On The Big Story, John Gibson criticized The New York Times and its former editor Howell Raines, whose new book Gibson takes aim at during the "My Word" segment of the show. Gibson goes on to say, "There are tons of differences between Fox and The New York Times, starting with, we don't make this stuff up, and they have."
On the June 22 edition of Fox News' The Big Story, host John Gibson criticized The New York Times and its former executive editor Howell Raines because "they make up" news, such as "grave threats to the environment," or that "America is the worst citizen in the world, or, worse, they reveal secrets to terrorists." Gibson went on to say, "There are tons of differences between Fox and The New York Times, starting with, we don't make this stuff up, and they have."
Gibson was discussing Raines' new book, The One That Got Away: A Memoir (Scribner, May 2006), which touches on Raines's career at the Times and his resignation from the paper in 2004 after it was revealed that reporter Jayson Blair had fabricated elements of his stories and committed plagiarism. Gibson quoted Raines as writing in his book: "The key to understanding Fox News is to grasp the anomalous fact that its customers know its 'news' is made up." During the segment, an onscreen text read: "Raines and the Times types thinks people are stupid."
From the June 22 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson:
GIBSON: You remember the bad old days at The New York Times, when the paper of record was caught making up news stories, in the form of lying reporter Jayson Blair? That wasn't so long ago. In fact, that particular imbroglio led to the resignation of Blair's editor and protector, Howell Raines.
Now Raines is a book writer, and in the second book he's written since being unemployed, he takes some shots at Fox News. For instance, Raines says: "Fox, by its mere existence, undercuts the argument that the public is starved for fair news, and not just because Fox shills for the Republican Party and panders to the latest of America's periodic religious manias." Like Christianity?
Let me see. Is there an episode in the 10-year history of Fox News that rivals the Jayson Blair fiasco? Have we had to print a many-thousand-word retraction and self-introspection, after being caught faking front-page news? No, we have not.
We also didn't fire a reporter because her colleagues couldn't stand what she was writing, after we promised to stand by her while she sat in a jail resisting a subpoena. That would be Judith Miller, whose offense was to accept the possibility, as all the world did, except The New York Times, that Saddam Hussein did have WMD. They fired her at the Times for that. By the way, the latest news proves that she was right, and Raines and the rest of the Times Bush-haters are generally wrong.
But Raines goes on: "The key to understanding Fox News is to grasp the anomalous fact that its consumers know its 'news' is made up. It matters not when critics point out -- point this out to Foxite consumers, because they have understood it from the outset. That's why they're there."
Or, put another way, Raines and the Times types think you're stupid. You want made-up news. They know this, because you don't want the Times' made-up news, in which they make up grave threats to the environment if someone drills for oil, or they make up, another day, America is the worst citizen in the world, or, worse, they reveal secrets to terrorists on how we are tracking terrorists to kill them or jail them.
There are tons of differences between Fox and The New York Times, starting with, we don't make this stuff up, and they have. They have a record of doing just that. There's also the untidy matter that the record also shows they, Raines in particular, have been caught. Raines was even fired for his part in fiction parading as news at the Times. That's "My Word."
When Gibson mentioned the "latest news" in the context of his discussion of Miller, he was apparently referring to the disclosure, announced by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), of the existence of hundreds of chemical munitions in Iraq, which Santorum and Hoekstra claimed proved the existence of weapons of mass destruction, the key argument in the Bush administration's case for invading Iraq. As Media Matters noted, during nearly every Fox News program from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET on June 21, Fox News hosts and guests, including Gibson, touted the disclosure, which intelligence officials say does not support the administration's claim leading up to the war that Iraq possessed WMDs.