Video: Fox’s “Four years of hope and change”; Update: “Not authorized at the senior executive level of the network”

posted at 1:21 pm on May 30, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I don’t disagree with much, if anything, in this video presented earlier today on Fox & Friends.  Neither, I suspect, will many of our readers.  But does this make anyone uncomfortable at all in regard to its source?  Via Greg Hengler, here is a four-minute Fox News retrospective on Hope and Change:

Note that F&F isn’t just playing a campaign ad or a YouTube spot from an outside political action committee.  Nor does this come from the production company of one of its opinion-program hosts.  The video starts with “Fox and Friends Presents” on the screen, making this an explicit argument from the news channel itself.

Should a news organization produce and publish attack ads like this?  I know the initial response will be that other news organizations offer biased perspectives and hagiographies of Obama that go well beyond a single video … and that response is entirely valid.  However, we usually criticize that kind of behavior with other news organizations, too.  If anyone wanted to look for evidence that the overall Fox News organization intends to campaign against Obama rather than cover the campaign, this video would be difficult to refute as evidence for that claim.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that outside groups and the Romney campaign shouldn’t consider producing something like this on their own.  It makes a pretty powerful argument against another four years of Barack Obama, but that shouldn’t be the job of news-reporting organizations, even when we like the message.

Update: Looks like Fox News pulled the video. I’ll see if they repost it.

Update II: I posted the YouTube of it instead.

Update III, 4:25 PM: I had to put this post aside for a while to work on other stories and my show, but a couple of people tweeted me that Fox Nation still had the video up.  The main page has it as its headline post, but when you click on the link, it’s dead.  Furthermore, the embed video died about 10 minutes after I wrote this post, and I searched the Fox News video site for another 10-15 minutes and could not find it at all there.

Update IV: Twitter follower Jon Eisenberg found a live link at Fox for the video, so I’ll repost it in this update:


One last point: Several people in the comments argue that F&F is an opinion show, and that this is therefore fair game. That would certainly be true if they wanted to play ads run by other organizations as part of their commentary. My point is that this ad was produced by Fox News itself, and it’s clearly intended to campaign against Obama. That’s the problem with this video, and I think it was ill-advised by Fox to have produced and published it. If CBS News produced a four-minute video extolling all of Obama’s accomplishments, or a four-minute video with this dramatic music and animation ripping Romney for his years in Massachusetts and at Bain Capital, we’d be screaming our heads off, and rightly so.

Update V: TV Newser got a statement from Fox VP Bill Shine that hints at some disciplinary action:

“The package that aired on FOX & Friends was created by an associate producer and was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network. This has been addressed with the show’s producers.”

We’ll see; so far, it’s still up on the network’s website.


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If CBS News produced a four-minute video extolling all of Obama’s accomplishments,

I think they call that The Early Show with Charlie Rose and Gayle King.

OxyCon on May 30, 2012 at 9:36 PM

It’s too bad that this came from a producer at Fox News instead of from the Romney campaign. Romney’s folks need to come out with stuff like this every week.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on May 30, 2012 at 10:54 PM

I’m proposing that news organizations shouldn’t be campaigning at all, at least if they want to be considered news organizations. Let Mitt Romney and the super-PACs campaign. That’s what they’re supposed to do.
Ed Morrissey on May 30, 2012 at 5:12 PM

So speaks Queen Squishy. Notice he only mentions our side of the campaign?

peacenprosperity on May 30, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Disappointed that you use your influence to pushing the narrative that they shouldn’t have made and aired that factual video, Ed. Your influence and your voice matter, this was not helpful.

Minorcan Maven on May 30, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Right on que, Ed Shultz was quoting Ed on his show tonight on MSNBC to justify the lefts agenda. Good job Morrissey.

Vigilante on May 30, 2012 at 11:40 PM

So speaks Queen Squishy. Notice he only mentions our side of the campaign?
peacenprosperity on May 30, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Or maybe to him it isn’t “our” side.

peacenprosperity on May 30, 2012 at 11:49 PM

peacenprosperity on May 30, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Vigilante on May 30, 2012 at 11:40 PM

What else can be expected of an establishment-supporting authoritarian? The veil was dropped long ago. I don’t see how anyone familiar with our nation’s founding could even make this argument.

Dante on May 30, 2012 at 11:56 PM

establishment-supporting authoritarian, self promoting, squishy

Helped ya out there.

peacenprosperity on May 30, 2012 at 11:58 PM

Before ed came on board there were intense, very entertaining debates on Hot Air evey night between actual conservatives who had different opinions. Now every post is dominated by liberal trolls that cause the diologue to devolve into shear stupidity. I only come around now and again and don’t see any of the people who used to be around here. ed and his squishy minions and thier liberal troll allies have chased many good people away.

peacenprosperity on May 31, 2012 at 12:03 AM

I also think the situation ed created was involved in Michelle’s decision to sell and move on.

peacenprosperity on May 31, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Why all the upset at a Fox News retrospective? Fox didn’t air ths video in a vacuum. Steve or whomever prefaced the showing by stating that Obama is going to reuse his old mantra of hope and change. Then e informed us that that were goingo look at something to help us see how Hope ad Change worked out.

Why are the media not permitted to examine the gap between Obama’s promises and the reality we have to live with? IMO, TH’s video represents the media do g it’s job to inform and analyze.

Wherein has Fox done wrong!

SilentWatcher on May 31, 2012 at 2:23 AM

I don’t think that any news organization should pretend to be unbiased. It’s dishonest. Everybody’s biased.

Should news organizations be thorough and tell the whole story? Yes. Should they be fair? Yes. Honest? Yes. Professional? Yes.

Neutral? No.

Be upfront with your bias and let the chips fall where they may.

RightKlik on May 31, 2012 at 2:55 AM

The video is just a retrospective and not a campaign ad. Bama says he’s gonna reuse the slogan Hope and Change. Well, said the Fox crew, let’s see what hope and change brought us the first time around. To accuse the Fox crew of campaigning is to miss the context and to disregard their duty to report facts. So it’s a video with music, who cares? I’m not going to get my knickers in a wad and cry foul.

SilentWatcher on May 31, 2012 at 6:11 AM

Unfair? Gosh, it’s not like they tried to scare folks by showing a video of a little girl picking petals off a daisy implying the world will end if a conservative got elected.

It’s hard to scare folks these days when America’s enemies become our flexibile friends, or those we must bow to.

Don L on May 31, 2012 at 7:31 AM

What’s the difference between this and, say, an expose’ on how Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden say they are following the teachings of Catholicism, but yet they support abortion? Or a retrospective digging into the JonBenet Ramsey case? Or the Dan Rather “fake but accurate” documents?

How is this a campaign ad? Because it aired during an election year? If that’s the case, then I guess we can look forward to not seeing Obama or Romney on the news at all, correct?

Mitoch55 on May 31, 2012 at 7:41 AM

HOTAIR has become Bill O’Reilly, how sad. I found nothing on AG Holders comments made to black preachers regarding the perils of voter ID legislation but we have plenty of criticism for a private company telling the truth. The spin tightens as the spiral of political correctness leads HOTAIR into the ground.

All Hail the Messiah

dmann on May 31, 2012 at 8:44 AM

I am very disappointed at Ed Morrissey for allowing himself to become the left’s justification for anger at Fox and Friends. Every single “news” article whining about the video seems to have a nice quote from Mr. Morrissey backing them up.

Hot Air should never be put in a position to used like that by unscrupulous liberals. It degrades this website.

alecj on May 31, 2012 at 9:19 AM

I am very disappointed at Ed Morrissey for allowing himself to become the left’s justification for anger at Fox and Friends. Every single “news” article whining about the video seems to have a nice quote from Mr. Morrissey backing them up.

Hot Air should never be put in a position to used like that by unscrupulous liberals. It degrades this website.

alecj on May 31, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Consider that Ed’s stances are closer to the big government of liberalism than he is to Ron Paul’s limited government, free market stances.

Dante on May 31, 2012 at 10:39 AM

No matter what others say or do, it didn’t seem appropriate to me for F&F to produce and run this piece. I expected better, even though I agreed with all of it. It really did seem like a campaign commercial. One slightly mitigating factor, FNS is strictly on cable; no over-the-air broadcast. Thus, it does not use the public airwaves and is not subject to the same limitations as broadcast networks.

If a producer got fired, she/he might be able to hook on with the Romney campaign.

JayDick on May 31, 2012 at 11:00 AM

No matter what others say or do, it didn’t seem appropriate to me for F&F to produce and run this piece. I expected better, even though I agreed with all of it. It really did seem like a campaign commercial. One slightly mitigating factor, FNS is strictly on cable; no over-the-air broadcast. Thus, it does not use the public airwaves and is not subject to the same limitations as broadcast networks.

If a producer got fired, she/he might be able to hook on with the Romney campaign.

JayDick on May 31, 2012 at 11:00 AM

The airwaves are not public, no matter the power grab and lie the government tells you.

Dante on May 31, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Sorry; but it seems Fair & Balanced went off the reservation with one video and so they are no longer F & B ? Wait til Geraldo, Williams or Burping Beckel show up and then answer the question. Or is Professionalism your issue ? If they did more of this and with it spoke facts about what is going at the WH, they would see their ratings [you know what makes a profit for them] sky rocket.

democratsarefools on May 31, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Lots of good posts that recognize the changes in content of Hot Air, since Ed has become chief, and not for the better.
Someone referred to Ed as, “squishy.” Good call! References to number of trolls who populate the comments is also true. And finally, the accumulated liberal BS has driven many longtime readers to look elsewhere more often.

tomshup on May 31, 2012 at 12:29 PM

It is a perfectly legitimate news commentary. They start out listing the substance of Hope and Change as far as Obama ever articulated it: reduce the deficit, create jobs, bashing Bush for high oil prices

(Really: http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/02/video-flashback-obama-and-dems-blast-bush-for-gas-prices-in-2008/ ),

then they show what Obama really did on these things, all documented with actual documentary video. How is that not legitimate news commentary? At the end they compose the litany of bad news to create a symphonic effect, but that seems legitimate as well. It’s not as if there is some great news on the other side that they are dishonestly leaving out.

Most importantly, all of this is factually honest. Contrast with the relentlessly dishonest Obama boosterism on all the other networks. Honest reporting of the facts is the key to actual news reporting, making this a far more legitimate news report than anything from any of the other networks.

Alec on May 31, 2012 at 12:51 PM

So what’s wrong with showing the facts?

CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, etc., put together favorable “facts” about Obama or unfavorable “facts” about Romney like this and call it the “evening news” so I don’t see much of a difference.

And I don’t know about anyone else here but I’m getting kinda sick of Fox due to all the insufferable lefist pigs I have to suffer through if I want to watch it–Juan Williams, Alan Colmes, Bill Beckel, Tamara Holder, etc, etc–because Fox goes overboard touting its “fair and balanced” meme. If I want to see that much of these libturds I can just switch to MSNBC or CNN, though I don’t. And I won’t even mention the rotation FOX shows have of the same old tired “righties” they cycle through over and over and over again who I don’t care to listen to either, so I find myself staying away from FOX more and more these days rather than watching it.

stukinIL4now on May 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM

The MSM pimps for the Democrats 24×7 and we have people wringing their hands over a factual report like this? Obama’s own words damn him. We are in a war for our future folks, I will take any help we can get. It isn’t as if the libs will stop calling Fox Faux News for *not* showing this. Quit allowing them to define the terms.

echosyst on June 1, 2012 at 1:21 AM

While the video does have the feel of being put together to attack Obama, there is nothing objectively wrong with the facts presented. In light of the things that the Left has put up on all of the other networks, all is fair in love and war. And this is war.

Othniel on June 22, 2012 at 2:32 AM

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