- - Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fox News Channel’s morning show on Wednesday twice aired a nearly 4-minute video that contrasted President Obama’s words with negative statistics about his administration in a format that looked similar to a campaign advertisement.

The liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America called the video “essentially a four-minute anti-Obama attack ad.” The segment also received criticism from a conservative blogger.

It was shown on “Fox & Friends” and was credited to a Fox producer. It contains ominous music and some grainy footage of the president, along with stock images from campaign ads: an American flag fluttering in the breeze, a child running in a baseball game, a bald eagle.

The segment mixes Mr. Obama’s words with a litany of statistics, contrasting the national debt, the jobless rate and the number of Americans on food stamps “then” and “now,” although the time frame isn’t clearly explained.

A part about rising gasoline prices illustrates the current price per gallon by showing a cartoon car overheating with a puff of steam, with what resembles an Obama campaign graphic on its side. It shows statistics on reduced family savings with a graphic of a piggy bank tumbling down stairs.

Besides Mr. Obama’s words, verbal images flash by — clips of newscasters saying phrases such as “more Americans are out of work,” “inflation fears rising” and “fear we’ll see the long gas lines of the ‘70s.”

The video ends with Mr. Obama’s own words, as he says, “That’s the power of hope. That’s the change we seek. That’s the change we can stand for.”

When it ended, “Fox & Friends” anchor Steve Doocy praised the producer for a “job well done.”

Media Matters spokeswoman Jessica Levin said, “It looked like a very slickly produced Republican ad.”

Bill Shine, Fox programming executive vice president, said the video was created by an associate producer and was not authorized at the network’s senior level. He said senior executives would not have approved it and the matter was addressed with the show’s producers.

Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Shine would not address what action, if any, had been taken against the producers or how the video was aired a second time without senior executives being aware.

Ed Morrissey, of the conservative media blog Hot Air, questioned the video even though he wrote, “I don’t disagree with much, if anything” that it says.

“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,” Mr. Morrissey wrote.

The video was posted on the “Fox & Friends” website Wednesday afternoon with the headline “Four years of hope and change” but was taken down.

Next Grammy Awards show set for Feb. 10 in L.A.

If you’re a fan of the Grammy Awards, mark your calendar for Feb. 10 — that’s when the annual event will be held next year.

The Staples Center in Los Angeles again will be the stage for what’s billed as “music’s biggest night.” The nominations will be revealed two months earlier on Dec. 5 during a live prime-time concert on CBS.

CBS also will broadcast the Grammy Awards.

This year’s Grammy broadcast was seen by almost 40 million viewers, making it the second most-watched Grammys in history. The broadcast was highlighted by Adele’s Grammy sweep and a tribute to Whitney Houston, who died a day before the event.

Edie Falco’s ‘Nurse Jackie’ renewed for fifth season

Former “Dexter” showrunner Clyde Phillips is taking the helm at Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie.”

With a new showrunner firmly in place, the dramedy starring Edie Falco has been renewed for a fifth season. The Emmy-nominated Mr. Phillips replaced co-creators Linda Wallem and Liz Brixius, who left the New York-based series this year. Production on season five will begin late this year.

“Clyde brings a unique combination of skills in both comedy and drama, and he is a master at making entertaining and compelling television,” Showtime entertainment chief David Nevins said of the show’s new hire, who joins Ms. Falco, Richie Jackson and Caryn Mandabach as an executive producer.

Compiled from Web and wire reports.

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