Although it repeatedly promoted the undercover ACORN videos made by conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe, on January 27, Fox & Friends devoted just one brief segment to his recent arrest. By contrast, Fox & Friends repeatedly discussed a blindfolded half-court basketball shot, including a live interview with the coach who made the shot.
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Fox & Friends briefly covered O'Keefe's arrest only one time
Fox & Friends only once reported on O'Keefe's arrest, for a total of 27 seconds. Despite having spent considerable time covering his efforts to incriminate ACORN, including hosting him on its show, Fox News' Fox & Friends mentioned O'Keefe's recent arrest only once, in its "Headlines" segment at 6:11 a.m.:
GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): The filmmaker who posed as a pimp and recorded undercover videos of controversial practices at ACORN offices across the country, now under arrest himself. James O'Keefe and three others are charged with trying to tamper with the phones at the office of Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu in New Orleans. O'Keefe's lawyer says, quote, "We don't have any of the facts yet, but James O'Keefe, at heart, is a really good kid." The four men face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
But Fox & Friends found time to repeatedly cover half-court basket at Kansas high school
Fox & Friends mentioned half-court basket six times. In segments or teasers, Fox & Friends mentioned a Kansas high school basketball coach making a blindfolded half-court shot six times, repeatedly airing video of the shot. Stating "we'll show you what tops" the original shot, Fox & Friends also covered a local reporter who also made a half-court shot while reporting on the story.
Fox & Friends' coverage included a full-segment interview with the coach. Toward the end of the show, Fox & Friends conducted an interview with the coach that lasted the entire segment, in which he unsuccessfully attempted to duplicate the shot.
Previously, Fox & Friends promoted O'Keefe's attempt to discredit ACORN
O'Keefe on Fox & Friends: ACORN "expressed no hesitation" helping me "skirt the law." O'Keefe was a guest on the September 14 edition of Fox & Friends, in which he appeared to promote his newest video, taken at a New York City ACORN office in full costume. After co-host Brian Kilmeade assured the audience that he was not really a pimp and that he was just "playing one on our show," O'Keefe agreed, claiming, "I'm one of the whitest guys ever." Co-host Steve Doocy asked, "You went into these offices and you asked for help essentially skirting the law, and they were awfully helpful in helping you do just that, right?" O'Keefe replied, "They expressed no hesitation. ... They came up with new scenarios to skirt the law that I never thought of."
Fox & Friends also hosted O'Keefe on the After the Show Show. Fox & Friends also hosted O'Keefe on the September 14 After the Show Show, during which Doocy introduced O'Keefe by saying, "I'm sure you've been seeing some of the videos from BigGovernment.com and also that we've been running here on Fox News showing these ACORN employees." After Carlson asked him about how his life has changed "now [that] this is like an international, at least a national story," O'Keefe called his efforts "the future of investigative journalism, and it's the future of political activism."
Carlson falsely claimed O'Keefe's ACORN videos exposed "illegal activity." On the December 18 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson -- discussing the Justice Department's appeal of a federal court decision that lifted a ban on federal funding to ACORN -- falsely claimed that O'Keefe's videos showed "illegal activity" by ACORN. In fact, an independent investigation of the videos found that "[t]here is no evidence that action, illegal or otherwise, was taken by any ACORN employee on behalf of the videographers"; moreover, DOJ's appeal does not allege that ACORN employees shown in the videos engaged in any "illegal activity."
Fox & Friends on CRS report clearing ACORN: "So crazy," "flies in the face of of everything we've seen with our own eyes." On the December 23 edition of Fox & Friends, guest host Alisyn Camerota said that the Congressional Research Service report -- in which CRS stated that it "did not identify instances in which ACORN violated the terms of federal funding in the last five years" -- "flies in the face of everything that we've seen with our own eyes about ACORN, which is when a documentarian posing as a pimp and a prostitute go in that ACORN workers will help them figure out how to set up a brothel for underage girls."