FNC Guest Says Arrest Was Made In Horowitz Case; Network Cites Thinly-Sourced Report Before It Was Proven False

By Brian 

Post updated at 5:16pm — At 2:50 p.m., a Fox News anchor interviewed San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein, who said he had heard that a caretaker was arrested in the murder of Daniel Horowitz‘s wife.

“Fox kept running with it, until someone probably started double checking,” an e-mailer says. “There was a font on Fox for [SEVERAL MINUTES] saying ‘Report: Arrest in Horowitz Case,'” another e-mailer says. Some of the chyrons said “San Francisco Chronicle: Arrest in Horowitz’s Wife Murder,” but others only said “Report.”

“Fox News cannot independently confirm this arrest, but the Chronicle says that the caretaker has been taken into custody,” Shep Smith said.

Bronstein noted the following: “One of our reporters heard from a source very close to the family that there has been an arrest, that that — and we haven’t confirmed that yet, so when you are saying San Francisco Chronicle is reporting we ourselves are not reporting that yet until we confirm it.”

A few minutes later on Studio B, Shep backed away from the report, and said the network was efforting to get more information.

> Update: 4:48pm: A tipster says: “It says ‘Report,’ meaning, NOT CONFIRMED. It’s just one report. The guest probably told them what he heard, and FNC put the ‘Report:’ up, while they checked it out. They did. 20 minutes later, they said, ‘maybe he’s wrong.'” But should FNC be placing unconfirmed reports on the screen, before verifying them?