On this week's edition of Fox News' media criticism program Fox News Watch, host Jon Scott concluded the show by defending his network against criticism of its coverage of the Shirley Sherrod scandal.
While last week, the show strove to deflect criticism of the Fox News' coverage of the Sherrod saga by claiming that CNN had covered the story "the most number of times," Fox News Watch took a different tack this week. Scott aired two clips of Fox News hosts rebutting Former Governor Howard Dean's claims that Fox helped rev up the scandal by airing the heavily edited video of Sherrod. In the clips, Fox hosts Bret Baier and Chris Wallace suggest that Fox News did not cover the Sherrod story until after the Obama administration had asked her to resign. Scott referred to these rebuttals as "delivering the facts on how this network handled the Shirley Sherrod story." But in reality, Wallace, Baier, and Scott left out some very key "facts."
Fox News Watch joined other Fox hosts in ignoring the promotion of the Sherrod video on FoxNews.com and Fox Nation, both of which carried the clip before Sherrod was asked to resign. What is particularly astonishing about the report by Fox's media criticism show is the fact that it also ignored the admission of Fox News' Senior Vice President of News that the story had been published on the network's websites before Sherrod's resignation due to "a breakdown in the system."
This would be a surprising omission were it not for Fox News Watch's history of silence on controversies surrounding its network. Whether ignoring the outrage following contributor and Fox Business host John Stossel's call to repeal the Public Accommodation section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, or turning a blind eye to scandals involving Fox's two most popular primetime personalities, it's clear that Fox News Watch has an established pattern of defending Fox News by aiming its media criticism elsewhere.