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Media Matters: Fox News Email Shows Editorial Reslant to Frank Luntz Health Care Reform Language

"You know what," Hannity replied, "it's a great point, and from now on, I'm going to call it the government option."

Time to 'Assanginate' Rupert Murdoch.

Remember the "Fair and Balanced" and "We Report, You Decide" messages that remind television viewers of the public stance of the GOP's 24/7 cable news echo-maker, Fox News Channel?

Remember, Dr. Frank Luntz , the talking points-pollster who crafts the Republican agenda into everything from the "Contract with America" through Enron's California power crisis-mandate to change national energy policy ('New Economy technology uses more electrons') to fighting the popularity of health care reform under President Obama?

Media Matters reported, today, that Fox News personalities were directed, by senior management, to make sure that on-air 'reporting' remained in-line with official Fox News verbiage for spinning references to "public option." 

Internal emails exchanged among management show senior levels of executive management were directly involved in establishing the message that was injected into the megaphoning echo chamber of GOP policy, via Fox News Channel broadcasts.


Excerpt from Media Matters - LEAKED EMAIL: Fox boss caught slanting news reporting

Sammon instructed staff to refer on air to "government-run health insurance," the "government option," "the public option, which is the government-run plan," or -- when "necessary" -- "the so-called public option":

From: Sammon, Bill
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 8:23 AM
To: 054 -FNSunday; 169 -SPECIAL REPORT; 069 -Politics; 030 -Root (FoxNews.Com); 036 -FOX.WHU; 050 -Senior Producers; 051 -Producers
Subject: friendly reminder: let's not slip back into calling it the "public option"

1)      Please use the term "government-run health insurance" or, when brevity is a concern, "government option," whenever possible.

2)      When it is necessary to use the term "public option" (which is, after all, firmly ensconced in the nation's lexicon), use the qualifier "so-called," as in "the so-called public option."

3)      Here's another way to phrase it: "The public option, which is the government-run plan."

4)      When newsmakers and sources use the term "public option" in our stories, there's not a lot we can do about it, since quotes are of course sacrosanct.

Fox's senior vice president for news, Michael Clemente, soon replied. He thanked Sammon for his email and said that he preferred Fox staffers use Sammon's third phrasing: "The public option, which is the government-run plan."

From: Clemente, Michael 
To: Sammon, Bill; 054 -FNSunday; 169 -SPECIAL REPORT; 069 -Politics; 030 -Root (FoxNews.Com); 036 -FOX.WHU; 050 -Senior Producers; 051 -Producers 
Sent: Tue Oct 27 08:45:29 2009
Subject: RE: friendly reminder: let's not slip back into calling it the "public option" 

Thank you Bill

#3 on your list is the preferred way to say it, write it, use it.

Michael Clemente

SVP-News

212.XXX.XXXX


Does it take anything more than the Senior Vice President for News making clear exactly what words would best serve Fox's shareholder value?

#3 on your list is the preferred way to say it, write it, use it.

Wikileakers are needed at Fox News, US Chamber of Commerce, and the RNC, thank you.

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