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Moody: 'Fox and Friends' Hosts Didn't Know What They Were Talking About

Reported by Judy - January 29, 2007 -

Day in and day out, the three co-hosts of "Fox and Friends" say some of the dumbest things ever heard on television. A lot of it goes unnoticed. But two weeks ago, they attracted plenty of attention when they claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign was spreading the story that Sen. Barack Obama had attended a radical Islamist madrassa as a child. Now their boss has publicly chastised them.

John Moody, senior vice president of Fox News, not only criticized Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, and Brian Kilmeade, but he did it in The New York Times, the news organization Fox News loves to hate.

The three blind mice of the news business have been regularly attacking Obama for weeks, but their most inflammatory attack came when they repeated the claim from Insight web magazine that Obama attended a radical Islamic school when he was 6 and living in Indonesia with his step-father and mother. They also claimed that Clinton had a team researching Obama and had found the information.

Obama and Clinton both strenuously objected to the story, and a few days later "Fox and Friends" more or less retracted the story and apologized for it.

In a page one story Monday (January 29, 2007), The New York Times discussed the phony story and the web magazine that produced it.

David D. Kirkpatrick asked Moody about the Obama story and wrote:

"And in an interview, John Moody, a senior vice president at Fox News, said its commentators had erred by citing the Clinton-Obama report. 'The hosts violated one of our general rules, which is to know what you are talking about,' Mr. Moody said. 'They reported information from a publication whose accuracy we didn't know.'"

Does Moody watch "Fox and Friends"? They violate the "general rule" of "know what you are talking about" in virtually every segment every day. They rarely know what they're talking about, whether the topic is politics, competing news organizations, social issues, celebrities, international affairs, or squirrel meat.

The three do little more than read from tele-prompters. Even so, their reports are often so muddled that key questions are left unanswered. In a recent story on cheerleading misconduct, for example, the three named the high school, but not the city or state in which it was located.

Why is it only a "general" rule at Fox News that hosts (they're too light-weight to be called anchors) know what they're talking about? Why isn't it a fundamental requirement?

Moody appeared to be trying to distance himself from the three, but they certainly did not decide to go with this story on their own. As for their having erred by reporting information from a publication whose accuracy Fox News was unsure of, Moody did not express any reservations about other stories that the news channel has taken from Insight.

The blame for this story should go all the way to the top -- to the desk of Moody, who writes the news memos telling the on-air talent how to handle stories. But Moody wasn't man enough to stand up and take the blame.

Not a way to inspire loyalty among the troops. (H/T to Marie Therese).