Given its performance in Baltimore, I am starting to wonder if maybe Fox News should only do opinion and stay away from covering challenging news stories like the one still playing out on the streets of Baltimore.
I know that might sound extreme, but in the volatile situation that is Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, you would think the last thing any reporter or producer would do is report any act of violence, particularly a police shooting, that it had not absolutely confirmed and vetted several different ways.
But that's just what happened Monday afternoon with Fox News reporting that police shot a black man in the back as he was running from them. It was on Fox air, Fox Twitter accounts and Fox online.
Mike Tobin reported the shooting from Pennsylvania and W. North Avenues for the channel. But what he thought he saw appears to have never happened.
Maybe I feel this way in part because this is my town and it seems so vulnerable right now. But this story is way too big for the report-it-first, confirm-it-later reporting that is accepted as standard operating procedure in TV news, Internet and social-media reporting.
It's too big for Fox News to have sent someone like Geraldo Rivera here to cover it for Sean Hannity's show last week. Rivera told State Sen. Catherine Pugh the people on the streets of Baltimore seemed to be looking for "trouble." She had to tell him that wasn't what they were looking for at all.
City Council member Nick Mosby had the same kind of encounter with Fox News correspondent Leland Vittert the night of the riots when he tried to offer some context on the "socioeconomics of urban America," only to finally say he thought Vittert missed the point of "everything" he "tried to articulate."
To the reporters still in Baltimore: Stop it. Raise your games. Rise to the level of this story - or get out of town.