CNN, Others Feasting on Fox News After Channel Bites on Fake Jet Packs Story

Oct 6, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Fox News was caught in a fake news cycle Tuesday morning when the network reported erroneously that the Los Angeles Police Department would be investing $1 billion in jet pack technology, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The hosts of "Fox and Friends" reported the story even though they appeared mildly skeptical about it. An hour after the first report, Fox News Channel retracted the story.

The incident was followed by a media frenzy as news outlets–including Fox rival CNN–reported on the channel’s faux pas, Mediaite reported.

The false report may have originated from a story in The Weekly World News, which is known for its sensationalistic–and questionable–headlines.


  1. If you happen to be a Fox “News” viewer and you also happen to know how to read, this story should demonstrate to you that Fox does not produce news because that would imply checking facts and sources. Fox is tabloid Horses**t straight from the king of the stables, Rupert Murdoch. Every publication and channel he owns is only interested in ratings and sales. Actual journalism DOES NOT EXIST on Fox News. Unfair and Unbalanced Opinions with Crap to Distact You from Reality. That should be their slogan but it would mean truth in advertising.

  2. Amen, Tim.

  3. oh give it up…. MSNBC and CNN are just as bad if not worse with their obvious left wing favoritism….I am a “moderate” and choose not to listen to any of them. I can’t beleive people try and single out FOX.

  4. I guess no other news organization, from NBC to the New York Times, has ever reported erroneously and had to later issue a retraction. Get off your high horse.

  5. Tim and Lindy, Billy’s right.

  6. This used to be a story about a fake story run by Fox News. What did you expect? Credibility? Rupert does not blow easily-earned money on letting people sit around doing actual research, so Fox News, once again, got caught. That’s what this story used to be about. But not the comments, not when Rupert’s personal mouthpiece is their only link to what they think is the outside world.
    Another thing. Is that all the lurking GOP lemmings assigned to TV Week? Three? Four? C’mon, this is an important website, let’s see some really nasty, insulting, sleazy, lying, name-calling, race-baiting, “comments,” from the wrongright wing. How about Obama’s birth? How about his patriotism? How about what a dedicated socialist the president of the United States really is? How about all the Jews owning all the media? How about hate? Yeah, hate. Hate is good, isn’t it, kids? Karl Rove loves hate, Rupert Murdoch loves hate, all the no-talent Fox News airhead parrots love hate, so, yeah, spray a little hate around. We read your poorly-constructed stuff. You can do it. I’ve got faith in your astounding gullibility. Ask yourself, “What would Sister Sarah do.” What could possibly go wrong?

  7. The point is, Fox does it as a matter of policy. They find and package ‘news’ stories that fit into their political narrative, rather than make journalistic decisions about what news is most important. And stories like this are how they get caught red-handed.

  8. James O’Keefe punked the wrong network.

  9. Yeah, that sleazy Fox News. Wasn’t it Fox that phonied up a side-impact collision on a certain make of pickups? No, that would be NBC. Wasn’t it Fox that ran a phony story of George Bush’s supposed neglect of Nat’l Guard duty just a month or 2 before the ’04 election, one that its own hired experts doubted before the story was run? No, that craven journalistic embarrassment was CBS (sans Danny Rather shortly thereafter). Was it Fox that showed a photo/video of a person carrying a rifle slung over his shoulder at a public demonstration, in a story on potentially violent racists who have it in for Obama…and then it’s revealed later that the photo was cropped and it was actually an African-American who was shouldering the rifle? No, that was CNN.
    I could go on, but it would be wasted on the knuckle-dragging Fox News haters. I would note, however, that the stories I cited involved actual knowing or reckless fraud by the respective network, as opposed to Fox News’ recent example of jumping the gun on a story without adequately verifying it. Moreover, the other networks’ stories had the potential to cause serious harm, including altering the outcome of a Presidential election; not so with the stupid story re: jet packs. (What? A network trying to influence a Presidential election? Surely I jest. None would do that, would they?)
    I’ll think of you anti-FoxNews bedwetters when my family & friends celebrate the day after the Nov. election.

  10. Yes Fox has made a ton of mistakes but so has every other news station out there – you can’t tell me that everyone reports 100% true news all the time. CNN is just using this to gain traction online .. but what they don’t realize is that this promotes Fox also .. its bad press but its still a ton of presss

  11. Yes Fox has made a ton of mistakes but so has every other news station out there – you can’t tell me that everyone reports 100% true news all the time. CNN is just using this to gain traction online .. but what they don’t realize is that this promotes Fox also .. its bad press but its still a ton of presss

  12. How can you say that this fits in with their political agenda? Its a story about Jet Packs .. are you saying that Republicans like Jet Packs?

  13. And the assertion that Barack Obama is a Muslim not born in the U.S. Was that FOX News? Oh, wait, it was…

  14. Thanks Timeback for not making me write exactly the same comment. Fox was careless on an unimportant story not guilty of fraud!

  15. Hey, be fair– EVERYBODY likes jet packs.

  16. How does it fit their political agenda? That’s easy.
    When you get right down to it, the (fake) jet-pack story raises the question of whether that money was being wisely spent. And that’s a Fox bullet point: “Government wastes your money.” Better still, the story was about a police dept in California…a state that Fox loves to slam for their “liberal overspending” at every opportunity.
    And that comes as a kind of bonus, because this story is also the kind of fluff – few details, plus goofy visual aid – that suits the “Fox & Friends” morning-show concept. Nothing too mentally taxing for the F&F viewers! The hosts even go so far as to helpfully pantomime the proper ways for their audience to react with each story, a bit like cheerleaders at a high school pep rally.
    Like I said, it’s not difficult to figure out. FoxNews has a relatively simple metric for what gets on the air and what doesn’t. While they notoriously avoid stories that go against the network’s preferred narrative (like, say, anything bad about parent company News Corp.), you can bet Rupert’s people will be all over _any_ story that bolsters their position.
    Hope this helped. Any more questions, just ask. 🙂

  17. Oh, sure – lots of blame to go around, on this subject.
    All news organizations have published things that, upon later review, proved to be untrue. Many of these reflected incredibly sloppy journalism. And, in some cases, the “journalists” went so far as to manufacture the story themselves. Remember the Fox producer who directed the Tea Party crowd in chanting on cue, for the sake of a better visual?
    The difference – and, in my opinion, it’s a huge one – is that the other networks seem to make far fewer mistakes, overall. I watch a ton of TV news and more FoxNews than anything else. On a daily basis, Fox leads the league in both scope & quantity of gross factual errors…virtually none of which are ever corrected or redacted.
    Worse, Fox’s errors have an annoying tendency to further their political agenda — and let’s not kid around as to whether or not they have one, shall we? When FoxNews screws up a simple, numerical fact about the budget, it is _always_ in favor of the GOP position. Same goes for errors regarding the GDP, unemployment, social program funding, etc.
    That rarely happens on the other networks. Sure, you get something like CBS’ George Bush service records scandal maybe once every 10 years. In-between, though, things are pretty quiet except for an occasional on-screen typo or mis-identified photo. No so at Fox. No kidding, I can point out at least 7-10 substantial errors of fact, every week.
    Anybody wants to argue, you’d better have records to prove what you say is true. I keep a long file on Fox’s mistakes and it’s ready to be posted in my defense. You think the other network’s are as bad, or worse? Start posting examples. I guarantee I can top whatever you come up with. When it comes to screw-ups, Fox is the gift that keeps on giving. 🙂

  18. How does it suit their political agenda? That’s easy…
    Fox will jump on any story, however flimsy, that sounds like a case of wasteful government spending. That’s part of a big theme for the Fox audience: “Liberal Democrats want to spend your hard-earned tax dollars.” This (fake) jet-pack tale fits that theme perfectly, not least of which because it’s set in California — a state that Fox loves to bash, at every opportunity.
    And, as a special bonus, this story is precisely the kind of fluffy filler they need for Fox & Friends. It’s a morning show so we can’t feature issues that might tax the viewers’ brains, right? The jet-pack bit was ideal: short on details, the only numbers were big & round (10,000 packs at $100,000 each), and it even came with a goofy visual. All of that makes for a short, punchy segment that’s guaranteed to capture eyeballs.
    So, there you have it. FoxNews gets to (a) talk about technology that sounds exciting but doesn’t require the audience – or, God forbid, the hosts – to think much, and simultaneously (b) raise the ugly spectre of govt. overspending on silly, frivolous things. In other words, an ideal tale for Fox viewers — and you can bet the website story got lots of screaming “Damn liberals!” complaints posted in the response section.
    Hope this helped. Any more questions, just ask. 🙂

  19. Exactly. All of the news outlets have agendas. None have a high interest in objective reporting. They report as objectively as they need to and no more.

  20. If FoxNews is so biased, how is it that they were rated the least biased network (including CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC)covering the ’08 election by two reputable sources? One study was done by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University; the other was the Pew-funded Project for Excellence in Journalism. The basis for the comparisons was the number of negative and positive comments/reports for Obama-Biden and McCain-Palin. Fox kicked ass in its distribution/ratio of favorable vs. unfavorable comments concerning the 2 major campaigns.
    Re: your once-every-ten-years claim, that’s just not the case, although the enormity of the Bush-nat’l guard story does make it considerably rarer than the garden variety bias.
    And as far as the 7-10 substantial factual errors a week on Fox, I don’t know how you define “substantial,” so why don’t you give us your Top Ten from last week. Moreover, I’ll remind you that as a CABLE NEWS provider, Fox (& CNN & MSNBC) has many more news & news-like shows on every day than the big 3 networks, so of course they’re going to have more mistakes. It also makes a difference whether it’s a mistake made on a hard news show versus an opinion- oriented show. I’ll match the first half hour of Brit Hume or Bret Baier for accuracy to their counterparts on the Big (but getting smaller)3’s evening news. If you want to see a tally of Big 3 bias, go to the conservative mrc.org when you tire of reading media matters outrage of the hour.

  21. So let me get this straight. Fox & Friends (a “soft” news format) reports a story about wasting public funds, and does so with some skepticism at the time, and then retracts it an hour later. WOW! That’s a blockbuster of misleading information. Just think of the millions led astray for an hour!(Or longer, if they missed the correction.) Man, thanks for opening our eyes, you even-handed filters of objective news. I’ve got to run now. I wouldn’t want to miss any objective reports from Christiane Amanpour, Katie (pardon my ratings)Couric,and their cohorts. Now they know journalism, Baby!

  22. Finally! The Chilean miners are saved … Pretty soon we will be saved from terrible politicians

  23. Colleges across America are telling their students: Vote Democrat or be expelled.

  24. I just have to say, fine info. i’ve been trying to find something like this for a while. can i subscribe somehow to new content? like email subscription or rss feed?

  25. Prince William is making some shocking news!

  26. Could America be getting its 51st state? … Possibly

  27. Big Weekly World News developments…

  28. I’d watch a Weekly World News show … Would you?

  29. This is good info! Where else can if ind out more?? Who runs this joint too? Keep up the good work 🙂

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  31. I’ve recently been thinking the very same thing myself lately. Pleased to see someone on the same wavelength! Nice article.

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