Oh, the perks that go with a cable news network having your back!
When Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) wrongly blamed the unfilled Surgeon General’s position on President Obama, FoxNews.com helpfully edited his comments on his behalf. Even though they were not what he said.
On America’s Newsroom yesterday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz was there to criticize and undermine discuss the Obama administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak. First, he complained about “Ebola czar” Ron Klain’s refusal to testify before Congress. “We’re off to a bad start,” Chaffetz said. Then he moved on to make the discussion more about Obama.
CHAFFETZ: Why not have the surgeon general head this up? I mean, I think that’s a very legitimate question. At least you have somebody who has a medical background who has been confirmed by the United States Senate, that’s where we should be actually, I think, going.
Think Progress explains why that’s not a legitimate question:
But Obama can’t appoint the Surgeon General to lead the Ebola response because his nominee, Dr. Vivek Murthy, is being opposed by the National Rifle Association and Republicans senators (as well as a few Democrats) for supporting the expansion of background checks during gun purchases. In February, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) officially placed a hold on the nomination.
Not surprisingly, these extremely relevant facts seemed to completely escape host Martha MacCallum. But not FoxNews.com. However, rather than report Chaffetz’ error, the “fair and balanced” website rewrote history on Chaffetz' behalf.
More from Think Progress:
Chaffetz seemed unaware of this wrinkle during his Fox interview, and his office would not return repeated requests for comment. Confusing matters even further, a FoxNews.com article summarizing the Chaffetz interview appears to have changed his wording to correct the error. It reports that the Congressman called on Obama to nominate the “acting-United States surgeon general,” a claim he never made. In fact, that individual, Boris D. Lushniak, serves in a place-holder position that does not receive Senate confirmation. Lushniak, who is filling in because Murthy has been blocked, has not taken an active role in the Ebola response.
Watch Chaffetz’ remarks yourself and see how Fox cleaned them up on his behalf.