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Where's Carl Cameron -- II

Reported by Judy - October 5, 2004 -

Is this Day 2 of Carl Cameron held hostage? Fox News' chief political correspondent did nor surface during two hours of Fox and Friends and Fox News Live today (Oct. 5) even though Fox News had "team coverage" of tonight's vice presidential debate in Cleveland.

There have been sightings of Cameron, whose mock news story ridiculing John Kerry was posted on the right-wing news channel's web site last week. Although I have not seen Campaign Carl since last Friday, other Newshounds and some readers have reported seeing him at least once on the air and seeing his by-line on a Foxnews.com news story.

The major news outlets are soft-pedaling the story. On Monday, many were still running with the story about Fox News' statement on Saturday apologizing for the accidental release of the fake story, without mentioning a Fox memo on Monday making such pranks in the future grounds for dismissal.

As summarized on TVnewser MSNBC's Dan Abrams used his "Closing Argument" segment to urge viewers to "give Fox a break" because mistakes like that happen. Abrams said he was concerned about the "double standard" shown by Fox's approach to its own scandal. "If a CNN reporter, or a reporter for any other broadcast network -- CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC -- jokingly wrote mocking quotes of President Bush, c'mon, Fox would have wall-to-wall coverage about how this demonstrates liberal bias. As I've said in the context of other media scandals, it's not always about bias! Sometimes it's just, in Fox's words, bad judgment, not malice," he said.

My point is, whether bias is involved or not is irrelevant. With mistakes such as this, the industry standard for years has been instant dismissal, something Fox has belatedly recognized.