As part of the Fox News Channel's coverage of the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Texas on Thursday, Dana Perino, co-host of the channel's “The Five” weekday program and a White House press secretary for the 43rd president, interviewed her former boss “not to break any news here” but for viewers to meet and get to know him “as I do.”
That seven-minute discussion immediately drew fire from Howard Kurtz of CNN and the liberal Daily Beast website. He asked on the Tweeter social site whether the softball interview might have made a “mockery” of Fox's coverage of the event.
"Can you imagine the reaction at Fox if Obama had left office and [his former spokesman] Robert Gibbs was sent by MSNBC to do the interview?” Kurtz asked. “There would be mockery."
Perino responded by tweeting: “good grief it's meant to be fun & cute, not news.” She later added “Jeez, lighten-UP!” and “Perhaps Bush wants to be around members of his ex-staff on his big day.”
John DeMott supported the Fox News correspondent by stating that the interview is “not a problem. It's intended to be a puff piece. He isn't there to make news. Perino makes no claim to be news reporter.”
@laustaudt answered Kurtz's question whether Perino should have interviewed her former boss by stating: “Of course. Silly question Howie.”
In addition, @JohnLPitts asked: “Should you critique media while on payroll of Daily Beast?"
Perhaps the most interesting response came from Larry O'Connor of Breitbart.com, who stated that we don't have to “imagine” a scenario like the one Kurtz described:
On a daily basis over at ABC News, former Clinton spokesman George Stephanopoulos is the host of "Good Morning America," "This Week" and serves as primary substitute for ABC network anchor Diane Sawyer on "ABC World News."
Perino showed that she was on the same wavelength when she asked: “Should Stephanopoulos interview Hillary?”
“Did you ever ask the same question about George Snufalufagus anchoring This Week?” @bkparallax added.
@DanODradio expanded the scope of the discussion by asking “Should CNN have Paul Begala 'analyze' Democratic Party policies? Or have Chris Cuomo 'report' on New York State issues?”
While agreeing with Kurtz's criticism regarding Perino's interview, @MattRobare stated that “if we expected TV news to be ethical re: the revolving door MSNBC would shut down.”
Meanwhile, O'Connor went on to describe what would happen if everyone followed Kurtz's suggestions:
Given the Kurtz Standard, does this take him out of the running for any interview involving former President Bill Clinton or future presidential candidate Hillary Clinton?
“Remember, Stephanopoulos single-handedly invented the birth control non-controversy lie during 2012's presidential campaign,” O'Connor added. “That directly benefited Hillary Clinton's political future since she is now able to run against a GOP challenger rather than an incumbent President Romney. Where is Kurtz's criticism?”
The CNN analyst was also silent when Chris Matthews, the long-time host of MSNBC's weekday program “Hardball,” openly contemplated running as a Democratic candidate for a Pennsylvania senate seat.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Matthews regularly spouts liberal talking points when interviewing guests on his show. He even went so far as to call GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell an “SOB.”
Of course, Democrats are no strangers when it comes to having double standards while reporting the news, whether it comes from labeling scandalous politicians or environmental activist Al Gore's sale of his low-rated Current TV channel to members of Al-Jazeera even though that terrorist organization is mostly funded through the sale of oil.