Fox News ‘bails’ on an Obama segment ‘that bore unfairness in its every second’

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In case you missed it yesterday, here's the fiery Fox News segment that liberals and conservatives alike have criticized as looking more like partisan propaganda than something one would expect to see on a news channel—even one that's run by a former Republican strategist.

The video, which aired Wednesday morning on "Fox & Friends" but went viral on the web later that afternoon thanks to coverage on several prominent media-news websites, is essentially an attack on Barack Obama's first four years in office. It pairs ominous music with speeches from the president and footage illustrating the troubled state of the economy.

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Fox News walked the video back via its public relations arm, which gave certain reporters the following statement from the network's executive vice president of programming: “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.”

Perhaps the producer in question, Chris White, just wanted to go out with a bang—TV Newser reports that he "may not be with Fox News much longer, not because he’s being let go over the incident, but because he has an offer on the table from CNN, according to three sources in the know."

Meanwhile, The Washington Post's Erik Wemple chimed in last night with a gently sarcastic kudos to Fox for its handling of the situation:

Fox News has piled the depravity high in this episode, from the video itself to the attempt to blame a lowly associate producer. Yet in the end, it did the right thing, however imperfectly. It bailed on a video that bore unfairness in its every second, and it did so in the course of a single day — solid turnaround in the media world. Perhaps its expertise in spotting bias in the media sped things along.

The "Fox & Friends" video is the second controversy to hit the "fair and balanced" network this week, the first being chairman Roger Ailes' apocryphal accusation that The New York Times had published a front-page story last year claiming he was to be indicted.

In other news...

Cable news ratings are down across the board. [NYT/Media Decoder]

Ethan Patz's father has withdrawn from the Associated Press distribution rights for photos of his son. [The New York Observer]

Former Daily News editor Michael O'Neill is dead at 89. [A.P.]

Digital readership for magazines is growing, but not fast enough. [Adweek]

The Wall Street Journal shakes up its fashion staff. [W.W.D.]