CNN’s Oliver Darcy Commits Journalism Failure in New Critique of Fox News

(Twitter via AP)

Oliver Darcy shows himself to be guilty of the very ineptitude he accuses the competition of.

CNN has not had a very good time of things recently, as their competing news outlet, Fox News, not only celebrated its 25th anniversary this week but remained a more than dominant force in the cable news ratings. On a randomly selected day, the top-rated program for the network was #27  — and that was just among those two networks and MSNBC. And while many, CNN on-air personalities were acting churlish towards Fox the past few days, those sour grapes displays have been surpassed in ineptitude by Oliver Darcy.


In the Reliable Sources newsletter, Ollie was seemingly in possession of some harshly critical details on the journalistic quality of his competitor. Employing one of his trusty tactics, Darcy thought he was taking Fox to task on the network not covering a particular story.

Which story? CNN, along with many outlets, has been particularly focused on the work of the January 6 Commission, because this permits them all to keep churning the story in an effort to impugn the Republican party. Small problem — Darcy fell victim to his own stunted reportorial skills.

He listed this in an entry entitled Fox conspicuously ignores fight over 1/6 docs, that introduced his charge. Here was his passage. (emphasis mine)

As I just mentioned, the top story on WaPo’s homepage right now is related to the fight over 1/6 documents sought after by the House committee investigating the insurrection. But over on Fox News, it was a non-story. I searched transcripts at 5pm, and found no instances of the right-wing talk network covering the story. In fact, the only time I saw the issue come up on Fox’s air was when a reporter asked about it in the White House press briefing. And when that happened, Fox made the decision to immediately cut away…

This was supposed to be a cutting indictment of Fox, because they were not covering the story to Ollie’s satisfaction. Then he followed it up by stating how they were covering the story of Attorney General Merrick Garland showing a willingness to accuse parents who are defending their children’s education at school board meetings of terrorist activity. There is an admission here that they, at CNN, are a bit obsessed with the Jan. 6 melodrama, while ignoring the story of citizens being mischaracterized with criminal activity.


But, it gets far worse. Note the phrase, “I searched the transcripts,” that Darcy used. This indicates that he took the most cursory, short-hand manner of investigating the story. How do we know? Because, as it turns out, Fox did in fact cover the commission documents story; they also showed a video of Jen Psaki addressing the issue.

So, yes, Fox covered the story repeatedly; they just did not use the expected language that Darcy would assume to be used. Specifically, the word Darcy used in his search. 

And here is where it gets even more pathetic — or funnier, depending on your perspective. Darcy relied upon using the word “subpoena” in his transcript search. But CNN also sidestepped using that word in its own coverage of the same story.

And there you have it. The harsh critic of Fox is strung up by his inability to be anything approaching thoroughness in his supposed investigation. The irony arriving from a news person criticizing the journalistic quality of a rival — while completely fumbling the story by avoiding basic research — only deepens the humor.


This is why we should have no desire to silence those from CNN; they are doing better damage to themselves by simply being allowed to speak freely.


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