Every Chicago Bears fan knows the story by now. Fox Sports, in an effort to drive home the company's anti Jay Cutler agenda, invented some fake newspaper headlines for the week one game against the Atlanta Falcons. Fox wanted to show how even the city of Chicago had turned on Jay and questioned his leadership and ability after the NFC Championship. But it was some good old fashioned hard work by the Chicago Tribune, either that or they had an intern visit Google, that uncovered the bogus headlines.
Fox Vice President of Communications Dan Bell told the Tribune the headlines were "misleading". Misleading is one way to look at it. Another would be to call Bell full of excrement. Bell was on WSCR last Thursday and he was in full spin control mode. From the above link;
"Nobody tries to be more perfect than we do at Fox Sports," Bell said. "And we are (embarrassed). We understand the mistake. We understand that we were wrong."
Understanding and taking responsibility are two different things. Bell was asked about the way Fox portrayed Cutler during the NFC Championship game, if they tried to make him look bad, and Bell said there was no conspiracy. Deny, deny, deny... He was asked if Fox would issue an on air apology about the phony headlines and he came of kind of prickish.
"We already apologized -- I've apologized to the Tribune, I'm apologizing now on the Score. It's something I'll have to (check on) when I get back up to the office. I think we've made it clear that we accept responsibility for it and we apologize for it and we can assure NFL viewers that it won't happen again."
Did Fox make it clear by apologizing to Jay Cutler? Was there a mention during the Bears Packers game? I didn't hear one, but apparently Fox's Curt Menafee gave one in studio during the pre-game show. From the Tribune:
"Before we move on, I want to go back to Week 1, during the Atlanta-Chicago broadcast, when our production crew that was doing that game displayed an incorrect graphic," Menefee said. "Now, the production team told our announcer Daryl Johnston that a taped video package that made air came from actual headlines concerning Bears quarterback Jay Cutler's performance during last year's NFC Championship Game. While in fact, they were not. FOX Sports regrets this mistake and apologizes to Cutler, the Chicago Bears organization and everyone involved"
That was a nice gesture. But I really would have liked to hear someone say something during the game. When I started digging (googling) for info about this, I first went to the Fox Sports site. I figured they would have issued a press release or a statement about the Cutler headline situation. Nope. In fact the only article on the site was written by the Associated Press. You'd think that Fox VP of communications Dan Bell could have at least had some young Fox intern whip up a quick snippet about their mistake to slap on their website. That would have been a "clear" acceptance of responsibility.