Fox News Made One Hell of an Anti-Obama Ad [Updated]

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The bajillion dollars Republican super-PACs plan to spend to take down Barack Obama does not include compensating Fox News for its services, but maybe it should. On Fox and Friends this morning, the cable news network debuted a four-minute, um, documentary looking back on the last four years of "hope and change." Cue foreboding music! Break out the apocalyptic video filters! Prepare for mayhem.

The result is a clip that could make Karl Rove cackle, in which moneybags representing the national debt crash down from above, innocent children scrounge for pennies, and the president forces everyone to pay with food stamps.

Even the conservative blog Hot Air isn't sure what to make of it: "Should a news organization produce and publish attack ads like this?" writes Ed Morrissey today. Media Matters wonders if the clip violates News Corp.'s policy on contributing corporate services or products to political candidates and cites the company's own rule: "Always keep in mind that 'contribution' is defined broadly, and does not necessarily mean money."

Fox seems to have already pulled the video, but not before it made its way to YouTube, complete with an intro from the proud anchors. The fair and balanced part probably comes tomorrow — we can't wait to see what they come up with for Mitt Romney!

Update: A statement from Bill Shine, executive vice-president of programming at Fox, says, "The package that aired on Fox and Friends was created by an associate producer and was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network. This has been addressed with the show's producers." That's how egregious this thing is.