Accuracy in Media

Fox News on Thursday apologized for showing Ron Paul being booed at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), admitting that the footage was a year old and not from this year’s event. “It was clearly a mistake. We used the wrong videotape,” said anchor Bill Hemmer.

The mix-up on Tuesday on Fox News had enraged supporters of Rep. Paul, a Republican from Texas who has run for the presidency as a libertarian. He is a favorite at CPAC conferences, attended by significant numbers of libertarians

One Paul supporter wrote to Fox News, saying, “I am writing you to show you my complete shock at Fox News being caught again in a hoax piece. The deception that was played on Congressman Ron Paul following the 2011 CPAC conference by broadcasting an old CPAC clip where Romney-followers booed him is a disgrace to journalism and should never be repeated again. This is disgusting and unprofessional and someone has to take responsibility for his/her fraudulent actions.”

The complaints reached their mark.

On Thursday, around 9:30 a.m. EST, anchor Bill Hemmer admitted the error and tried to explain the mix-up by noting that the video of both events look almost the same. “There are similarities in the shot between last’s year’s event and this year,” he said, showing screen shots from 2010 and 2011. “However, there were audible boos in 2010 while you heard a lot more cheering this year. It’s an honest mistake. We apologize for the error and we look forward to having Rep. Paul back on our program very soon.”

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