INTERESTING USE OF THE WORD ‘WE’…. It’s a good thing Fox News doesn’t have any journalistic credibility, or this might be embarrassing.

During the February 10 edition of Fox News’ Happening Now, co-host Jon Scott claimed that “the Senate is expected to pass the $838 billion stimulus plan — its version of it, anyway. We thought we’d take a look back at the bill, how it was born, and how it grew, and grew, and grew.” In tracking how and when the bill purportedly “grew,” Scott referenced seven dates, as on-screen graphics cited various news sources from those time periods.

However, all of the sources and cost figures Scott cited, as well as the accompanying on-screen text, were also contained in a February 10 press release issued by the Senate Republican Communications Center. One on-screen graphic during the segment even repeated a typo from the GOP document, further confirming that Scott was simply reading from a Republican press release. The Fox News graphic and the GOP press release both claimed that a Wall Street Journal report that the stimulus package could reach “$775 billion over two years” was published on December 19, 2009 [emphasis added].

Fox News literally got the Republican press release this morning, and soon after, aired it as if it were news. It’s one thing to take the party line on every issue, but when a news outlet starts running GOP press releases — without even bothering to correct the party’s typos — you know the network has given up entirely on being taken seriously.

It’s worth noting, of course, that this is not only ridiculously partisan, it’s also unethical — Fox News led viewers to believe the Republican talking points were actually the result of network research. If Fox News is going to pull a stunt like this, it should at least have the honesty to disclose the source. Sure, viewers should assume that if Fox News is running it, the content came from the Republican Party, but if they’re going to at least pretend to have standards, the least the network can do is make an effort to keep up the charade.

For that matter, notice the on-air personality’s choice of words: “We thought we’d take a look back at….” In this case, the viewer was led to believe “we” referred to the Fox News team. In reality, thought, Jon Scott accidentally told the truth — “we” referred to the Republican Party and its cable news network.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.