New York mag’s Gabriel Sherman caused an explosion on the level of Three Mile Island Monday by reporting that FNC weekend Executive Producer David Clark had emailed producers with instruction not to do any segments on gun control. The report came just after the Sandy Hook killing spree at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Friday.
After a follow-up story by The Hollywood Reporter challenging the accuracy of Sherman’s piece, FNC Contributor Brit Hume demanded that Sherman issue a correction. “The Hollywood Reporter story covers a lot more than Fox News Sunday, & demolishes your original story,” Hume tweeted to Sherman. “Time for a correction.”
Try as it might, THR‘s story doesn’t exactly change anything about Sherman’s original report. It does cite “Fox News insiders’ (which Sherman cited in his own story, though surely different ones ) who dispute the charge, noting that Fox News Sunday hosted a discussion on gun policy.
Sherman’s story, however, also stated that fact.
The big development in THR‘s story comes at the very end…
“The initial email from Clark to three panelists reads: ‘Gentlemen, it is too soon to talk the politics of gun control. The victims’ families still don’t even have the bodies of their loved ones. Let’s leave it for another time. Thanks.’
“New York Magazine quotes from follow-up emails Clark sent to those who were involved with the segment. A Fox News representative said they are not authorized to share private emails between executives and on-air panelists and could not comment further on those exchanges.”
Let’s get this straight. A Fox News “representative” insists that private emails cannot be shared so in other words, that means they haven’t been shared? In someone’s mind, Fantasyland or real life? While Sherman’s story didn’t have the original email, it had follow-up emails. And part of an email by Clark that Sherman quoted said basically the same thing: “We haven’t buried the children yet, we’re not discussing it.”
We’ve requested comment from three members of FNC’s PR operation. We also wrote Sherman to ask whether he’ll be issuing a correction. He has not responded to FBDC but did tweet back to Hume, “Brit, I stand by my reporting 100-percent.” To which Hume replied, “Gabe, your story was implausible on its face & contradicted by numerous examples. I’m sorry for your sake you stand by it.”
They’re on a first-name basis, at least. That’s a good sign.
Politico‘s Dylan Byers wrote a similar version of this story late this afternoon.