Fair and Balanced?

Fox News apologized today for airing a tape from last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference at which boos were heard when Texas maverick Ron Paul was announced as winner of its presidential straw poll. That old footage aired Feb. 15 during an interview with Paul, who again won CPAC’s poll last weekend before an upbeat audience.

Fox downplays the incident, calling it an “honest mistake.” That boo-boo happened when Fox anchor Bill Hemmer asked Paul about the boos.

Paul downplayed the incident -- as he did last year on Fox -- when initially queried about the rough reception. Hemmer asked Feb. 15: “Who was in the audience booing you, did you get a name, did you get an ID on those people?” The doctor replied that he wasn’t at “that little ceremony at the end but it shows you that people are not unanimous on this cause of liberty.”

While on air today, Hemmer admitted that Fox clearly made a mistake, noting there were audible boos in 2010, but a “lot more cheering this year” for the 76-year-old Congressman from Texas.

Was Paul’s victory too much for Roger Ailes and the gang, who are fronting the campaign of contributor Sarah Palin? Perish the thought!

Paul’s people aren’t too sure. They believe Fox sees their guy as a loose cannon with no chance of winning the presidency. In his strange cameo appearance at CPAC, Donald Trump called Paul a potential loser from the podium, before exiting to dream about buying the New York Mets from his good friends, the Wilpons.

In this year’s balloting, Paul trounced runner-up Mitt Romney by a 30 percent to 23 percent margin. Palin was a no-show, though an impersonator of the half-term Alaska Governor generated quite a buzz.

Palin got three percent of the vote, a point behind another Fox favorite Crazy Michele Bachmann, who is making a serious bid to snatch Sarah’s crown.