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Moody Lectures Fox on What's News

Reported by Judy - January 31, 2007 -

"Fox and Friends" Steve Doocy's phony story about Sen. Barack Obama attending a madrassa has prompted the boss to do a little explaining about checking stories before putting them on the air.

John Moody, senior vice president for news, wrote a memo explaining to his staff that they should not believe everything that appears on a website. The Washington Post Sleuth, which obtained a copy of the memo, reports that it says: "For the record: seeing an item on a website does not mean it is right. Nor does it mean it is ready for air on FNC. The urgent queue is our way of communicating information that is air-worthy. Please adhere to this."

The slap on the wrist raises some interesting questions about Doocy's handling of the original Obama story. Is Moody suggesting that Doocy himself saw the information on the website and elected to go with it, rather than running it by those who usually decide what is "airworthy"? If not Doocy, then who? And what has been their punishment?

Doocy and his co-hosts Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade offered a clarification of sorts after running the original story, and begged Obama to come on Fox News.

But it appears, also according to the Post column, that Obama has yet to forgive and forget. Fox News "journalists" told the Sleuth that they have been unable to get interviews with Obama since the incident. They complained that they were being punished even though they had nothing to do with the incident. Sleuth also reports that Fox News CEO Roger Ailes has called Obama twice and is trying to smooth things over with the senator.

As for Fox News journalists not getting interviews, too bad. You lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas. (Hat tip to media bistro.)