Even after 15 years, Murdoch critics continue to dredge up a Fox News segment from 2008, the latest example being Niall Stanage of The Hill. But there’s a catch…the segment as described never happened.
Here is how Mr Stanage describes it:
One instance that proved memorable — in part because it had actual repercussions — was a 2008 segment mulling whether a celebratory fist-bump between then-presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and his wife Michelle was a “terrorist fist-jab.” The anchor who made that suggestion, E.D. Hill, lost her show soon afterward. Material like that is one of the reasons Fox has long been so loathed among liberals and progressives.
Clearly Mr Stanage never actually saw the segment in question, or he would know there was no discussion – zero – of any terrorism connection. The only mention was in a tease by E.D. Hill going into commercial:
A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? … We’ll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says.”
The use of ‘what it really says’, besides telling viewers not to change the channel, suggests it’s not a ‘terrorist fist jab’ at all. And, as documented by this writer in contemporaneous notes and comments, the segment on fist-bumps made no mention of terrorism whatsoever, only citing more reasonable interpretations. But that didn’t stop Fox hater sites like Think Progress:
Last week, Fox News E.D. Hill called a fist pound between Barack and Michelle Obama a ‘terrorist fist jab’…
The Fox News segment, incidentally, didn’t just spring up out of thin air. It was inspired by a Time Magazine article about fist-bumps that covered everything from Wonder Twins to an obscure Human Events comment suggesting terrorism. E.D. Hill did show a clip of the Wonder Twins and explored other angles, but did not mention terrorism..at all. By the way, that Time piece, published online at time.com, was in partnership with CNN.com. Yet nobody objected to its mention of terrorism until E.D. Hill paraphrased it in a ten-second teaser.
And now you know the rest of the story.