The Associated Press was forced to correct a report on Monday that accused Fox News of hiding a graphic that showed them to be the least trusted cable network.
The original report claimed that Fox media analyst Howard Kurtz asked for a graphic to be taken down during his “Media Buzz” show because it portrayed Fox negatively.
“That is not the graphic we are looking for. Hold off. Take that down, please,” Kurtz said when a graphic showing the results of a Monmouth poll flashed on screen. However, video of the segment shows that Kurtz went back to the same graphic less than a minute later.
Kurtz slammed the AP’s report in a Facebook post, explaining that the poll was displayed on the screen too early in his segment and he brought it up again later.
“The Associated Press should be embarrassed by a story that utterly distorts what happened yesterday on my program ‘Media Buzz,’ Kurtz wrote. “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 corrected their post on Monday after Kurtz’s Facebook smackdown, adding, “The Associated Press earlier reported that Kurtz ordered the graphic be taken down, but did not note that it was used again.”
“This story has been corrected to show that the graphic was taken down because it was used during the wrong segment, and was used again on the show,” they said at the bottom of the piece.
The AP article also did not correctly report on the details of the poll. In their piece, they claimed that the poll showed Fox lagging behind “other cable news networks in trustworthiness.”
In reality, as Kurtz pointed out in his Facebook post, the poll was actually showing the breakdown in how much people trust cable news compared to how much they trust the president. It did not compare the news outlets to each other.
30 percent of people said they trust Fox more than the president, while 20 percent said they trust the president more. 37 percent said they trust both equally. Respondents were more likely to say that they trusted CNN and MSNBC more than president.
The Washington Post explains why the numbers probably shake out that way: “Fox’s viewership leans conservative, so it’s more likely to believe what Trump says — even more than its preferred cable news channel. That CNN and MSNBC viewers place more trust in their outlet over Trump is probably more a reflection of their viewers not trusting Trump rather than the relative quality of their journalism.”
Newsweek also published a misleading report claiming that Kurtz “panicked” because showing the graphic was “clearly a mistake.”