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A few questions and

A few questions and points about Carl Cameron's Kerry-bashing fabrications on Fox, or A Guide for the Perplexed (media reporters) ...

1. How long did the fabricated quotes run on the Fox News website?

2. Fox News says Cameron has been 'reprimanded.' How? Are there any consequences? What happened to him? How was he reprimanded? Fox spokesman Paul Schur, who first spoke to TPM yesterday afternoon, told The Daily News "We're simply moving on from this, we have no further comment." And that doesn't inspire a lot of confidence that the 'reprimand' is anything more than a 'Carl, Don't post any more fabricated quotes on the website.' Meanwhile, Schur declined to tell the LA Times what if any discipline Cameron faced.

3. Just for the sake of discussion, can there be any question that Carl Cameron has contempt and disdain for John Kerry -- contempt and disdain that he has great difficulty keeping a lid on?

4. Shouldn't Cameron be taken off the Kerry campaign beat? Assume for the moment that Cameron's fabricated story wasn't supposed to run on the site. If Cameron sits around writing up phony news stories only for Fox News colleagues which portray Kerry as a swishy fool, can he really credibly cover the campaign as a straight news reporter? The answer is obvious, I think. Of course, he can't.

5. Fox says Cameron made an "error" because of "fatigue and bad judgment." What was the error? Making up the fabricated quotes? Sending a Kerry-bashing parody around to colleagues at Fox News? Posting it on the website as a news story?

6. Did Cameron post the material to the site himself, not realizing there was a problem? Or did a tech person or editor at the website get a hold of Cameron's fabrications and post it not realizing it was a fabrication?

7. How tired is Carl Cameron and will Fox News be requiring him to get more sleep?

8. Why did comments very similar to Cameron's fabrications come up again and again from Fox commentators on debate night?

9. If CNN's John King posted a story on the CNN website with fabricated quotes that had the president joking about funneling money to Halliburton or telling a crowd how only saps went to Vietnam, what would the fall-out or consequences be?

I will spare you

I will spare you any pretense of mock surprise that Fox News is ridiculously biased against the Kerry campaign. But it's one thing to know it and another to get such a blazing and undeniable example of it as a story with fabricated Kerry-bashing quotes put together by the Fox News reporter covering the Kerry campaign.

(Carl Cameron, the reporter in question, according to Fox spokesman Paul Schur, is Fox's 'chief political correspondent'.)

But it brings up a point raised in an article by Howie Kurtz a few days back.

On Monday Kurtz discussed a study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs that showed that Fox News coverage of Kerry was overwhelmingly negative.

Kurtz got these quotes from Cameron's boss Brit Hume ...

Brit Hume, Fox's Washington managing editor, whose "Special Report" was examined by the study, says he's surprised by the anti-Kerry findings. "Our day-in, day-out coverage by Carl Cameron has been extremely fair to Kerry, and the Kerry campaign has recognized this," he says.

"We did a lot on the Swift Boat Veterans. We thought it was a totally legitimate story and found it an appalling lapse by many of our competitive news organizations that were treating that story like it was cancerous." But even there, Hume says, "we were abundantly fair to John Kerry's side."

"Extremely fair" to Kerry? "Abundantly fair" about the Swift Boat stuff?

The same reporter who made up these 'Kerry quotes'?

"Women should like me! I do manicures."

"Didn't my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!"

"I'm metrosexual — [Bush's] a cowboy."

Kurtz could do us all a favor and get Hume on the horn to see if he's still willing to call Cameron "extremely fair to Kerry."

Fox News has now

Fox News has now posted a retraction and apology for the piece with the fabricated Kerry quotes ...

Earlier Friday, FOXNews.com posted an item purporting to contain quotations from Kerry. The item was based on a reporter’s partial script that had been written in jest and should not have been posted or broadcast. We regret the error, which occurred because of fatigue and bad judgment, not malice.

The only retraction doesn't name the reporter in question, Carl Cameron, which was noted in the statement Fox News gave TPM this afternoon.

Okay some more details

Okay some more details on that bogus Kerry story that ran this morning on the Fox News website. As we noted earlier, this morning the front page of the Fox website ran a story with a series of phony Kerry quotes (see post below). After questions were asked the offending material was quickly pulled from the site, without explanation.

So what happened?

Late this afternoon I spoke to Fox spokesman Paul Schur who told me the following ...

“Carl [Cameron] made a stupid mistake which he regrets. And he has been reprimanded for his lapse in judgment. It was a poor attempt at humor.”

So the Fox reporter covering the Kerry campaign puts together this Kerry-bashing parody right out of the RNC playbook with phony quotes intended to peg him as girlish fool and somehow it found its way on the Fox website as a news item.

Imagine that.

More to follow ...

Follow-up to the previous

Follow-up to the previous two posts ...

I just placed a call to Fox News in Washington, DC to see if they had any explanation for the fabricated Kerry story they were running this morning on their website.

We're waiting to hear back. We'll update when he hear their explanation.

Howie, are you gonna be following up on this?

Caught red-handedThis morning on

Caught red-handed?

This morning on the Fox News website, Fox was running a post-debate story about Kerry with several apparently fabricated quotes meant to disparage the Democratic candidate.

(See the previous post for details.)

Some examples ...

"Women should like me! I do manicures"

About himself and the president: "I'm metrosexual — he's a cowboy."

Now Fox has pulled the article from the front page without explanation. And on the article itself the passages I quoted in the post below have all been removed -- again, without explanation.

[ed. note: I saved a copy of the offending article in its original form. Normally, I'd upload it to the site in .pdf format. But I'm away from my office and without my .pdf making software. I have a copy of it saved in Microsoft's .mht format. So I'll work on getting a copy online.]

So what's the deal here? Where did the fabricated piece come from? Who made up the quotes? How long did it run? Why did it get taken down? What happened?

Is Fox News literally

Is Fox News literally making stuff up out of whole <$NoAd$>cloth about John Kerry?

I don't expect much from this Republican operation. But this does seem to break new ground.

If you go to the front page of the Fox News site, there's a link right there up front to "Trail Tales: What's that Face".

Link through and you find this ...

Rallying supporters in Tampa Friday, Kerry played up his performance in Thursday night's debate, in which many observers agreed the Massachusetts senator outperformed the president.

"Didn't my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!" Kerry said Friday.

With the foreign-policy debate in the history books, Kerry hopes to keep the pressure on and the sense of traction going.

Aides say he will step up attacks on the president in the next few days, and pivot somewhat to the domestic agenda, with a focus on women and abortion rights.

"It's about the Supreme Court. Women should like me! I do manicures," Kerry said.

Kerry still trails in actual horse-race polls, but aides say his performance was strong enough to rally his base and further appeal to voters ready for a change.

"I'm metrosexual — he's a cowboy," the Democratic candidate said of himself and his opponent.

A "metrosexual" is defined as an urbane male with a strong aesthetic sense who spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle.

Did Kerry really say that stuff? Stuff that sounds like classic winger parody? I looked around on google and no other reporters seem to have gotten those choice quotes from Senator Kerry. A source on the Kerry campaign told me Kerry certainly didn't say anything remotely like that.

So what's the story from Fox? Are these quotes real? Made up? Unidentified parody? Straight-up fabrications?

So much indecision in

So much indecision in the world ...

Last night the Miami Herald and a local TV station put together a panel of eight undecided voters to judge the debate. And as you can see from the lede of the piece in the Herald, one of them wasn't too impressed.

After the debate undecided voter Ted Lyons said Kerry sounded like "an idiot" in his response to several questions.

Then you look down into the article and see that Ted Lyons is a Republican political consultant. (Here he is hanging out with fellow members of the North Dade Republican Club.)

Maybe I've just gotten too cynical and jaded. But was Ted Lyons really undecided?

What the hell was the Herald thinking?

In Samarra the Iraqi

"In Samarra, the Iraqi government has tackled the insurgents who once controlled the city."

Iyad Allawi Address to Congress September 23rd, 2004

"U.S. and Iraqi forces launched a major assault Friday to regain control of the insurgent stronghold of Samarra, trading gunfire with rebel fighters as they pushed toward the city center."

Associated Press October 1st, 2004

You really can't believe a word these guys say.

Remember too that Allawi had a representative of the Bush campaign working on his speech.