A story published today by Media Matters writer Joe Strupp gets inside the inner-workings of the Fox News PR shop. The piece reports that Fox News PR shop is unusually aggressive with reps instituting odd rules and asking demanding questions, in at least one case asking a reporter to lie. Strupp’s main assertion is that Fox News PR pitches negative stories about other cable networks more than any other network.
One veteran reporter said anonymously, “They are in touch more than anyone else, they call or e-mail me with pitches, ideas, some that are positive about Fox but also negative about other people,” said one veteran media reporter who requested anonymity. “Other cable news networks are not like that. That is a hallmark of them; that is a thing they do.”
(That reporter offered e-mail evidence to Strupp that Fox News PR had pitched negative stories on MSNBC and poor ratings on CNN’s John King)
Strupp’s piece cites LAT‘s James Rainey on record as well as Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times. We’ll see if they get blacklisted if they aren’t already.
Oh, and the phone? We know first-hand and from many other reporters around Washington that when pitching negative pieces on other networks they prefer the phone as opposed to e-mail and will relentlessly call from blocked numbers until a reporter picks up.
Not surprisingly, a Fox News spokesperson declined to comment for Strupp’s story. (The above photograph is dirt.)