Democracy Soup

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Fox ‘News’ proves its bias extends into news segments to win the Media Putz

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Originally published on MediaPutz.com on November 5, 2009

Fox “News”

The MSM loves to tell us that there is Fox “News” with O’Reilly, Hannity, and Beck and then there’s Fox “News” on the rest of the time. Fair and Balanced.

Hmmm, well, based on what we’ve seen lately from the “news” part of Fox “News,” their argument is as thin as the pastrami in a New York City deli.

Chris Wallace is seen as the legitimate face of Fox “News.” After all, Wallace, son of a real journalist in Mike Wallace, has hosted “Meet the Press” on NBC and was on “Primetime Thursday” on ABC. Certainly, Fox plays that up when accused of news bias.

Here was the chance, the ultimate chance, to toss a few hard questions to Rush Limbaugh, prove the naysayers wrong, show them that Fox has a real news department. But Wallace’s cushy softball interview with Rush Limbaugh is much more typical of the style of “journalism” Wallace has brought us for many years.

“I think you’re a great broadcaster. How can you possibly be worth that kind of money?”

When you go back to Wallace’s interview with former President Clinton in 2006, you find Wallace asked some tough questions. But that Chris Wallace, rarely seen in public, wasn’t on display with Limbaugh.

“Do you think the individual mandate is constitutional? Do you think the government has the right to tell people, You’re going to get health insurance, and if you don’t get it, you’re going to pay a penalty?”

This question of Limbaugh could have been phrased in a way that would have sounded legitimate. The question, exactly the way Wallace phrased it, sounds like he agrees with Limbaugh, described in a court of law as leading the witness. Then again, when you are all on the same side, every question is a leading one.

And this doesn’t even factor in that Limbaugh was allowed to spew out “facts” that weren’t even close to being true, but that seemed just fine with Wallace.

LIMBAUGH: I mean, just a couple days ago, they talked about these 650,000 jobs that they’ve created or saved. There’s no such thing as a saved job. Besides that, they’ve destroyed jobs. They’ve lost 3.3 million jobs in this country since Obama’s stimulus plan, and it’s going to get worse.

Wallace couldn’t even ask Limbaugh where he got such a ridiculous set of numbers. And Wallace wouldn’t dare correct him.

Then there’s Gretchen Carlson. Okay, she works on “Fox and Friends,” a pseudo-news show even by Fox standards. But they do interview newsmakers, and they do work on a morning show on a channel that masquerades as a news outlet.

Carlson was interviewing a rather prominent newsmaker in Rep. Michele Bachmann recently. The interview was typical Fox fluff, including Carlson’s reference at the end to providing a link to Bachmann’s “Super Bowl of Freedom.”

But no one mentioned the conflict, where George Will of all people, disclosed that Bachmann used to be Carlson’s nanny. Yet, the “news” department at Fox didn’t have an issue with Carlson interviewing Bachmann and a lack of disclosure over their relationship. Do you think Keith Olbermann could interview his nanny (if he even had one) without mentioning a conflict of interest and not receive scorn from the MSM?

Carlson’s two “questions” weren’t any tougher than those seen on a 3 a.m. infomercial. And when Bachmann referenced the “whites of their eyes,” Carlson’s eyes didn’t even blink.

You have to wonder how many times Carlson has interviewed or talked about Bachmann even before Will’s disclosure. And why are we finding out about the Carlson/Bachmann relationship from someone other than Carlson or Fox? Not disclosing conflict of interest issues is a no-no. Steering a conflict of interest into a 1-on-1 interview? That’s how they do it at Fox.

At least, Wallace and Limbaugh don’t have a relationship. But given Wallace’s reaction to Limbaugh afterwards, you might want to start making dinner reservations.

“I just want to give you my reaction. First of all I had never met him. Very nice, very sweet and I’ve have to say vulnerable guy and if you watch the interview you’ll see because he talks very candidly about drug rehab…”

Wallace’s softball questions brought out the mean, petty, obnoxious side of Limbaugh, which is actually all of his sides. The “very nice, very sweet and… vulnerable guy” Wallace speaks of isn’t there in the room.

Ruth Marcus and Jake Tapper, among many many others, owe us an apology.

Fox “News” may fool the MSM into thinking it’s a legitimate news outlet. But we’re paying more attention to Fox than they are, so we really know what’s going on. Chris Wallace and Gretchen Carlson — two reasons why Fox “News” gets put into quotes, and once again, wins this week’s Media Putz award.

Fox “News” has previously won the Media Putz on July 9, 2009, April 16, 2009, and on May 15, 2008.

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Written by democracysoup

November 5, 2009 at 6:00 am

Posted in media criticism, MSM

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