O’Reilly Show, AP Fix Mislabeling of Disgraced GOP Pol in Different Ways

By: E&P Staff

Did the “The O’Reilly Factor” air a correction after mislabeling Republican Mark Foley a Democrat under a photo of the disgraced ex-Congressman?

“Once it came to our attention, we removed the incorrect chyron immediately,” said David Tabacoff, executive producer of the Fox News Channel show hosted by Bill O’Reilly, who also does a newspaper column distributed by Creators Syndicate. “We didn’t run a correction per se.”

Foley was mislabeled on O’Reilly’s Tuesday show. When the program was rebroadcast, the Democrat label was scrubbed but not replaced with a Republican one.

Soon after the Tuesday show aired, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting asked: “[A]ssuming it was an honest mistake … how come when the show was re-aired, the lower third was removed entirely — rather than replaced by one with the correct information? If it was important to identify Foley by party when he was thought to be a Democrat, why isn’t it just as important to correctly identify him as a Republican?”

Tabacoff told E&P late Thursday that “everyone knows” Foley — who resigned his House seat after revelations that he sent sexually charged messages to teen Congressional pages — is a Republican. So “The O’Reilly Factor,” he said, didn’t feel it was necessary to run a specific on-air correction on its Wednesday show. But Tabacoff emphasized that when Foley was pictured on “The O’Reilly Factor” after Tuesday, he was correctly identified as a Republican.

“It was an honest mistake,” Tabacoff said of the Tuesday mislabeling.

An Associated Press story Wednesday also erroneously called Foley a Democrat. AP issued a correction about three hours later, according to BradBlog.com.

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