Context matters. Good journalists should go out of their way to avoid creating a mistaken impression.
Fox News apologized Tuesday after receiving a torrent of criticism over the network’s use of photos of various players for the Philadelphia Eagles kneeling in prayer, creating the misleading impression that they were demonstrating during the national anthem.
The photos ran during a segment on Monday night, after President Trump announced that he had uninvited the reigning Super Bowl champions from a traditional visit to the White House.
As Fox News anchor Shannon Bream explained Trump’s decision, which he attributed to the anthem protests that have roiled the league, photos of Eagles players kneeling in prayer were shown on screen.
“During our report about President Trump canceling the Philadelphia Eagles trip to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl win, we showed unrelated footage of players kneeling in prayer,” Wallace said. “To clarify, no members of the team knelt in protest during the national anthem throughout regular or post-season last year. We apologize for the error.”
The network’s Twitter account also posted video of the segment, which was deleted after Fox issued its apology.
The network did air other segments showing players for other teams actually kneeling during the anthem. No one on the Eagles’ 2017-18 regular season roster knelt during the anthem.