Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Quote of the Day

"When Mr. Ricks ignored the anchor's question, it became clear that his goal was to bring attention to himself -- and his book. He apologized in our offices afterward but doesn't have the strength of character to do that publicly."

-- Fox News Executive Vice President Michael Clemente on the network's decision to abruptly end an interview yesterday with Pulitzer Prize-winning defense reporter and author Thomas Ricks

I've got to give it to whoever in the media relations department wrote this response and handed it off to Clemente: Never before has the entire Fox News philosophy been so flawlessly distilled down to two short sentences.

First of all, there's the snide, petty insult directed at the source of a perceived attack. People like David Carr of the Times and I have practically made a cottage industry out of documenting the myriad ways that Fox News has brought the knives out publicly against anyone who dares to challenge it.

Then, of course, there's the real headline here: the fact that Clemente may very well be lying. Ricks is already responding to this comment and he says he offered no such apology to anyone, nor would he. Given Fox's long, impressive history of making things up out of whole cloth, I'm inclined to believe Ricks over an FNC news executive who doubles as a passive-aggressive part-time PR flack.

But it doesn't matter in the end because Clemente doesn't expect anyone outside the conservative media bubble to believe him. He's doing minor damage control that probably wasn't really necessary anyway, given that Fox's audience doesn't care about a thing Tom Ricks has to say now that he's proven himself to be the enemy. The minute he crossed the line and dared to say something negative about Fox News is the same minute he lost all credibility with the network's viewers. Nobody not a Fox News regular believes a word coming out of Clemente's mouth. Everybody already a devoted Fox Fan didn't need the reassurance that Ricks isn't to be trusted.


CNNfan said...

Chez said, "I think I might be moving
toward taking a vote among regular
readers -- maybe here, on F•cebook and
Tw•tter -- as to whether I should
continue publishing your comments. I'm
not sure whether your insanity adds to
this site or detracts from it."

Bingo! Deusexmalcontent criticizes FOX News
for a sudden shut down of an interview with
a guest... While it does essentially the same
thing to one of its guests.

Chez said...

Not quite, Tom. I've given you free rein to present whatever thoroughly crazy thought enters your head for years. I'm getting tired of it. While the numbers have held steady here, the comments have admittedly dropped off in the past couple of years -- and God knows I'm not as prolific as I used to be -- but I genuinely don't think you add a thing to the conversation. Ever. You just ramble.

Anonymous said...

I worked with Clemente at ABC News he was a weasely guy then. Never the smartest guy in the room this guy was always sizzle, no substance.

Now at Fox he is the Executive Vice President Weasel of News. He sold his soul long ago, no doubt in my mind that he is lying and or just spewing whatever the fox PR team gave him to read.

Chez said...

It's unfortunate that I can count the truly brilliant news executives I worked with during a 20 year career on one hand.

Kyle said...

I've never worked in TV, so it's entirely possible I'm missing something here, but if Ricks was in the offices to offer his alleged apology, why wasn't he in the studio for the interview? Why the need for a remote? Mr. Clemente wouldn't lie about something so obvious, would he?

CNNfan said...

Chez said,
"While the numbers have held steady here,
the comments have admittedly dropped off
in the past couple of years -- and God knows
I'm not as prolific as I used to be"

Fans sense you may not have not been as prolific
as you used to be. Rambling may be all a fan may
do to keep the numbers steady in the past couple
of years, until you start producing new works.

The point I was trying to add to the conversation was
that FOX News is keeping the news profession noble
by creating jobs for former on-air talents from other
news networks. For making that contribution,
FOX News may inherit the fan bases of the former
on-air talents that they hire. And their sponsors may
convert the support of those fans to customers.

howdidIgethere said...

Chez doesn't present this blog as news. Or even "fair and balanced". It's his space and he has the right to delete comments if he sees fit.

This is not a first amendment case.