FOX News’ Democratizing Effect

by Joey deVilla on June 25, 2009

When missing Republican South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford turned up – he went missing last week, and it was thought he might be hiking the Appalachian Trail – he held a press conference in which he announced that he had been cheating on his wife. FOX News, when covering the story, did what it often does when a Republican does something embarrassing: it mislabelled Sanford’s party affiliation as Democratic in the “lower third” of the screen:


Republican Congressman Mark Foley left in disgrace after being caught sending explicit emails to teenage boys serving as congressional pages. Guess the party affiliation the FOX News chyron assigns to him:

FOX News showing Mark Foley as a Democrat

Here’s a FOX News display of the opinion poll results for an upcoming senate race between Democratic candidate Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican candidate Lincoln Chafee. Of course, when a poll showed that the Democratic candidate had an 11-point lead, FOX News “conveniently” mixed up the parties and numbers:

FOX News display showing Whitehouse as Republican and Chaffe as Democrat (it's the opposite)

At this point, I feel required to remind you of the titular character’s line from Goldfinger (the novel): “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time, it’s enemy action.” 

Many conservatives felt that John McCain was a little too liberal prior to his landing the presidential nomination, and there may have been a remnant of that feeling in this chyron blooper identifying him as a Democrat. Or perhaps FOX was trying to convince Democratic voters to vote for him:

John McCain - "Democrat", according to FOX News

Here’s Arlen Specter, in 2007, back when he was a Republican. In this shot, he’s questioning Alberto Gonzales about the firings of U.S. attorneys who weren’t “Bushy” enough:


Intershame had the idea for this article a day ahead of me, and they have more FOX News “Democrat” misattributions. How long before FOX News starts referring to people as “Adolf Hitler (D-Germany)”, “Joseph Stalin (D-Russia)” and “Darth Vader (D-Coruscant)”?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

David Crow June 25, 2009 at 9:49 am


The thing about Fox News is that they give real fake news shows like The Daily Show a bad rap. At least Jon Stewart admits that it’s a fake news show, Big poppa bear (Bill O’Reilly) provides more fiction than J.K. Rowling.

Stephan Spiegel June 25, 2009 at 10:59 am

Does Fox ever mis-attribute the other way?

Wendy June 25, 2009 at 11:51 am

Arlen Specter crossed the aisle in April 2009. It wasn’t his first time, either.

Joey deVilla June 25, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Wendy: D’oh! I forgot about that. I dropped his paragraph from the article — thanks for the heads-up!

Joey deVilla June 25, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Whoa! Turns out that the Arlen Specter shot stating he was a Democrat was done back in 2007, when he was a Republican, and doing something FOX News didn’t like. Back up it goes!

Wendy June 25, 2009 at 3:27 pm


RODAN July 28, 2009 at 3:27 am

Okay…this morning I was watching FOX NEWS. Listening to Neil Cavuto interview John Bolton. Then as they were talking about Iran I was shocked to find out that their graphics department would make such an obvious blunder…. Don’t they know where the fuck Egypt is? More over given the past few years and the situation in Iraq…you;’d think they’d know where it is… apparently they lost Iraq completely.

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