Sunday, March 02, 2008

Bill Richardson (R-NM) WTF?

On last night's edition of Geraldo Rivera's show Geraldo At Large on Fox News, during New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's comments about the Democratic race for president, the Fox News screen labeled him (R-NM). This wouldn't be the first or second time FNC has mislabeled a politician's political affiliation. First, they labeled disgraced former Republican congressman Mark Foley (D-FL), RI Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse a Republican and his competitor, Republican Lincoln Chafee a Democrat in the weeks leading up to the 2006 midterm elections (where Whitehouse defeated Chafee for a Senate seat). They also labeled Republican Senator Lamar Alexander (D-TN) in '06 as well. And just last month, Fox News labeled John McCain (D-AZ)!

I know Gov. Richardson looks a bit different now with more facial hair, but anyone who has paid any fair mount of attention to his run for the presidency would know that if anything has changed, it's that he has moved more left than right, after being considered a moderate Democrat for many years. That makes the mislabeling of him as a Republican even more bizarre. And it's not like he, and for that matter, John McCain are virtual unknowns either. Both have been involved in politics and in their respective political parties for at least twenty years.

Now, Fox News isn't the first or only network to misidentify a politician (and therefore misinform and confuse viewers), but there is an alarming pattern of ignorance and/or stupidity at work behind the scenes. And you wonder why so many people -- mainly partisans -- chuckle at the thought of this channel being considered a legitimate "news" station, nevermind "Fair & Balanced."

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