Fox faces fallout over misleading footage before Ron Paul interview

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On Tuesday, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer asked Ron Paul to respond to the chorus of boos that greeted news the insurgent small-government Texas congressman had won the Conservative Political Action Conference's presidential straw poll for the second year in a row. There was just one problem with Hemmer's question: The vocal chorus of boos didn't come from last week's 2011 CPAC as the network claimed; rather those boos were from the 2010 conference.

You can watch the 2011 footage, followed by Paul's introduction on Fox this week with the 2010 footage, via the media news site Mediaite:

Paul supporters have claimed that Fox News—which some might expect to promote an establishment Republican over the anti-establishment Paul—intentionally aired the wrong footage to place Paul in a negative light against runner-up Mitt Romney.

Paul's spokeswoman declined to comment to The Cutline.

However, Fox denies any such deception. Michael Clemente, Fox's senior vice president of news, told Mediaite that "we made a mistake with some of the video we aired, and plan on issuing a correction on America's Newsroom tomorrow morning explaining exactly what happened."

Hemmer admitted the error on air today. "It's an honest mistake. We apologize for the error. We look forward to having Representative Paul back on our program very soon," he told viewers.

Still, this isn't the first time Fox has aired the wrong footage in a way that could be perceived as benefiting certain Republicans.

In November 2009, Fox's Sean Hannity had Rep. Michele Bachmann on describing an anti-health care reform rally while airing footage from a significantly larger event led by Glenn Beck a few months earlier. Hannity apologized the next night for the mix-up, which was caught by The Daily Show's Jon Stewart. You can watch the Stewart report below:

The Daily Show - Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck's Protest Footage
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Fox again aired the wrong crowd footage during a segment just a week later.

Fox's Greg Jarrett reported that Sarah Palin was "drawing huge crowds" while on a book tour. The footage, however, was actually from a larger 2008 campaign event. Fox's management chalked up the incorrect footage to a "production error." The network hired Palin soon after as a contributor.

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