Friday, November 13, 2009

TDS: Stewart Trys To Watch Hannity's Apology

This is pretty much how I watch Hannity's show as well:

You can watch Stewart's take down and Hannity's full apology here.

[Update: A Daily Dish reader with experience in television shares my opinion of Hannity's "apology":

When I first heard that Hannity was offering up an apology (confession?) for his video lie, I was impressed. I honestly didn't think he had it in him. And then I watched the damn thing. Turns out I was right. Forget the tone, which I found gratingly smug. Or the final punchline thanking Stewart's writers for watching, a lame attempt to diffuse the troubling transgression with humor. What keeps nagging at me is his claim that it was some sort of accident. That no one meant for it to happen. Sorry, but I don't buy that for a second. Those sorts of things don't simply "happen".

Let me explain.

I have been working in television for the past 15 years. I know in detail how these things work: 1) you are assigned a story, 2) you send out a crew to shoot the necessary footage, 3) the footage is brought back to the studio and loaded into the Avid, or whatever editing system you are using, 4) you cut together your piece based on THE FOOTAGE AT HAND.

For footage from a different event that took place months earlier to find its way into an entirely new piece, well, someone had to: 1) make the decision to lie in the first place (and lets be clear, it IS a lie), 2) locate the old footage, 3) cut the footage into the new piece, 4) a producer or the like had to approve the clip for air.

Yes, accidents can happen. But I guarantee you someone on his show said, "Man, we need to make those crowds look bigger" (don't get me started on the ethical quagmire of that decision) and a writer, producer or editor said, "I know, we can use some stuff from Glenn's rally. No one will ever notice." True, Hannity may not have been aware of that editorial decision (he cannot supervise every piece of footage that airs on his show) but let's be clear: contrary to what he said, someone DID mean for it to happen, they simply did not mean to get caught. And his lame apology is covering someone's ass. It also leads me to wonder how often this is being done on his network.
I think we all know the answer to that last bit of speculation.]

1 comment:

magpie said...

About "Yes, accidents can happen": I'd like to second what the Daily Dish reader said...

I also used to work in a TV newsroom and it was my job to source archive material for use in programs.

Where viz was not shot that day (and as the Daily Dish guy points out some viz actually WAS shot that day...) an error is then possible, however... It would mean that the cataloguer made a mistake, and then I as the researcher then failed to spot it when I got it off the catalogue, and then the tech editor or editors PLUS the reporter supervising the construction of the seg failed to spot it, and then the day editor or editor in chief failed to spot it, and then the entire television station failed to spot it before someone else did.
Still not likely.

The "error" of this specific example - where the event happened that day and a crew was sent out - cannot reasonably be called an honest mistake. Or if it is then I'd love to hear how it happened. Because the only circumstance I can imagine is where the field tape or whatever is used now already had footage on it of the unassociated rally and they didn't realise... and there's more chance of your nuts being scorched off by lightning than that happening.

All networks monitor each other and they all know it. Other networks are their direct competitors. So they also monitor themselves and everything they do.
For the studio heads one defamatory, law-breaking or code-breaching segment could be their termination. They LOOK at what is going to air.
Stuff like this... is for them like a chef finding rat shit has been dropped in their soup. They go fucking mental.

Unless Fox News is just a rat-infested kitchen and they like it that way.

So if it wasn't a mistake, but not a lie on the part of Fox News management per se, then it's probably down to the tech editor or reporter, and the lie is in not admitting that someone did the wrong thing and then got reamed for it, quietly, off-stage.
So... "they" didn't deliberately lie at the time of the segment, but they did deliberately lie about it being a pure mistake afterwards.

And the smug jibe about who is watching doesn't cover that. Not at all.