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Fox News Splices Biden Again in Second Videogate

March 17, 2009

Around the blogosphere, readers were shocked - shocked! - to learn that Fox News had deceptively edited a six-month old video to create the false impression that Vice President Joe Biden believes "the fundamentals of the economy are strong." But while Fox is guilty of ham-handed splicing, it's worth noting that the network is a repeat offender. As it turns out, back in 2005 Bill O'Reilly tortured another Biden clip about U.S. policy at Guantanamo Bay.
As Media Matters and ThinkProgress among others detailed, Fox News on Monday scolded Biden for having said "the fundamentals of the economy are strong" after "John McCain got lambasted" for it during the campaign. Of course, Biden was the victim of a double-deception. Fox's Martha MacCallum not only lied about the September 15, 2008 Biden statement being from "this weekend," but showed only one clause from a speech in which he blasted McCain's "strong fundamentals" position:

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that's why John McCain could say with a straight face as recently as this morning and this is a quote, "the fundamentals of the economy are strong." That's what John said. He says that "We've made great progress economically in the Bush years."

As it turns out, this is the second time in three years that Fox video surgeons committed malpractice with video of Joe Biden.

As I described in "Bill O'Reilly's Videogate," then radio host Al Franken reported that Bill O'Reilly had butchered tape of a June 5, 2005 appearance by Biden on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous. In that interview, Biden discussed legislation he had proposed to calling for an independent investigation of Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and the entire U.S. network of detention camps. Biden continued that while he personally believed the U.S. ultimately should close Gitmo, he felt that the President needed an independent investigation to drive a consensus conclusion.
But that exchange is not what O'Reilly's viewers saw on June 7th in a segment called "The Truth About Guantanamo Bay." The Factor spliced Biden's comments, leaving out all mention of the legislation and his call for independent investigation. O'Reilly then not only savaged Biden for joining "the abuse chorus." He went on to claim as his own the very idea that "the Bush administration should set up an independent commission to investigate American detainee policy across the board."
For a graphic comparing Biden's comments before and after Fox News butchered them, along with O'Reilly's statement, visit here.
UPDATE: In what may have been a first for the network, Fox's Martha MacCullum apologized Tuesday for the Biden splicing episode.

One comment on “Fox News Splices Biden Again in Second Videogate”

  1. This reminds me of Drudge's editing technique, in which what appears right of the ellipsis comes from earlier than what appears left of the ellipsis. Ailes and crew ought to get the technique down.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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