Attention Fox News: Palm Trees Don’t Grow in Wisconsin

Click on Photo to Read Timeline of Wisconsin Uprising Against Gov. Scott Walker

On Monday, Fox News’ “the O’Reilly Factor” broadcast a segment about the workers’ rights demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin, that used a level of paranoia and falsities seemingly inspired by the John Birch Society. O’Reilly asked correspondent Mike Tobin if the protesters were “professional leftists” or just normal people. Fox News then played b-roll of a demonstration getting ugly — that clearly wasn’t a demonstration in Wisconsin. How do we know? There were palm trees in the background. Note to Fox: Palm trees don’t grow in Wisconsin.

Best of all, Fox used classic Orwellian language to defend its use of the palm-tree b-roll: The network claimed on www.Mediaite.com that “O’Reilly clearly identified the videos as collectively coming from ‘all over the country’ (and not Wisconsin).” Reporter Mike Tobin also lied that he was punched by a protester on Friday. The truth is he was merely patted on the shoulder. See for yourself. “Fair and Balanced” yeah right.

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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