Barney Frank Bashes Chris Wallace on Air

November 27th, 2006 12:45 PM

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.

Before Mr. Frank's most vociferous objection, Mr. Wallace had asked questions mentioning pressure from liberal Democratic activists, tax hikes on the wealthy, abortion, gay rights and the ban on gays in the armed forces, a military draft, the disputed chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee, and a statement in which Mr. Frank said the likely speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, had made "an error of judgment" in a leadership contest.

The Sun interviewed the congressman later.
Mr. Frank told The New York Sun that he was not trying to emulate Mr. Clinton. "I didn't get angry.I wasn't feeling defensive about myself," the congressman said. Mr. Frank said the questions were "appropriate" but misleading because of an introduction in which Mr. Wallace said the interview would inform viewers about what the Democratic chairmen planned to do with their new majority. "It was misleading advertising," the congressman said.

Mr. Frank said Mr. Wallace's questions improved after the on-air criticism. Asked how fair Fox is when compared to other news outlets, the congressman said the network is "substantially worse."

"Chris is actually one of the better ones," Mr. Frank added. "Some of them just cut you off if they don't agree with you. I think Fox is by far the most biased news medium in which I ever get involved."