Fox News Spanks 'Wild Week' of Media Double Standards on Benghazi, Race

The hosts of Fox and Friends on Friday skewered liberal journalists for a "wild week" of  media bias, skipping outrageous comments by prominent Democrats and downplaying a bombshell e-mail related to the Benghazi scandal. Radio talk show host Adrianna Cohen appeared on the show and attacked, "Clearly there is a left wing media bias in mainstream media. If you need proof, look at the way they haven't covered Benghazi." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

She added, "Now the smoking gun e-mail has surfaced, which ties the White House to the lie of the video. This is huge news. Every media outlet should be covering it." Highlighting MRC research Kilmeade pointed out that only CBS covered the story initially. ABC belatedly got to Benghazi hearings (but not the new e-mails) on Thursday night.

Co-host Brian Kilmeade played a clip of John Kerry's incendiary comments about Israel: 

JOHN KERRY: A unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens or it winds up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.

Kilmeade noted, "CBS covered 30 seconds. NBC and ABC avoided it...You look overseas in the Israeli newspapers throughout the Middle East, it was a huge deal." 

Contrasting a Democratic Congressman's slur that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is an "Uncle Tom," Kilmeade explained, "You have zero coverage on Benny Thompson...So, zero coverage all around. 165 minutes and 22 seconds on the owner of the Clippers." 

The Washington Times on Friday also highlighted the MRC's examination of a media double standard on race. Jennifer Harper wrote: 

Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat, has been under little to no media scrutiny for his recent racial remarks. Mr. Thompson equated Republican criticism of President Obama with racism, and unapologetically declared that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is "an Uncle Tom."

Quoting the MRC's Rich Noyes, she continued: 

“As of Thursday morning, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows had devoted more than 165 minutes of airtime to the Sterling-racism story, all since Saturday night. In contrast, news that Mr. Thompson had branded Republicans as racist and Justice Thomas as an Uncle Tom had received no coverage from these same broadcasts,” said Rich Noyes, research director for the Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog that has tracked the content and slant of the coverage since it emerged on press radar.

“If the media really want to play the role of civility cops, they need to patrol both sides of the street. Incendiary language from a sitting member of Congress is at least as newsworthy as offensive private statements from a wealthy white businessman,” Mr. Noyes continued.

Rancher Cliven Bundy, who is in a standoff with the Bureau of Land Management, has come under media fire after wondering aloud whether blacks might have had it better under slavery.

“Even though Thompson is an elected representative, the news media clearly regard his comments, delivered on a radio program, as less scandalous than those of an NBA owner who was recorded in a private setting.” Mr. Noyes said.

A transcript of the May 2 Fox and Friends is below; 


7:16

BRIAN KILMEADE: According to some it's been a wild week when it comes to media bias. From the race ambles of two Democratic congressmen to the smoking gun Benghazi e-mails and some outrageous comments – about Israel – from our own Secretary of State. For example:  

JOHN KERRY: A unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens or it winds up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state. 

KILMEADE: So, an apartheid state? How did the major networks cover Secretary Kerry and other big stories like that? Joining us right now to weigh in is Boston herald columnist and radio host Adriana Cohen. Adriana, apartheid state. That is major news. How is it covered? 

ADRIANA COHEN (Boston Herald columnist and radio host): Absolutely. I cannot believe the major media networks have not covered that and given it more attention. Secretary of State Kerry's remarks were deeply owe offensive and inflammatory, if not outrageous and Israelis and the Jewish community are really upset about it. Clearly, it's going to impact negatively the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. 

KILMEADE: I know. We covered it. CBS covered 30 seconds. NBC and ABC avoided it. [Laughs.] So, okay, not a big deal. You look overseas in the Israeli newspapers throughout the Middle East, it was a huge deal. 

COHEN: It was. 

KILMEADE: Now, let's move on and talk about another major story that took place. Of course, everyone is talking about Donald Sterling and we all reacted to that. What about Benny Thompson? A congressman, as well as congressman Charlie Rangel. Listen to their comments and I'll give you the reaction. 

CONGRESSMAN BENNIE THOMPSON: Mitch McConnell would have the audacity to tell the President of the United States, not just the chief executive, but the Commander-in Chief, that 'I don't care what you come up with, we're going to be against it.' Now, if that's not a racist statement, I don't know what is. There is Uncle Tom Clarence Thomas. This man doesn't even like black people. 

REP. CHARLES RANGEL: I have never seen so many Confederate flags that represent groups that are proud of the fact that they call themselves the Tea Party. 

KILMEADE: So, some outrageous statements. First, do you think these are big deals? 

COHEN: They are big deals and the media should have covered it. It's just so wrong for these men to make these inflammatory racial statements. We can't have two sets of rules here where if you're in the private sector and you're, you know, the owner of the Clippers and you make inflammatory, hurtful statements, you get persecuted and, you know, get crucified. You get fined millions of dollars. You get your team taken away, but yet you're an elected member of Congress, you get away with it. That's just not right. 

KILMEADE: Yeah. You got no coverage on Rangel. Zero. 

COHEN: Right. 

KILMEADE: You have zero coverage on Benny Thompson. By the way, he doubled down with CNN yesterday and essentially defended, "He is an uncle Tom, what do you want me to say?" So, zero coverage all around. 165 minutes and 22 seconds on the owner of the Clippers. Now, on the Benghazi e-mails, this is by any standard, this is huge news. 

COHEN: It is. 

KILMEADE: A court case reveals memos when we were told everything has been exposed. So, the Benghazi coverage. Let's look. Six minutes on the Benghazi coverage and three seconds on ABC, NBC and CBS. Your reaction? 

COHEN: It's outrageous. You know, clearly there is a left wing media bias in mainstream media. If you need proof, look at the way they haven't covered Benghazi. Benghazi is a huge story. A United States ambassador was brutally murdered, two Navy seals and another man. And there has been a massive cover-up. Now the smoking gun e-mail has surfaced, which ties the White House to the lie of the video. This is huge news. Every media outlet should be covering it. 

KILMEADE: What's interesting is, Adrianna, I think the press corps understands that. Look at chuck Todd, Jonathon Karl and others. They're asking the tough questions and now we find out they're not getting on the air.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org