Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has written a tell-all book about the Bush administration, he's being lauded with so much praise from the usual liberal media suspects that it must be making MSNBC's Keith Olbermann a tad jealous.
This makes Chris Wallace's interview Thursday with WOR radio's Steve Malzberg even more timely, for the "Fox News Sunday" host showed his colleagues what the term "journalism" really means by going after both of these press darlings.
First, Wallace discussed a key question he'd like to ask McClellan that's been completely absent as media applaud the former press secretary's claims (17 minute audio available here, relevant section at minute 6:00):
The day after it was revealed that former ABC News Capitol Hill correspondent Linda Douglass was going to be joining Barack Obama's presidential campaign, "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace said this was a perfect example of how liberal and biased the mainstream media are.
As my colleague Brad Wilmouth reported Wednesday, The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder wrote at his blog that Douglass was going to be leaving her position at National Journal to "join Barack Obama's presidential campaign as a senior strategist and as a senior campaign spokesperson on the roadshow."
The following day, Wallace was interview by WOR radio's Steve Malzberg, and was asked, "Do you have a problem with media people, you know, switching to go to work for political campaigns like that?
Have you considered the delicious hypocrisy of Democrat presidential candidates that months ago refused to participate in debates sponsored by Fox News now practically lining up to appear on the cable news channel?
Chris Wallace certainly has, and on the most recent installment of "Fox News Sunday," asked Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean about this sudden change of heart by folks who just months ago were depicting the station as too biased to bother with.
What follows is a partial transcript of this segment (video embedded right):
Hillary Clinton's recent appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor" was a play for superdelegate support at the Democratic Convention, MRC President Brent Bozell argued on the May 2 "Fox & Friends" in a segment joined by liberal talk show host Mike Papantonio. [audio available here]
Asked about the media and if it will follow up any more on the Rev. Wright controversy, the NewsBusters publisher quipped that, "[u]nless Jeremiah Wright sends a cruise missile back in their direction, no, the networks aren't going to touch this, and the New York Times is going to leave this alone. That's the end of the story, that's the way it goes."
Below is a transcript of some remarks from Bozell's appearance on the May 2 "Fox & Friends":
For a moment, let's step away from the commentary, per se, and focus on the commentators. Liberals love to chide Fox News for its alleged conservative bias. So why don't we see, when it comes to being fair and balanced, how this morning's Fox News Sunday panel stacked up against that of its main competitor, Meet the Press?
Well, sports fans, the highly-anticipated, years in the making interview of Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama on "Fox News Sunday" is over, and it's certain that folks on both sides of the aisle -- as well as all three remaining campaigns -- will find positives and negatives to glom on to.
In fact, some well-known liberal bloggers have already expressed their displeasure with Obama, wondering why he didn't attack Fox News as had been advertised.
MSNBC's Dan Abrams and the folks in the liberal blogosphere are going to be very disappointed tomorrow when they witness what Chris Wallace says was "a very friendly exchange" between the "Fox News Sunday" host and Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.
In fact, despite what Talking Points Memo reported Friday concerning Obama doing the program to "take on Fox," as well as Jonathan Kim's ("Fox Attacks") recommendation on MSNBC's "Verdict" that the junior senator from Illinois should "[go] on and just [attack] them," it appears Chris and Barack had an exceedingly civil and informative discussion about the campaign and the issues facing the nation.
As he was driving home from his meeting with Obama, Wallace called in to give a preview of the interview to FNC's "Weekend Live" (h/t Johnny Dollar):
Honestly, the hypocrisy of liberal media members knows no bounds.
On Friday, Dan Abrams of MSNBC voiced extreme displeasure with the announcement that Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama is finally going to be interviewed by Chris Wallace on this weekend's "Fox News Sunday."
This from a man whose very network has hosted numerous presidential debates despite moderators Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann being clearly in the tank for Obama.
Amazingly, this contradiction continues to elude the good folks at MSNBC as demonstrated by the following partial transcript of Friday's "Verdict" (readers are cautioned to have a trash receptacle handy in case of involuntary retroperistalsis):
The "Obama Watch" on "Fox News Sunday" will officially come to an end this weekend when the Democrat presidential candidate finally allows himself to be interviewed by Chris Wallace.
Sadly, the junior senator from Illinois appears to be doing this kicking and screaming while planning to enter the ring with much the same agenda as former President Bill Clinton did in September 2006.
As reported by the liberal website Talking Points Memo on Friday (emphasis added):
I count Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace among the fairest and most incisive interviewers in the business, and hope his tenure at Fox News is a long one. Anyone who can relentlessly cross-exam Mitt Romney on his changed position on abortion the way Wallace did a while back, then turn around and have Bill Clinton near the point of taking a poke at him, is doing his job and playing no favorites. But should Wallace ever wish a change of venue, never fear: MSNBC apparently can find a place for him.
Wallace made some news when, appearing on this past Friday's Fox & Friends, he criticized the hosts for dwelling longer than Chris thought appropriate on Obama's comment that his grandmother was a "typical white person."
On this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews devoted a segment to the exchange. Eugene Robinson, the affable WaPo columnist and MSNBC political analyst, suggested that refuge awaited Wallace should he need it.
Brit Hume has some blunt advice for conservatives: lay off McCain if you don't want a Dem president.
At the very end of today's Fox News Sunday panel segment, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol was first to make an argument along similar lines.
BILL KRISTOL: I'm more conservative than John McCain but I think it would be a mistake for him to just make himself into an orthodox conservative in this election. The reason he is a stronger candidate than a lot of other Republicans would be is that he is a little bit heterodox. He's got his own views, he shouldn't back off on that, I think, actually.
Hume then framed the issue in dramatic terms:
BRIT HUME: And if the conservatives don't want a President Obama or a President Clinton, they ought to get off McCain's back and let him campaign as whatever he wants to, and campaign from the center.
A recent study, "Good News = Less News on Iraq War," by Rich Noyes, the Research Director of Media Research Center, NB's parent organization, revealed that coverage of Iraq by the big three evening newscasts has declined as the news from Iraq has improved. Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace highlighted the MRC study during his interview of General David Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force - Iraq .
CHRIS WALLACE: It seemed to us that you hadn't been in the news much recently, which probably is a good thing from your point of view, since you came back from Washington in September. But we decided to check it out, and the Media Research Center says that the three network evening newscasts did 178 stories on Iraq in September, when you were here, that in October as the surge took hold there were 108 stories, and that in November that dropped to just 68. General, any thoughts about why success in Iraq isn't news here at home?
Truth be told, I was hoping "Fox News Sunday" would totally ignore Friday's announcement that the Global Warmingist-in-Chief won the Nobel Peace Prize.
After all, mainstream news outlets regularly boycott events they deem un-newsworthy, like people receiving the Medal of Honor, for example.
As such, in the grand scheme of things, what really was the significance of a charlatan winning an award -- one that had previously been given to that marvelous humanitarian Yasser Arafat, no less! -- exactly one day after a real American hero was posthumously bestowed one of the finest honors in our land to a deafening media silence?
Despite my skepticism, as the panel discussion began Sunday, and Bill Kristol enunciated likely the exact sentiments shared by people still capable of thinking for themselves, I realized just how fortuitous it was for this to be the first topic on the docket (video available here):
Democratic presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton appeared on all five Sunday morning interview shows, but not all raised two controversies of interest to conservatives and, even when they did, not all took a tough approach to her lack of condemnation of MoveOn.org's “General Betray Us” ad and the donations gathered for her by now-captured fugitive Norman Hsu. ABC's George Stephanopoulos and NBC's Tim Russert brought up both matters -- though Stephanopoulos did so in the gentlest way -- CBS's Bob Schieffer asked about Hsu and not “Betray Us,” while Fox's Chris Wallace and CNN's Wolf Blitzer skipped Hsu but raised “Betray Us.”
No one pressed Clinton on how at the hearing with General Petraeus she said his report required “the willing suspension of disbelief.” Only Wallace, on Fox News Sunday, pointed out how Clinton had voted against a Senate resolution condemning the MoveOn ad: “Senator, you have refused to criticize the MoveOn.org ad about General Petraeus. And in fact, this week you voted against a Senate resolution denouncing it.” In contrast, on ABC's This Week, Stephanopoulos presumed Clinton was disturbed by the ad as he asked: “Why not speak out earlier?” On the Hsu case, Stephanopoulos approached the issue from the concerns of other Democrats: “A lot of people look at this and say they're afraid they're going to go back to the days of 1996 when there were some campaign finance violations that many Democrats feel cost President Clinton a couple of points in the final days of the election. How do you assure them that's not going to happen again?” Only NBC's Russert, on Meet the Press, used Hsu to remind viewers of Johnny Chung's illegal 1996 donations to the Bill Clinton campaign.
As NewsBusters reported last Saturday, PBS's Bill Moyers went on an absolutely disgraceful rant about Karl Rove, George W. Bush, and religion during the August 17 installment of "Bill Moyers Journal."
Two days later, Rove was Chris Wallace's guest on "Fox News Sunday," and took issue with Moyers's comments: "Mr. Moyers ought to do a little bit better research before he does another drive-by slander."
Moyers followed this up with a letter to Wallace posted at his blog Wednesday suggesting that Wallace didn't do his homework concerning Rove, and that Wallace shouldn't "take his every word as gospel."
As NewsBusters reported Monday, two analysts for the liberal think tank the Brookings Institution published a rather shocking op-ed at the New York Times expressing extraordinary optimism about how the surge is working in Iraq.
The pair, Kenneth Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon, were Chris Wallace's guests on "Fox News Sunday" yesterday, and continued to share positive sentiments about what's currently happening in the embattled nation.
Sometimes when you see NPR's Juan Williams on Fox News, you are left scratching your head wondering what planet he lives on, and what the color of the sky is there.
Such questions must certainly have been raised in the minds of right-thinking "Fox News Sunday" viewers this morning when Williams suggested that the liberal blog Daily Kos "is now center."
I kid you not.
What precipitated this extraordinary lapse of reason on Williams' part was a rather accurate observation made by the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol concerning Democrat presidential candidates attending the upcoming YearlyKos convention (video available here):
Chris Wallace and Mike Gallagher did a good job of exposing Mark Green's double-talk on the Fairness Doctrine on today's Fox News Sunday.
Green, who with his brother Stephen have brought Air America out of bankruptcy, was in to debate the issue against conservative talk-show host Gallagher. But when Wallace put it to Green that liberals have plenty of outlets for their views "without having the government mandate that they appear on radio," Green's answer was astounding.
AIR AMERICA'S MARK GREEN: I don't want the government to mandate that.
Really? Expanding on his answer, Green said he doesn't favor the Fairness Doctrine, but wants broadcasters to "have diverse views for diverse communities" and "have local hearings for license renewals."
When Gallagher observed that "it's preposterous to propose that the government mandate speech," Green retorted snidely.
GREEN: Mike, I don't blame you for pretending that you didn't listen to me. I don't want the government to mandate speech.
When Green repeated his claim that he didn't support the Fairness Doctrine, Wallace interjected.
FOX NEWS SUNDAY HOST CHRIS WALLACE: Wait a second, Mr. Green, let me ask you about that. First of all, I believe you told our people that you did support the Fairness Doctrine. But if you weren't going to do the Fairness Doctrine, what's the point of all this? If some station has completely conservative talk and doesn't want to put on a liberal, what's going to happen? Are they going to lose their license?"
NewsBusters readers, meet our second fabulous fifteen-year-old, Miss Lizzie Palmer.
For those that missed it, Chris Wallace aired an absolutely astounding military tribute video (available here) at the end of today’s “Fox News Sunday” that should be required viewing for all Americans.
At its conclusion, Wallace stated the following:
Lizzie Palmer said she put the video on YouTube as her way of honoring the troops. And after graduating from high school, she plans to join the army herself.
The top Washington story on Monday, March 26 came straight from the Sunday morning chat shows: the support for embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was slipping, even among Republicans.
Which Republicans? There are conservatives who are not big fans of Gonzales, who would have preferred the President had chosen someone bolder, more confrontational, someone willing to make a case for conservatism. But none of those people were seen on ABC, CBS, or NBC. Viewers saw instead the "even Republicans," the ones who specialize in ratifying the conventional liberal media wisdom, as in "Even Republicans say Gonzales is cooked." If the media think Gonzales is crippled and Bush is wretched, then it’s not that hard for them to find Republicans will spit that line back to them, for emphasis. They aren’t Republicans. They merely play them on TV.
Fred Thompson, who is exploring the possibilty of a presidential candidacy, went on Fox News Sunday yesterday, strongly criticized Roe v. Wade and said the answer to it was "good judges." But on this morning's "Today," Andrea Mitchell flatly stated that Thompson doesn't want to overturn Roe. So where does Thompson stand on Roe, and how can we explain Today's depiction of his views?
For answers, let's go to the videotape. The first portion of the clip is from this morning's "Today," the second portion from Thompson's Fox News Sunday appearance yesterday.
On "Today," laying out Thompson's positions on key issues, Andrea Mitchell stated Thompson is "anti-abortion but opposes overturning Roe v. Wade." Where did she get that from? A good clue comes from the fact that just previously she had just played a clip of Thompson's appearance on yesterday's Fox News Sunday. While the clip had nothing to do with abortion [Thompson merely described his rationale for a possible run], it does demonstrate that Mitchell had watched Thompson's appearance and was likely relying on it as the latest, best evidence of his views.
So what did the former Tennessee senator tell Chris Wallace about his views on Roe? Again, have a look at the video.
Chris Wallace: "Do you want to overturn Roe v. Wade?"
Thompson: "I think Roe v. Wade was bad law and bad medical science. And the way to address that is through good judges. I don't think the court ought to wake up one day and make new social policy for the country that's contrary to what it's been for the last 200 years. We have a process in this country to do that. Judges shouldn't be doing that. That's what happened in the that case. I think it was wrong."
As the Managing Editor of Fox News Channel's Washington, DC bureau, you might have thought Brit Hume would have taken great umbrage at John Edwards' high-profile decision to spurn a debate of Dem presidential contenders that Fox had organized for August in Nevada. The Edwards pull-out ultimately led to a cancellation of the debate by the Nevada state Democratic party. Edwards had come under pressure from liberal netroots and organizations such as Move.on, which had organized a petition drive calling for cancellation of the debate.
But in a fair-and-balanced comment reflecting an appreciation of real politik, Hume has praised Edwards' move as "shrewd" -- at least in the short run. During the panel discussion on this morning's Fox News Sunday, Hume observed:
Chris Wallace asked about the 2008 presidential race: "We asked people who under no circumstances would they vote for, and you came in second on that dubious list at 64 percent, behind Ralph Nader, but far ahead of everyone else. And I should add 44 percent of Republicans said they would not vote for you. Why do you think that so many voters say Newt Gingrich, forget it?"
Gingrich answered: "Well, there was a column written by Brent Bozell recently about Nancy Pelosi becoming speaker and me becoming speaker. And he contrasted the initial media coverage of the two of us. And if you go back and look, you know, I had a — Time magazine savaged me as Scrooge who stole Tiny Tim's broken crutch — didn't just steal the crutch. I broke it, on the cover of Time. Newsweek had me as the Grinch that stole Christmas. I was a Dr. Seuss figure."
Since Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) became the media’s antiwar darling, he has been allowed to say virtually anything he wants with total impunity. Ignoring rules of engagement that clearly don't apply to him, FNC’s Brit Hume finally took the congressman to task on the most recent installment of “Fox News Sunday.”
During the panel discussion, host Chris Wallace played a video clip of a recent statement by Murtha concerning Iraq. Hume took issue with the congressman's views, and said what many on the right have been waiting for since the media unjustly crowned this man as a voice of reason concerning all things military (video available here):
It's turning out to be quite a day for pugilistics. Earlier, I noted how Hillary threatened to "deck" her opponents. Now, just about a month to the day after the holiday is observed by the Brits, Brit Hume celebrated a personal Boxing Day of his own. On this morning's Fox News Sunday, the FNC DC managing editor landed some heavy body blows on Chuck Hagel and John Kerry.
I'd say Bill Kristol nailed it on this morning's Fox News Sunday. And while his comments were directed at Democrats, they're equally applicable to the MSM IMHO, making them NB-worthy.
Kristol: "People are being too complacent or forgiving to the Democrats: 'Oh, it's politics; one of them has a non-binding resolution and another one has a cap.' It's all totally irresponsible. It's just unbelievable. The president is sending over a new commander, he's sending over troops, and the Democratic congress, either in a pseudo-binding way or a non-binding way is saying: 'it won't work -- forget it! You troops, you're going over there on a pointless missions. You Iraqis who might side with us, forget it, we're going to pull the plug." It's so irresponsible . . . You really wonder: do they want it to work or not? I really wonder that. . . Do they want this to succeed or not?"
For those that missed it, a classic – and sometimes heated – debate about the Iraq War transpired on the most recent installment of “Fox News Sunday”. In the left corner was NPR’s Juan Williams. In the right corner, as a fabulous conservative tag team, were Fox News’ Brit Hume, and the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol. This one did not disappoint (video available here).
The fun really got going when Kristol made the following observation about recent changes in position regarding the war: “Some of the Republicans are going wet or squishy, or whatever one wants -- that was a shock. Sam Brownback said to you just a few minutes ago he has growing impatience with the war in Iraq. Senator Smith said he's at the end of his rope.”
Williams eventually took issue with this:
Let me just say this. Squishy, impatient, you know, they'll be in the land of milk and honey -- the insurgents will be? What do you imagine, that somehow there's -- an American administration is coming in, Republican or Democrat, after President Bush that's just going to lay down and run away like scared little...
And that’s when the party started (partial transcript follows, but it really should be read along with the video to capture the priceless expressions on the faces of the participants):
Those looking for a true conservative to enter the Republican presidential field might be feeling a bit perplexed in the wake of Sam Brownback's performance on this morning's Fox News Sunday. The senator from Kansas:
Endorsed the ISG report and appeared to strongly support negotiations with Iran and Syria.
Called for a timetable for US withdrawal.
Spoke approvingly of a Bidenesqe division of Iraq into three ethnic regions.
Declined to swing at the softball host Chris Wallace lobbed at him regarding Mitt Romney's flip-flops on abortion and gay rights.
Seemingly described himself as a "compassionate conservative."
Invited by Wallace to comment on the ISG report, Brownback was surprisingly supportive: "I think [Pres. Bush] really should look at these recommendations very seriously as well. And it seems to me that what Baker-Hamilton provides us is a chance to kind of reset the table and get a bi-partisan buy-in and not just a bipartisan buy-in, a global buy-in to what we can do to move forward in Iraq and get our troops out of harm's way and out of the sectarian violence. I think this is an important moment, like senator Dodd identifies as well"
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts" the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, something Congressman Charles Rangel seemingly never picked up. In the Fox News Sunday segment which featured Barney Frank attacking Fox News, host Chris Wallace presented to Congressman Rangel findings from a Heritage Foundation Study that the military are in fact from a healthier economic background and better educated than the general American public. Rangel, with the facts in front of him, reverted to his original talking points disputing those very facts. He even made a John Kerry-like claim implying those serving in the military are not particularly patriotic or even very smart. The question is, will the mainstream media pick up on it?
Taking a cue from Bill Clinton, Dem. Congressman Barney Frank bashed Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace on the air, and denounced Fox News as "substantially worse" than the other networks. Reports the New York Sun:
"I've got to say, Chris, you have an odd view of balance," Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts told the host of "Fox News Sunday," Chris Wallace. "I am struck by the tenor of your questions. You advertise this as giving us a chance to talk about what we're going to do, but everything is aimed at trying to put us in a kind of a bad light and look at the most controversial and not very representative things that we plan to do," Mr. Frank said.
The congressman objected to Mr. Wallace's questioning at four different points during the segment, which featured three soon-to-be chairmen of powerful committees, Rep. Charles Rangel of Manhattan and Queens, Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, and Mr. Frank.