Fox News stoops to digital graffiti

While complaining about a hit piece, the controversial network manipulates the images of New York Times journalists.

Published July 3, 2008 6:16PM (EDT)

It's pretty common for children to take pictures of people they don't like and manipulate them, perhaps with crayons. They'll black-out a tooth, draw a mustache, add glasses, draw earrings, etc.

What's breathtaking, however, is when a major news outlet acts the exact same way, only instead of children with crayons, we have Fox News using Photoshop. If you haven't seen this video, by way of Media Matters, be sure to take a look.

You'll notice in the clip that the hosts of Fox News' "Fox & Friends," Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, are complaining about an alleged "hit piece" on the Republican network, published in the New York Times by Jacques Steinberg and Steven Reddicliffe. They showed pictures of both Times journalists.

However, Fox News digitally altered the images of both, yellowing teeth, exaggerating noses, darkening eyes and eliminating hair. (Take a minute to go to Media Matters' piece on this, so you can see the actual pictures of the Times' journalists and what Fox News did to manipulate them.)

According to a report in E&P, Times culture editor Sam Sifton called FNC's photo alterations "disgusting" and the criticism of the paper's reporting "a specious and meritless claim." Asked if the paper planned to respond to Fox News' actions, Sifton said the Times would not: "It is fighting with a pig, everyone gets dirty and the pig likes it."

And what does Fox News have to say about this? In a striking display of cowardice, the network hasn't responded to requests for comment, and "Fox & Friends" did not mention the incident Thursday morning.

In just the past few weeks, Fox News has been forced to apologize repeatedly for its on-air antics. I appreciate the fact that Fox News doesn’t care about or respect journalistic standards, but yet another apology is obviously in order.

By Steve Benen

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