Grass Roots or Astro-Turf? Video Shows Fox News Producer Rallying 9/12 Protesters

Picture 3Video shot at last weekend’s 9/12 Project protests has surfaced showing Heidi Noonan, an associate producer for Fox News, encouraging the crowd to hoot and holler behind Griff Jenkins while he talks live from the scene with Glenn Beck in the studio.

Media Matters was the first to post the video on Friday evening, followed by DailyKos, and now the Huffington Post has posted a more extensive view of the scene and confirmed the name of the producer.

“The employee is a young, relatively inexperienced associate producer who realizes she made a mistake and has been disciplined,” FNC Washington Bureau Chief Bryan Boughton told HuffPo.

At first glance, Noonan’s ‘pump up the volume’ gestures to the crowd seem innocuous. But when you consider FNC’s whole “Fair and Balanced” credo, the interaction between producer and crowd is completely out of bounds. It’s the same problem that newspapers face when they are caught altering photographs to seem more brilliant in print: when somebody comes to you, as a journalist, for information and allows you to control their field of vision, it’s expected that you’ll turn your lens on the truth. Not an augmented or altered version of the truth.

And, given that Fox expressed disgust that other networks weren’t devoting more coverage to an event of such magnitude, one wonders why at least one Fox producer thought the scene needed help getting ready for the camera.

See the video for yourself here (from Media Matters):

The scene as it appeared on Fox News:

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