Fox News Still Hasn’t Fixed The Basic Errors In Its Latest Assassin’s Creed Story

Fox News Still Hasn’t Fixed The Basic Errors In Its Latest Assassin’s Creed Story

Mainstream news outlets often get games wrong. This has been discussed. And discussed. And discussed, again, this week.

The Assassin’s Creed 3 article that Fox News published earlier this week is atrocious for so many reasons. Yes, it’s xenophobic, somehow making the phrase “French company” sound like dirty words. Yes, Fox clearly tried to twist it into something that it’s not. And to top it off it’s chock-full of simple factual errors.

I think that’s what bothers me the most — that no one at Fox could even be bothered to get the facts straight before attempting to besmirch yet another game. The article refers to “The Tyranny of King Washington” as a standalone game, which it’s not, and says that it’s available for “Nintendo Wii,” which it’s not. It’s that simple. In light of everything else, it shouldn’t be that big a deal. But for some reason they continued to irk me, like a painful boil begging to be lanced. Instead of just staring, I decided to try to do something about it.

Poking around on Fox’s website, I found this page on how to submit story corrections. Late on Tuesday I tweeted (here and here) at the @foxnews account and emailed the indicated address. As of Sunday afternoon, the errors remain.

When someone points out an error in one of my articles, I correct it as soon as possible. Hell, I try not to make errors to begin with — obviously. And I try to reach out to the article’s subjects if I feel further discussion or clarification is warranted. Fox News did not do these things.

I even confirmed with Ubisoft that Fox did not so much as reach out to them for comment. Representatives for Ubi didn’t seem too perturbed by Fox’s article, though, particularly given the positive tone of the spokesperson from George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate with whom Fox did speak. I’d guess Fox’s reporters expected outrage from the folks who help to uphold Washington’s legacy, but there was none to be found.

I hate to pick on Fox News — OK, that’s not totally true, but still — because they’re hardly the only offenders in this area. Just search for the outdated term “computer game” on most non-enthusiast news sites and you can see how out of touch many otherwise modern reporters are.

But Fox has earned its reputation. It made its bed, and based on everything I’ve seen it seems it doesn’t pay much mind to the stains on the sheets. Here’s the email that I sent to Fox’s media and communications contacts on Friday, after explaining who I was and what errors I was referring to:

I went through what I believe are the normal channels by submitting these errors to the Twitter account and email address listed on the Fox News website earlier this week, but they have not yet been fixed. I was hoping to learn from you what the standard turnaround time for fixing factual errors in online articles is, and find out how important factual accuracy is in Fox News’s online reporting. Apologies for the short notice on this request but I wanted to give until the end of the week for the errors to be corrected before reaching out — if you get back to me after I publish my article I will amend it with your input. Thank you!

So far I haven’t heard anything.


  • TLDR Ass Creed 3 ain’t on Wii, but its on Wii U?

    kinda annoys me too… i like the wii u, yet clueless retailers and obviously the guy that wrote the article for Fox seem to lump the Wii and Wii U together… maybe i missed the point of the article… i don’t care…

    • Yeah, technically, the issue here is that we have people responsible for informing the public when they have a very limited knowledge (or just hopeless research skills) of the topic they are writing about. While this wouldn’t usually be a newsworthy error, I think it’s amplified by the ignorance of the linked article’s contents.

      However I guess the line of argument is so contrived that it could also qualify as an error. As most readers here may be aware, the Washington DLC explores an alternate reality in which GW is essentially a different character from the one in the main game. They take it as some offensive attack from the French which is the ridiculously over-patriotic defensive sensationalism we’ve come to expect from the US media giants.

  • Considering that a chunk of the population aren’t even aware that the Wii and WiiU are two different consoles I think it’s a predictable mistake to make.

  • I feel like “The Tyranny of King Washington” would be a much more interesting game than Assassin’s Creed 3 was.

    Maybe I’ll fire up Civ V tonight and play America as a Communist Dictatorship.

    • I was thinking though; does anyone in Australia do any different when it comes to their media?

      I mean what percentage would actually research whether what they read in the news, or watch on TV is factually accurate. Hell, how many journalists would even check what they’re writing is accurate (the ones not simply retyping press releases)?

      • I do, and catch hell for it if I manage to make a factual error or miss something.
        Still, I work for a local paper and people are more willing and capapble of taking us to task.

        And those retyping press releases shouldn’t put their names to it, although many still do.

  • Lack of journalist integrity from a Rupert Murdoch propaganda machine? Unpossible I tell you, it would keep him awake at night as he lay next to his asian wife that is at least half his age.

  • What irritates me a little is that Fox owns IGN and IGN had to layoff a whole bunch of their journalists a week ago. Surely someone would see this as an opportunity to move some people across to the main Fox site who could obviously do with some people with experience in gaming journalism? Everybody wins in this scenario.

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