Fox News’s Roger Ailes backtracks on error rate

Roger Ailes

Roger Ailes (Jim Cooper / Associated Press)

Last April, Fox News chief Roger Ailes stood before an audience at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and declared, “[In] 15 years we have never taken a story down because it was wrong. You can’t say that about CNN, CBS or the New York Times.” The Erik Wemple Blog, among other outlets, went all archival on the guy, citing instances when Fox News had to correct itself for various falsehoods and distortions, such as vest-wearing deer, Geraldo at war and the tilting Washington Monument.

Now Ailes is correcting his statement about corrections. We learn this from the new book on Ailes, “Roger Ailes: Off Camera,” by Zev Chafets.

Roger Ailes often boasts that Fox hasn’t had to take down a story in fifteen years. Lately he has amended that: He says he means a major story, like Dan Rather’s career-ending, unsupportable allegations that George W. Bush dodged his Texas Air National Guard duty; CNN’s bogus Tailwind scandal; NBC’s rigged “exploding GM truck” affair, or that network’s subsequent firing of three employees for doctoring a 9-1-1 tape to make it sound like George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin for racist reasons (which may or may not be the case).

That’s what Bob Woodward would call “moving the goal posts.”

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