Megyn Kelly Tells James Carville: You Never Saw Bush Complaining About MSNBC Bias

On Tuesday night’s The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly played self-defense against Hillary Clinton’s lame Super Bowl tweet about Democrats being “blitzed and sacked” by Fox News. Kelly recalled how Hillary lauded Fox for fairness when she was losing to Obama in the 2008 primaries. Guest James Carville reflexively said “I thought she was being funny...I thought it was just fine...It was a little-bitty thing.”

Kelly responded with the obvious, that President George W. Bush never engaged in trashing cable-news channels like Team Obama does:

KELLY: Is it embarrassing for the President of the United States to be complaining about a cable channel? I mean, President Bush never did this about MSNBC.

CARVILLE: Bush people would complain about the liberal media all the time.

KELLY: Not President Bush.

CARVILLE: You know, it's in the dialogue. Fox has got to understand that Democrats think that Fox leans right.  And if you're a big network, and Fox is, and it's a profitable powerful institution, if people attack you, don't get sensitive about it!

KELLY: Who's being sensitive?

CARVILLE Just say it’s part of what it is. You’re saying ‘Obama – he attacked Fox, with O’Reilly! Well, he did. So what?

KELLY: I deny that imitation of me! [Laughter]  I don't remember doing any of that! But I do think it's interesting, you know, that the president seems so focused on us, and you know, I never heard President Bush do this about MSNBC. He was taking his licks like a man!

CARVILLE: He [Obama] gave you an interview on the day of the super bowl.

KELLY: Right.

CARVILLE: The biggest audience you have.

KELLY: So why did he waste his time complaining about the coverage when he has most of the mainstream media in his pocket?

It’s a bit much for Carville to imply that Obama was doing Fox a favor by granting an interview during the Super Bowl pregame. He has elbowed his way into every Super Bowl pregame while he’s been president. To see how a George W. Bush Super Bowl interview stuck to non-political topics, see his 2004 interview with Jim Nantz here.


Bush's idea of media criticism was much more subtle, not aggressive like Newt Gingrich in the last set of primaries. He was pictured with a copy of Bernard Goldberg's book Bias in 2002.At BernardGoldberg.com, John Daly summarized why it was weird for Obama to insist Fox News is "unfair" because of its choice of topics (italics his):

I certainly understand why President Obama would prefer not to discuss such topics ever again. They make him look bad. But are those topics unfair to bring up with the president? I think any fair-minded person (pun not intended) would answer no to that question.

Even the New York Times (a paper generally very favorable to President Obama), in a piece written by Peter Baker on the interview, classified the topics O’Reilly referenced as “the most controversial moments of Mr. Obama’s presidency.”

It sure seems to me that it would be nothing short of media malpractice not to ask a president about the most controversial moments of his presidency when given the opportunity – especially when no one has been held accountable for those moments, and several legitimate questions about each of them have never been answered. In many cases, they haven’t even been asked – not by journalists who aren’t employed by Fox News, anyway.

To me, that’s perhaps the most remarkable part of all of these scandals. Because the mainstream media has never given them the attention they truly deserve, the conservative media’s pursuit of answers and accountability comes across like a cheap shot – a below-the-belt strike that President Obama deems to be unfair.

I certainly understand why President Obama would prefer not to discuss such topics ever again. They make him look bad. But are those topics unfair to bring up with the president? I think any fair-minded person (pun not intended) would answer no to that question.

Even the New York Times (a paper generally very favorable to President Obama), in a piece written by Peter Baker on the interview, classified the topics O’Reilly referenced as “the most controversial moments of Mr. Obama’s presidency.”

It sure seems to me that it would be nothing short of media malpractice not to ask a president about the most controversial moments of his presidency when given the opportunity – especially when no one has been held accountable for those moments, and several legitimate questions about each of them have never been answered. In many cases, they haven’t even been asked – not by journalists who aren’t employed by Fox News, anyway.

To me, that’s perhaps the most remarkable part of all of these scandals. Because the mainstream media has never given them the attention they truly deserve, the conservative media’s pursuit of answers and accountability comes across like a cheap shot – a below-the-belt strike that President Obama deems to be unfair.

- See more at: http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/interesting-moment-oreillyobama-interview/#sthash.fJwmXPPF.dpuf

I certainly understand why President Obama would prefer not to discuss such topics ever again. They make him look bad. But are those topics unfair to bring up with the president? I think any fair-minded person (pun not intended) would answer no to that question.

Even the New York Times (a paper generally very favorable to President Obama), in a piece written by Peter Baker on the interview, classified the topics O’Reilly referenced as “the most controversial moments of Mr. Obama’s presidency.”

It sure seems to me that it would be nothing short of media malpractice not to ask a president about the most controversial moments of his presidency when given the opportunity – especially when no one has been held accountable for those moments, and several legitimate questions about each of them have never been answered. In many cases, they haven’t even been asked – not by journalists who aren’t employed by Fox News, anyway.

To me, that’s perhaps the most remarkable part of all of these scandals. Because the mainstream media has never given them the attention they truly deserve, the conservative media’s pursuit of answers and accountability comes across like a cheap shot – a below-the-belt strike that President Obama deems to be unfair.

- See more at: http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/interesting-moment-oreillyobama-interview/#sthash.fJwmXPPF.dpuf
Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis