Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report today highlights a recent SFGATE.com article written by Matea Gold of the LA Times entitled Critics slam Cheney's interview choice. As predicted, the assualt on the Vice President, who waited approximately 24 hours before making an official announcement over the shooting incident this past weekend, has modified somewhat to include an assault on Fox News as well:
For days, the White House news corps has pounded the Bush administration, demanding to learn more about Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of a hunting companion Saturday.
Cheney finally addressed the incident Wednesday, but the forum in which he chose to do so -- in an exclusive interview with Fox News host Brit Hume -- quickly became another source of contention.
But this was the pleasant portion of the article. Ms. Gold goes on to write that:
But some Democrats and competing broadcasters charged that Cheney chose to speak only with Fox News because of a perception that the cable channel is sympathetic to the Republican administration. They called for the vice president to hold a news conference with the rest of the media.
"Now that he feels forced to talk, he wants to restrict the discussion to a friendly news outlet, guaranteeing no hard questions from the press corps," Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said in a statement.
On CNN, commentator Jack Cafferty called the interview "a little bit like Bonnie interviewing Clyde. ... I mean, running over there to the Fox network -- talk about seeking a safe haven."
Did either of these folks see the interview with Brit before they offered these comments? This was no softball interview as Mr. Hume even strayed from the topic of the shooting at one point to ask the Vice President if he had indeed authorized Scooter Libby to leak classified information.
These comments, while predictable, strike me as those akin to ones made by someone regarding a controversial book who, upon being questioned, is forced to admit they never read the book. Do Senator Lautenberg and Mr. Cafferty ever watch Special Report w/Brit Hume?
The White House has been accused by Washington Post Op-Ed columnist and others of "arrogance." I disagree.
This has been, from the start, more a story of the arrogance of the media elites. Journalists from the major networks especially have been incensed. First they were offended by the 24-hour delay in the release of the information, then they were incensed over the fact they were scooped by a local Texas newspaper, and then they were incensed by Scott McClellen's refusal to answer questions about the incident.
Queue the David Gregory tirade.
The final and most horrific insult was the Vice President's decision to forgo an open-ended press conference in favor of one in-depth interview with Brit Hume of Fox News. Which gives both lefty bloggers and the traditional media some extra fuel for their fire.
2/14 - On his WMAL show today, Chris Core, talking about Dick Cheney's shotgun controversy, faulted the Washington press corps because it's always on the prowl "for scandal." OK, Chris, so isn't that what a reporter does? Look for news? And, yes, sometimes finding scandal? I guess what Chris wants is a press corps like Fox News - to do PR for the president and his administration. A whole army of White House butt-kissers like Carl Cameron. I will admit, Chris, that maybe it's a choice between two "evils." Still, I'd rather have a press corps that dishes out lurid scandal than one that feeds me government propaganda. Freedom of the press ain't always pretty.....
I agree wholeheartedly with the comment that "freedom of the press ain't always pretty....." At the same time, why does this philosophy not, apply to Fox News?
It does not, of course, because, you see, Fox News is nothing more than "government propaganda." Or, as Jack Cafferty put it, a "safe haven" for conservatives in general and Republicans in particular.
That is, until you watch Bill O'Reilly hammer away at administration officals over the Iraq War, or Brit Hume's "All-Star Panel" in heated debate, or even Hannity and Colmes during one of their heated debates. And if you'll remember, Alan Colmes has himself managed to arrange quite a few exclusive interviews with Democratic leaders, including Senator Clinton.
Fox News has kept it's focus more on what could be called "issues education." This "issues education" format is underscored by their motto, "we report, you decide." As the various sides debate, viewers can hear those arguments and make up their own minds. And to underscore that point, if you visit the Fox News website, you'll see, directly below the link to the video of the Cheney interview, a videotaped response to the interview by former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe.
Not convinced? Here's a thought; go see for yourself.