Fox Business News: More Trouble with Fake News

The fun and frivolity had hardly stopped with Fox Business News’ "Apple Dhabi" incident, and we already have another FBN adventure in fake news. This time it seems that Fox got taken in while doing some "reporting" on the irritating non-story story of online retail sales.

The shorter version: It’s somewhat complicated, but the media outfit was setup by the National Retail Federation with some online shoppers who it could interview about their clicking. Trouble is, Fox interviewed one person who actually worked for the NRF, which is, of course, an up-with-retail advocacy group — not exactly disinterested on the subject.

For its part Fox says no-one at the staged event told it that anyone there worked for the NRF. The latter group, in turn, says everyone was told that some people buying online there would be NRF-ers. Who to believe? I have no idea, but you have to love the whole nutty thing.

More here.

obDisclaimer: I appear now and then on Fox competitor CNBC as an analyst, so I’m horribly conflicted and could be making up this story (which would be ironic), etc.


  1. Mother of God. I know journos love to take shortcuts, but is it so hard to go out onto the street and find someone who’s bought something online that they need to attend staged events?
    Is Fox making up for the lack of political comedy on American TV (this isn’t a writers’ strike reference, I’m talking generally) by deliberately becoming a joke itself? Because God knows who’d watch a channel that thinks ‘Abu Dubai’ is a country for reliable information on business.
    ‘Online shopper’. Tee hee. This is of course the same channel that invited Professor Richard Dawkins, Fellow of the Royal Society, Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Science etc to a televised debate, and captioned him as ‘Atheist’. (Rather like captioning Pope Benedict ‘Catholic’ or Tony Blair ‘Scot’.) What do we expect?

  2. Its a startup. Of course there will be glitches. You’re supposedly the VC expert.

  3. Clearly Fox Business News has hired its story analysts/checkers from the CIA.

  4. CNN posed party activists as John Q Public types at the last Dem debate. It was pathetic, and the network was aware. Fox’s fumble, while noteworthy, is small potatoes. They got used. What is CNN’s excuse?

  5. Whether or not they knew they were talking to an NRF staffer, they lose credibility for going to a staged event to find “real” shoppers. The press release for the event states that shoppers were enticed to visit with the prospect of free gift cards.

  6. By the way, CNN did it again last night. Had a person directly connected with the Clinton campaign, retired general, Keith Kerr, a Dem party activist, ask a question and respond to the answers. Absurd and unprofessional.