UPDATE: “Thanks for your help,” writes Gil Duran. “And on the sixth day, Fox corrected the story.”
FoxNews.com reported last week that California’s 2012 budget deficit is projected to hit $28 billion.
“Completely false,” writes Gil Duran, Gov. Jerry Brown’s press secretary. “The error was actually pointed out to me by a reporter who thought it was a pretty shocking mistake.”
Duran tells Romenesko readers:
I wrote a request for a correction. Ignored. So it appears I’m going to have to campaign for a correction. Most news outlets are more than happy to correct an egregious error. Not Fox News, apparently. I’m not surprised by most of what they do. But — come on — you can’t just write fiction. I’m used to their relentless attacks and we generally ignore them … falsehoods are another matter!
Read Duran’s emails to Fox News after the jump.
From: Gil Duran
Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2012 8:14 PM
Your story on California has some major and obvious errors.
First, the story states that California has a $28 billion deficit. This is completely false and is already being mocked by California reporters on Twitter. Please correct the record immediately.
The story also makes misleading claims about Proposition 30. Specifically, the story says that “families making over $250,000” will have their income taxes increased. But for families that file jointly, there would be no tax increase unless they made $500,000.
In general, the article simply rehashes arguments from obscure columnists whose opinions are contradicted by all available data. But these two major errors merit immediate correction.
Please correct the record.
After that email was ignored, Duran sent this note:
From: Gil Duran
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 10:50 AM
Subject: FW: Correction
Dear Fox News,
I am following up on the message I sent earlier this week. This story contains an absolute falsehood. It contains a claim that is refuted by all existing evidence. In fact, this error was brought to my attention by a journalist who read the story and was shocked by the inaccuracy. I have made a good faith attempt to have the record corrected via the means provided on your website. However, this seems insufficient.
For more than five days now, this completely inaccurate piece has been on your website. It was featured on the Drudge Report and was the top trending story on your site. And it contains a major error. It is unethical to refuse to make a necessary correction. Please correct the record.