What Fox News aired (and what it didn’t)

If you tuned in to “Fox News Sunday” over the weekend, you saw an interesting interview with Jon Stewart, host of “The Daily Show.” What you didn’t see was Stewart’s reference to Fox News vice president and DC managing editor Bill Sammon.

Here’s what Stewart said during the interview:

“You can’t understand because of the world you live in that there is not a designed ideological agenda on my part to affect partisan change because that’s the soup you swim in. And I appreciate that. And I understand that. It reminds me of, you know — you know, in ideological regimes, they can’t understand that there is free media other places. Because they receive marching orders. And if you want me to go through Bill Sammon’s emails and…”

At that point, Chris Wallace cut him off. But what was aired on Sunday morning was this exact quote — without the half-sentence about Sammon and his emails.

I suppose this shouldn’t come as a surprise. The emails, which show the Fox News exec dictating to reporters about using Republican-approved rhetoric while covering specific stories, are damning evidence that the network is little more than a Republican propaganda outlet.

But it’s an awfully interesting edit to make for Sunday’s broadcast. As Eric Hananoki explained:

To be clear, programs — including The Daily Show — routinely air edited versions of pre-taped interviews, mainly because of time (Stewart’s unedited interview was roughly 24 minutes while the on-air version was roughly 15 minutes). But it’s hard to imagine that Stewart’s five-second reference to Sammon — a Fox News executive and boss at the DC bureau where Fox News Sunday is produced — was excised just because of time.

Adam Serwer added, “[I]f Fox did deliberately excise that portion of the interview, you have to wonder who they think they’re fooling. Fox News’ slanted coverage is part of their success story. It’s why conservatives love the network. Do they really think anyone still buys the idea that they’re ‘fair and balanced?'”