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Lack of Disclosure on "FOX News Live" Misleads Viewers

Reported by Marie Therese - January 24, 2007 -

During this morning's two-hour airing of FOX News Live, anchor John Scott asked the following question of Sen. John M cCain (R-AZ): "Senator McCain, on the oil question, it's interesting to read the take in the papers this morning. The New York Post calls the President's proposals 'bold'. The New York Times, I think, referred to them as 'modest'. Which is it?" Scott neglected to inform his viewers that the New York Post is a wholly-owned subsidiary of News Corporation, which also owns FOX News Channel. FOX News Live is one of the blocks that FOX claims is "hard news" and not commentary/opinion.

In essence, Scott's question was designed to give the impression that FOX News was simply citing two equal and opposite sources when, in fact, there was and is a pre-existing relationship between the New York Post and FOX News. FOX News was promoting one of its own sister companies on national cable television in a news broadcast without full disclosure.

It is rare on FOX News to hear the qualifier heard so often on other news outlets, i.e. "owned by the parent company of this network."

We sincerely hope that the newly elected Democratic Congress will act quickly to address the issue of media transparency.

In an interesting aside, Senator McCain answered Scott's question by singing the praises of nuclear power!

SEN. McCAIN: "I would have liked to have heard him mention that we need to really make a push on nuclear power, both for the greenhouse gas issue, but also to help us become independent. I'm for wind, solar, all of the other - you know - technologies, but nuclear power is a vital component. The Europeans are able to do just fine and I believe I would have liked to see him mention that a little more strongly. Good beginning and Americans need to realize how tenuous some of our sources of imported oil are and its a - it's a national priority, as the President said."