- Fox News on Wednesday published a book excerpt that described Obama-era officials complaining about “doing nonstop PC [political correctness] meetings.” The bracketed text appeared in the book.
- The problem is that the “PC” stands for Principals Committee, a top National Security Council forum, not “political correctness.”
- Multiple journalists laid into Fox News for the mistake, and one former National Security Council senior adviser tweeted “I am dying.”
- Doug Wead, the book’s author, has since confirmed that “PC” in fact stands for Principals Committee, and Fox News published an editor’s note correcting the mistake.
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Fox News issued an embarrassing correction after publishing a book excerpt claiming that President Barack Obama’s White House held regular “political correctness” meetings.
The right-leaning news network on Wednesday published the excerpt from an upcoming book by Doug Wead on the Trump administration, titled “Inside Trump’s White House: The Real Story of His Presidency.”
The excerpt described an unnamed White House source as saying that Obama-era CIA officials complained about having to spend “a lot of time in the White House doing nonstop PC [political correctness] meetings.” The bracketed text is from the book.
The problem is that the “PC” actually stands for Principals Committee, a top interagency meeting convened by the National Security Council, not “political correctness.”
- Flickr / The White House
The Fox News reporter Sam Dorman also appeared to understand “PC” as meaning “political correctness.” In the original version of his article, he wrote about claims that the Obama administration “micromanaged intelligence matters and was too concerned with political correctness.”
Multiple national-security journalists spotted the mistake shortly after the report’s publication. Loren DeJonge Schulman, who was a senior adviser to the national security adviser Susan Rice, tweeted: “I am dying. Principals Committee meetings, Fox. Not political correctness meetings!”
She added that “PC meetings were often not at all PC.”
- Pete Souza/The White House
Fox News has amended its article to say that Wead’s book misunderstood the meaning of “PC meetings” and that Wead confirmed his source had referred to Principals Committee meetings.
“An earlier version of this story accurately quoted the book as describing ‘PC’ as standing for ‘politically correct’ in characterizing certain Obama administration meetings,” the editor’s note says. “The author has since informed Fox News this was due to a misunderstanding between him and his source and that the initials referred to ‘Principals Committee.'”
Before Wead’s confirmation, Fox News issued an editor’s note saying that “PC” may not stand for “political correctness,” though the first version of the story didn’t mention the Principals Committee.
“The book that is the subject of this story is accurately quoted below in describing ‘PC’ as ‘politically correct’ in brackets,” the earlier editor’s note said. “Fox News is aware that ‘PC’ may instead stand for ‘Principals Committee’ and has reached out to the author for further explanation.”
David Martosko, the Daily Mail’s US political editor, who tweeted about the mistake earlier on Wednesday, said Dorman was insisting that “PC” still stood for “political correctness,” despite the widespread criticism.
He “wasn’t very nice about it,” Martosko said. “Profanity in an unsolicited email is always unwelcome.”
But Wead will not be able to correct the quote in time for his book’s release on November 26. The firm in charge of the book’s promotion said, according to the Daily Beast, that it “will be updated and corrected in the next printing.”
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