Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images.
Fox News it taking heat from both sides of the political spectrum after the cable news network's flagship morning show twice aired a 4-minute video on Wednesday that could have easily been mistaken for an attack ad from a Republican super PAC.
The video in question was funded and produced by Fox News and aired on Fox and Friends, a morning program perhaps best known to non-Fox watchers for falsely reporting that Obama had attended an Islamic madrasa school while growing up in Indonesia. (Comedy Central fans would also recognize the program as the regular butt of many Daily Show jokes.) After the anti-Obama video segment was over, anchor Steve Doocy praised its producer for a "job well done."
While the show and the network are no stranger to accusations of Obama fear-mongering, the video in question went a good deal farther than is typical for Fox News programs not anchored by evening hosts like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. It came complete with many of the hallmarks of GOP attack ads aimed at the president, including general attacks on his handling of the economy and, of course, ominous background music.
In the face of criticism from both liberal and conservative bloggers, Fox has taken the video down from its website. (Although liberal Media Matters has it archived here.) The network also issued a statement saying the video had been created by an associate producer and "was not authorized at the senior executive level."
The video drew the reactions you'd expect from the most vocal Fox News critics—Ed Schultz of MSNBC: "If there was ever any doubt Fox News is an arm of the Republican party, it ended today"—but also left several conservatives uncomfortable.
Ed Morrissey, of conservative blog Hot Air, appears to have gotten the most attention. Here's what he had to say: "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."
[Meanwhile, the Obama team has issued a more traditional campaign attack ad questioning Romney’s record of keeping promises as Massachusetts governor. You can read about that here.]