Cable networks scrambled to cover the suicide of Robin Williams Monday evening, abandoning segments on other world events to commemorate the life of the beloved comedian; a task that some were more successful in than others.
The “others” was one network in particular — FOX. After all, who else would screw up something like that?
While Greta Van Susteren interviewed Larry King over the phone about Robin Williams, the network played footage from the movie Mrs. Doubtfire, where Williams, dressed up as his character, danced. There was just one problem: The person in the video was not Williams and the footage was not from Mrs. Doubtfire.
In fact, a quick search for “Mrs. Doubtfire dancer” on YouTube pulled up the original version of the video. The original video is a minute and six seconds of a random guy dressed up as Mrs. Doubtfire, dancing to Aerosmith, and prefaced by the caption: “2009 Halloween Costume and dance to Dude Looks Like A Lady.”
Way to go, unknown guy dressed like a lady. You got your 15 minutes fame; and on FOX, no less.
FOX attributed the footage to 20th Century Fox, a company that has some connection to the cable news network. A few seconds later, they played scenes from Mork and Mindy. The video that FOX used is under the Standard YouTube License, which means that the individual who posted the video owns it. FOX, by not giving proper attribution to the video, cribbed the video, possibly leaving the door open for future legal consequences.
Of course, for us to just now start worrying about the absent ethical standards at FOX is like worrying about the security of the Titanic after it’s already broken in two and is sinking faster than Rush Limbaugh’s ratings.
You can watch FOX play the footage below: