Bold New Fox News Interview Technique: Lying

By
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Fox News hosts have been hammering Janeane Garofalo and MSNBC for the comedienne’s comment (made on Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC show) that the Tea Party protests were “about hating a black man in the White House.” Fox News reporter Griff Jenkins caught up with her in Boston with a hand-held camera, and alongside local radio host Ken Pittman he engaged her in a six-minute interview outside of a Starbucks. Around two and a half minutes in, Garofalo asked Jenkins and Pittman who they were and who they “with.” Thirty seconds later, she repeated the question and Jenkins disguised his identity as a Fox News reporter.

From the full video posted on the Fox News web site—on which Jenkins is identified as a “Fox News correspondent”:

GAROFALO: What are you doing here?

JENKINS: I’m just a blogger [who] reads blogs. He’s a radio host.

GAROFALO: But what do you do with all those blogs?

This is pretty shameless. It’s one thing if you’re a reporter working undercover in, say, a supermarket that’s putting tainted meat on the shelves, to disguise your identity. But if you’re sticking a camera into a celebrity’s face and she repeatedly asks you if you’re with the media? Anyone from “60 Minutes” on down to TMZ would say where he/she is from, just as most “O’Reilly Factor” producers immediately announce their affiliations, knowing that they’re going to get hostile reactions from their subjects.

Simply put, Jenkins lied and then Fox News edited the lie from their broadcast. Pretty pathetic all around.

UPDATE: Of course, Jenkins might have his reasons for preferring outright lies to admitting his Fox News affiliation:

UPDATE 2: “The O’Reilly Factor” ran part of the interview, too, and identified Jenkins as a “‘Factor’ producer,” something else he did not tell Garofalo.

UPDATE 3: Garofalo talked about this interview with Marc Maron, and it’s clear that she had no idea that Jenkins was a Fox News employee. She said that she was ambushed by “Ken Pittman and his male companion,” who “put a camera in my face.”

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Comments

18 Comments

Chad S.
Comment posted May 12, 2009 @ 11:43 am

That might be illegal also. When I worked in radio some of the shows liked to do candid/ambush interviews, but they had to tell people honestly what company we worked for(they didn't have to say which show they worked for, but they had to say the overall owner of the company).


banjo jones
Comment posted May 12, 2009 @ 11:51 am

there are no rules any more


Frank W
Comment posted May 12, 2009 @ 11:54 am

CORRECTION: It's not Bittman, it's Pittman. This is his website: kenpittman.com


Libertarian
Comment posted May 12, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

Did the supposed 'lie' about their employer change the message? Can we get beyond the infantile name-calling and find a common ground upon which we can build?

If Janeane Garofolo was not aware that people attended the rallies as a legitimate tax protest, it was only out of wanton disregard for the truth.


24AheadDotCom
Comment posted May 12, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

At one time I wanted to “hammer” JFo, but not any more.


24AheadDotCom
Comment posted May 12, 2009 @ 1:23 pm

What's funny is that JFo and other low-level “liberals” don't realize what their betters obviously do: the “parties” actually help BHO by giving him a completely ineffective opposition and one that borders on the fringe. Here's more on the “parties”.


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daniel rotter
Comment posted May 13, 2009 @ 8:33 pm

Did the supposed 'lie'…

It was a lie. Jenkins said he was a “just a blogger” when, according to the words of the F(R)NC web site itself, Jenkins is a “Fox News correspondent”. “Just a blogger,” correspondent for a nationally broadcast media outfit…yeah, those two things are exactly the same (rolls eyes). A lie that you don't believe to be significant is still a lie.


psmarc93
Comment posted May 13, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

I agree. I was a reporter for a daily paper for 10 years and all reporters were trained that not OFFERING your identity and affiliation with paper was a crime, of course as well as refusing to answer an honest inquiry and lying about it. I would hace been fired, at least, for having done a similar ambush; however, FOX publishes it and ignores the breach of ethics.


psmarc93
Comment posted May 13, 2009 @ 9:52 pm

It's impossible to say. Perhaps Garafolo would have answered the “reporter” differently — in more detail, perhaps commented on FOX's in-kind promotion of the tea parties, we'll never know because she was directing and forming her answer to a misrepresting “blogger.” That's why it's required of reporters to identify BEFORE they ask a question, and certainly unethical to LIE about his or her affiliation when asked. Otherwise, the interviewee's answers can not be considered to be credible. The rules of journalism are not for mere decorum, but to ensure the highest quality of the reporting as a trust between reporter and audience.


daniel rotter
Comment posted May 14, 2009 @ 3:33 am

Did the supposed 'lie'…

It was a lie. Jenkins said he was a “just a blogger” when, according to the words of the F(R)NC web site itself, Jenkins is a “Fox News correspondent”. “Just a blogger,” correspondent for a nationally broadcast media outfit…yeah, those two things are exactly the same (rolls eyes). A lie that you don't believe to be significant is still a lie.


psmarc93
Comment posted May 14, 2009 @ 4:44 am

I agree. I was a reporter for a daily paper for 10 years and all reporters were trained that not OFFERING your identity and affiliation with paper was a crime, of course as well as refusing to answer an honest inquiry and lying about it. I would hace been fired, at least, for having done a similar ambush; however, FOX publishes it and ignores the breach of ethics.


psmarc93
Comment posted May 14, 2009 @ 4:52 am

It's impossible to say. Perhaps Garafolo would have answered the “reporter” differently — in more detail, perhaps commented on FOX's in-kind promotion of the tea parties, we'll never know because she was directing and forming her answer to a misrepresting “blogger.” That's why it's required of reporters to identify BEFORE they ask a question, and certainly unethical to LIE about his or her affiliation when asked. Otherwise, the interviewee's answers can not be considered to be credible. The rules of journalism are not for mere decorum, but to ensure the highest quality of the reporting as a trust between reporter and audience.


lkt
Comment posted September 2, 2009 @ 5:38 am

Thanks for the video. It was one of the funniest during the campaign. Ahhh. Good times. Good stuff.


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