An hour and a half into today's broadcast of Fox News' America Live, after two days of completely ignoring the story, Megyn Kelly finally got to reporting on the Office of Professional Responsibility's statement that they had completed their review of the Justice Department's handling of the New Black Panther Party case and determined that DOJ's attorneys engaged in no "professional wrongdoing." For 20 seconds.
The brief reference to the OPR statement came in the middle of a one-minute-four-second news brief which largely focused on Rep. Frank Wolf's (R-VA) demand to the DOJ for documents related to the case:
KELLY: Well, new developments today in the New Black Panther voter intimidation case. Congressman Frank Wolf now giving the Department of Justice a 30-day deadline to produce documents on why it essentially dropped major portions of that voter intimidation case. You may remember on Election Day in 2008 members of the New Black Panther Party were caught on videotape holding a nightstick and hurling racial taunts at white and black voters as they entered a polling station in Philadelphia. The Department of Justice decided internally, in connection with an internal probe, that no wrongdoing occurred, and that neither race nor politics played any role - no politics, I should say -- in the dismissal of those charges. Now, that's from the DOJ's Office of Professional Conduct, clearing essentially the lawyers in the case. Now that the DOJ 's investigation is over, Congressman Wolf is pushing Congress to get their hands on the documents. He's the chair of the subcommittee on Commerce and Justice that's been looking into this case.
So if you're following:
- Kelly held off on reporting on the OPR statement clearing DOJ attorneys of wrongdoing until there was comparable news of a GOP congressperson accusing DOJ of wrongdoing.
- Kelly didn't even bother to get the name of the internal investigating body correct, calling it the Office of Professional Conduct.
- After initially reporting correctly that the OPR found that "neither race nor politics" played any role in the DOJ's actions, Kelly walked back the findings on race.
- Kelly spent less time on the story than she spent today on the feud between the "Barefoot Contessa" and a Make-A-Wish child:
Between the release of the OPR statement and her minimal, belated report, Kelly also devoted airtime to the allegation of a "studio cover-up" regarding how much dancing Natalie Portman did in the making of the movie Black Swan, kids who got stuck in the mud, a YouTube video of two girls in a fistfight, a missing cobra, a tent collapse in Florida, an upcoming special on cannibalism in New Guinea from National Geographic Channel, and the deaths of two skydivers in a mid-air collision.
Remember, Kelly spent much of last July -- over three and a half hours in a mere two weeks -- pushing baseless claims that the Obama administration's actions in the case demonstrated that they refuse to protect white voters from black intimidators. You would think she would have some sort of responsibility to spend some significant amount of time reporting that the story fell apart.
But after all, this is Fox News.