"Fox and Friends" aired a remarkable four-minute video on its Wednesday show.
The video, which the hosts of the show advertised as taking a "look back" at President Obama's four years in office, could easily be mistaken for a Republican attack ad. It was aired multiple times throughout the show. (UPDATE: Fox News later issued a statement disavowing the ad and attributing it to an associate producer. See the statement below.)
"We decided to take a look back at the president's first term to see if it lived up to hope and change," host Gretchen Carlson asked at one point, introducing the video.
In the video —which is labeled as a "Fox and Friends Presents" production — viewers see images of Obama talking about jobs contrasted with footage of homeless people. There is dark, foreboding music, and statistics about the unemployment rate, the rise in the number of food stamps, and the national debt, among other things.
The hosts heaped lavish praise on the producer of the video saying that it had taken a "tremendous amount of research" to put together.
Some media critics were outraged by the video. The Baltimore Sun's David Zurawik denounced it, calling it reminiscent of "1930s propaganda":
As the guy who challenged the Obama administration two years when it tried to deny Fox News access to interviews and other opportunities offered to the media on the grounds that Fox was not a legitimate news operation, I have to tell you even I am shocked by how blatantly Fox is throwing off any pretense of being a journalistic entity with videos like this. Don't be fooled by Bret Baier's Boy Scout smile or all the talk about how some shows are news and some are opinion on the channel. Any news organization that puts up this kind of video is rotten to the core.
Conservative commentators also expressed discomfort with the video. Hot Air's Ed Morrisey said that it didn't seem like something a news organization should be producing:
I know the initial response will be that other news organizations offer biased perspectives and hagiographies of Obama that go well beyond a single video … and that response is entirely valid. However, we usually criticize that kind of behavior with other news organizations, too. If anyone wanted to look for evidence that the overall Fox News organization intends to campaign against Obama rather than cover the campaign, this video would be difficult to refute as evidence for that claim.
UPDATE: Bill Shine, the executive vice president for programming at Fox News, issued a statement about the video on Wednesday afternoon.
"The package that aired on 'Fox & Friends' was created by an associate producer and was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network," Shine said. "This has been addressed with the show’s producers.”
Fox News later confirmed that the video had been removed from both its main website and the network's aggregation site, foxnation.com.