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Campaign Carl Cameron Update

Reported by Judy - October 4, 2004 -

An Internet news site says that Fox News Channel has told staffers than any prank like the one Carl Cameron pulled last week will be grounds for dismissal.

TVnewser claims today (Oct. 4) to have an exclusive on Fox News Channel's reaction to the incident in which Cameron's phony news story making fun of John Kerry for getting manicures was published on Fox's website.

TVnewser says that John Moody, senior vice president for news at FNC, sent a memo to Fox employees today.

The TVnewser story says:

"'Last week, we experienced separate lapses of judgment, resulting in the posting, on our website, of inaccurate material,' Moody writes. 'Credibility is our lifeblood. When we make factual mistakes, we affect adversely all the hard work that we've done for eight years to become the country's leading news channel.' He calls Cameron's quotes a 'stupid parody' that was included in the scripts queue, then picked up and added 'unthinkingly' to the web site.

"'For that reason, we are implementing a number of changes,' he continues. 'First, and immediately, the scripts queue is OFF LIMITS for editorial use until the item has been broadcast or the script is approved for use. Second, the use of scripts queue for humor, sarcasm, parody or other unprofessional conduct is strictly forbidden. Failure to follow this directive is a dismissable offense.'

"Two sources inside FNC have confirmed the validity of the memo..."

If TVnewser is correct, Moody's memo still does not go far enough. For one thing, it refers to "inaccurate material" and "factual mistakes." Cameron's parody was no factual mistake, nor was it merely inaccurate. It was totally fabricated.

Last week, this Newshound called for Fox to fire Cameron, pointing out two instances where other news organizations took such action instantly after similar jokes-gone-bad. TVnewser did not say what action, if any, has been taken against Cameron, but he did not cover the Kerry campaign today. A general assignment reporter from Chicago filled in, with no explanation from Fox.

Our thanks go to a reader, Brian, for pointing out the TVnewser item to us.