Earlier today the Star Tribune was featuring an AP story on its homepage about a graphic that was displayed on Howard Kurtz’s FOX News show Media Buzz. Howard posted this self-explanatory note on Facebook about the AP story under the heading A JOURNALISTIC DISTORTION:
The Associated Press should be embarrassed by a story that utterly distorts what happened yesterday on my program “Media Buzz.”
And its dishonest piece was made worse by the fact that the wire service didn’t bother to contact me or Fox News for comment.
I designed a segment in part around a Monmouth University poll that asked people about so-called “fake news” as well as who they trusted more, President Trump or each of the three major cable news networks.
I found the latter comparison so striking that I told my staff to make that poll question into a graphic to be shown on the air. The whole point was to share it with viewers.
During the segment, the control room mistakenly posted the graphic early, while I was dealing with the fake news questions. So I calmly asked that it be taken down. About a minute later, I asked for the graphic to be put back on the screen and discussed the finding with my guest, pollster Frank Luntz.
The AP reported my request to take down the graphic and ended the story there, creating a false impression by not mentioning that I called for the very same graphic shortly afterward. This echoed partisan chatter online that I had somehow panicked or didn’t want to show the poll graphic, which is flatly contradicted by reality.
For the record, the Monmouth poll found that 30 percent of those surveyed said they trusted Fox more and 20 percent said they trusted Trump more. Another 37 percent said they trusted both equally.
The poll found that respondents trusted CNN more than Trump by 48 to 35 percent, but only 13 percent trusted both equally. The survey said those questioned trusted MSNBC more than Trump by a 45-32 margin, but only 16 percent trust both equally.
I felt viewers deserved all the facts. That’s more than I can say for the AP, which owes me a correction.
UPDATE: Mashable and MassLive also ran with the false narrative that I had “accidentally” posted the poll when that was my plan all along. Mashable adds the additional error that I inflated Fox’s number for being trusted over Trump, when I simply added–accurately–a third figure from the poll that was left out of the graphic, showing that 37 percent trusted both equally.
12:23 ET UPDATE: The AP has now run a correction, which I appreciate. Though it’s odd that the correction indicated I SAID the poll graphic ran moments later, as if it’s a claim. It’s a verifiable fact. There’s video!
Kurtz cites the video. Video of the segment is below, via his Twitter feed.
— #MediaBuzz (@MediaBuzzFNC) April 9, 2018
The Star Tribune has now removed the original AP story it featured only a few hours ago. It has now hidden the current AP version of this (non)story elsewhere on its site under the scintillating headline “Fox News host: Graphic posted at wrong point of show.” Breaking news in the Age of Trump.
How pathetic are the AP, the Star Tribune, and all the rest of this miserable crew? Correct answer: they are utterly pathetic.