Well, this is unfortunate. It looks like wishful thinking. Fox & Friends briefly aired a graphic this morning that seemed to suggest that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away. Right after a commercial break, a graphic of the 85-year-old justice briefly came onscreen with the dates “1933-2019.” Obviously, it was a mistake, but it should never have gotten that far.
“We need to apologize … A technical error in the control room triggered a graphic of RBG with a date on it,” co-host Steve Doocy said later in the show. “We don’t want to make it seem anything other than that was a mistake. That was an accident.”
“We apologize, big mistake,” stated co-host Ainsley Earhardt.
Fox News just slipped in Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s obituary segment opener pic.twitter.com/PfN6ICltYb
— Chip Douglas (@AreaMan_) January 21, 2019
Ginsburg is currently recovering from several broken ribs after a nasty fall and a surgery on December 21st to remove cancerous growths from her left lung. Rumor has it that she also has pneumonia currently but we don’t have confirmation on that yet.
The malignant nodules were discovered while receiving treatment for a November 7th fall in her chambers. She’s had cancer before and she is now no longer in remission. She has missed oral arguments for three consecutive days earlier this month, participating in cases using transcripts. Ginsburg has never done that before or even missed a day at the High Court. Ginsburg also missed oral arguments last week. Again, unsubstantiated rumors have it that she has canceled all of next month as well.
This morning on Fox News.
Ginsburg is NOT DEAD. pic.twitter.com/7gTWggUM6l
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 21, 2019
Just in the last few days, Ginsburg pulled out of two upcoming speaking engagements. Appearances at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and a February 6th event featuring private equity titan and philanthropist David Rubenstein in New York City were both canceled.
Justice Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She decided against stepping down during Obama’s second term because she did not believe Trump would win the presidency. She was wrong. Last year, Ginsburg signaled she intends to remain on the bench by hiring law clerks for at least two additional terms. But it doesn’t look like that will be the case the way things are going for her. Ginsburg had previously pledged to stay in her post “as long as I can do it full steam.”
This just popped up on Fox News for a brief second before they cut it off:
"Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 1933-2019"
Hope she's well. pic.twitter.com/AweLElBazH
— PolishPatriot™️ (@PolishPatriotTM) January 21, 2019
Fox & Friends claims it was a control room error.
The Supreme Court announced on January 11th that Ginsburg’s recovery was “on track” and that there was no evidence of remaining disease. No one believes that statement is accurate anymore and President Trump stands to appoint yet another Supreme Court justice during his administration. The court has reportedly been drafting a list of potential replacements for Ginsburg.
If I were a betting person, I would say someone lost their job at Fox News this morning. You just don’t air something like that period.
Fox News Accidentally Killed Off Ruth Bader Ginsburg With an Ill-Fated Graphic pic.twitter.com/iiJZdzcyUZ
— James Hirsen (@thejimjams) January 21, 2019
Mediaite has a theory on how this got into production at Fox News:
“So how did this package make air? Someone familiar with the details of the mistake tells Mediaite “The graphics team incorrectly assigned the obit to a Nexio number that was designated for an existing Fox & Friends animation Trouble with Schools.” Nexio is a digital communications and technology platform that many television control rooms use to manage visual assets and graphics packages.
“Mediaite’s source tells us “The Technical Director dialed up that existing number expecting it to be the Fox & Friends animation and when he triggered it, the wrong animation ran on air.”
“So there you have it. This mistake was not the result of Fox & Friends opinion programming, nor was it some sort of wishful thinking as some on social media have unfairly claimed. It was a technical gaffe that landed on Fox News morning show, who handled the mistake as quickly and gracefully as one could expect.”
It’s understandable that Fox News would have this graphic ready to go. Ginsburg is in poor health and they do ‘breaking news’. But someone should be a bit more careful in their job here at the very least.