Fake Fox News Commenter Scandal Worse Than You Thought

This is downright Machiavellian.

Earlier this week, the world learned that Fox News was fighting back against the lamestream media and its loyalists by planting fake good-PR trolls in the comments sections of articles. But wait, there’s more!

From the same book that brought you those revelations is another, potentially more damning finding. Instead of getting fake commenters to push fake friendly comments, Fox was also sending fake tips about Fox News to a real reporter to make the real reporter look like they he was terrible at reporting on Fox News.

Here’s what went down. In 2008, a reporter for Crain’s New York Business was writing a story about how CNN was beating Fox in a prized demographic during presidential election coverage. All the major networks responded for comment, except Fox. Until, that is, a “producer” at Fox gave him a tip. In order to reverse bad ratings, the tipster wrote, the station would be using commentator Bill O’Reilly to anchor its “straight-news” coverage of several presidential primaries, something it had never done.

The reporter ran the story, only to have Fox News denounce and mock the “scoop.” The reporter had been set up–the email account from which he received the tip had been shut down–and Fox got to spin a story about its own bad ratings into one about errant reporting about Fox. As the writer of Murdoch’s World, David Folkenflik, told the Post: They are essentially a political unit appended to something that presents itself publicly as a cable news operation.”