds of quality, non-commercial programming that Congress, the FCC and others envisioned.
In any event, it’s not clear to me that one false report would have cost anyone a license even in the good old days (get offa my lawn!) — but this one is egregious. It’s shouting “Fire!” in an uningnited croweded theater. It’s gasoline on the bonfire. It’ s vicious and abhorrent.
And you know the worst thing. I’m not nearly as surprised as I wish I were.
Forget it, Jake, it’s Fox.
[no pic today — recovering from minor surgery and can only concentrate in intervals — doing the pic search is a bridge too far. Sorry]