Fox News used a 2009 photo from Barack Obama’s Twitter account in a segment last week to claim Obama was meeting a pirate instead of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade said, “The White House doesn’t have the time to meet with the prime minister of Israel, but this pirate got a sit-down in the Oval Office yesterday,” the AP reported. According to Mediaite, when showing the picture, Fox News showed a “chyron” that read “Too busy for Israel: President Finds Time For Pirate, Letterman.”
But, the photo was a “joke” to begin with and was “taken as a punchline for a joke Obama delivered to the White House Correspondents Association dinner in 2009 about the administration talking to enemies as well as friends,” the Associated Press noted. “Obama’s Twitter account re-circulated the photo because it was International Talk Like a Pirate Day.”
Later, Fox & Friends’ Twitter account tweeted out clarifying its inaccurate claim. “The picture we aired this morning of the President & the pirate was from 2009.” But this didn’t really clarify any error, since it makes no mention of the fact that the picture itself was intended by the White House as a joke.
Speaking of jokes, earlier this month, Fox News’ Kilmeade corrected a Sept. 11 graphic that had inaccurate figures about unemployment, Mediaite wrote at the time. The error indicates that “unemployment has nearly doubled under Obama,” New York Mag wrote.
Fox’s on-air correction said
“I want to clarify a graphic we used on the show yesterday. We were comparing the real unemployment rate to when Obama took office, President Obama took office. The real rate includes those working part-time because of economic reasons.”
As Talking Points Memo explained Sept. 11, the Fox segment “juxtaposed unemployment in January 2009 — calculated to measure the number of unemployed people actively looking for work — with a different measure of unemployment in August 2012, calculated to include disaffected and marginally attached workers.” Instead of comparing the 2009 “real unemployment rate” of 14.2 percent with the current 14.7 percent, Fox compared the 2009 “standard measure of unemployment” (7.8 percent) with the current “real unemployment rate,” Talking Points Memo and Mediaite explained.
Further, “a direct comparison is less misleading, but also less eye-popping,” Talking Points Memo added.
Media Matters, which is credited for first calling out the error, called it a “dishonest comparison.” Separately, the progressive media watchdog compiled a list of “11 Fox & Friends Corrections, Clarifications, and Apologies.”
Check out the video on Mediaite.
We’ve written to Fox News asking how the unemployment graphic error was made and will update with any response.
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