Editor’s note: See updates below.
Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday aired a scathing review of the first three years of President Barack Obama’s term in office, countering his “hope” and “change” motto with a series of “then and now” facts about the national debt, jobless rate, gas prices and more.
“What sort of change have we really seen over the past four years from the Obama administration?” co-host Steve Doocy asked by way of introduction.
The four-minute clip is a mash-up of the president’s speeches over the last three-and-a-half years, matching his promises and statements with the reality of rising costs. Starting with the frenzied “O-BA-MA! O-BA-MA!” crowd chants of four years ago, it’s quickly replaced by ominous tones.
“I pledge to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office…All of us need to act more responsibly on behalf of a better economic future…Hope is the guiding force behind the most improbable changes this country has ever made,” Obama says, before his statements are countered with the national debt: “$10 trillion then” and “$15 trillion now.”
“We cannot wait for good jobs and living wages and pensions…Jobs must be our number one focus…We know it’s time to create the good-paying jobs, jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced,” he says, before the “then and now” jobless rate is highlighted: 7.8 percent then, 8.3 percent now.
Watch the clip below, via Fox News:
Update: The Fox News video appears to be having technical difficulties; it may have been removed from their website. Any attempt to play it results in the following notice: “Sorry, we were unable to play the media you selected. Please try again, or select alternate media. Error encountered: Stream not found.”
Watch a YouTube version below:
Update II: Reaction to the video was swift on Wednesday: The leftist Media Matters for America said the program “crossed a new ethical line today by producing and airing what is essentially a four-minute anti-Obama attack ad” and later put out a “debunking” post.
Mediaite columnist Noah Rothman wrote that the “sharply edited and highly produced piece may cross a line…from journalism to advocacy” and said it “bore striking resemblance to a Republican party web ad.”
Washington Post media opinion blogger Erik Wemple wrote simply: “In a recent interview, Fox News chief Roger Ailes contended that he had 24 liberal contributors on his network. One guess: Those contributors played no role whatsoever in the creation of the video.”
At the conservative site Hot Air, Ed Morrissey pointed out that the “Fox & Friends Presents” title in the video made it “an explicit argument from the news channel itself.”
“Should a news organization produce and publish attack ads like this?” Morrissey wrote. “We usually criticize that kind of behavior with other news organizations….If anyone wanted to look for evidence that the overall Fox News organization intends to campaign against Obama rather than cover the campaign, this video would be difficult to refute as evidence for that claim.”
Update III: The video is again available through the Fox News website, albeit without the co-hosts’ introductions:
Update IV:Bill Shine, Fox News executive vice president of programming, issued a statement to TVNewser: “The package that aired on FOX & Friends was created by an associate producer and was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network. This has been addressed with the show’s producers.”