NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck joined the late Friday/early Saturday edition of the Fox News Channel’s Fox News @ Night for the show’s weekly media panel and, for both his high and low of the week. He took aim at triggered liberals in the media upset that conservatives would report the facts on the southern border and feel the need to lie about abortion.
Speaking with fill-in host Kevin Corke, Houck praised Fox’s Bill Melugin as his high point for ending up in Politico because the Biden White House has reportedly been unnerved by his border coverage.
“[T]he White House is apparently triggered by the fact that Bill Melugin, A, spends time at the Southern Border reporting on what he sees, which is record numbers of migrants coming across the border, some of them tragically drowning, and then [B,] sharing it with the rest of the world,” Houck began.
Houck added that the Biden administration has found Melugin to be “alarmist in his behavior and he’s not displaying nuance in his coverage,” which, in reality, was “so absurd that in this media age, a reporter who spends time in the field, and his boots on the ground is seen as an alarmist and not displaying nuance.”
Humorously, Houck noted that, in a follow-up hit piece, Politico shared with the old some supposed dirt that Melugin’s adversaries had found that was supposed to paint him in a negative light. The dirt? Well, it was the fact that Melugin was an Abercrombie & Fitch model in college.
Joining Houck was District Media Group president Beverly Hallberg, who picked as her highlight a viral exchange on CNN between primetime host Don Lemon and a royal commentator named Hilary Fordwich in which Fordwich schooled Lemon on the issue of reparations and slavery so badly that he cut to commercial.
“She brought reason and facts to the table, turning the narrative against a typical reparations commentary...I think what it points out is when you can poke holes and a typical narrative, you win the argument,” said Hallberg.
For his low point, Houck called out the liberal media rallying to the defense of Stacey Abrams for her pseudoscience claim insisting babies don’t have heartbeats at six weeks and that such sounds from an ultrasound machine aren’t real.
“It’s some sort of Moon Landing-level conspiracy theory. And of course, we had the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler, the so-called Fact Checker running after him. And my colleague, Bill D’Agostino at NewsBusters put together a hall of shame over the years showing how the media have really created this narrative,” Houck said.
Putting it in the big picture, Houck said it was an example of how the media will “do anything to cover up for Stacey Abrams” instead of cover missteps and falsehoods by both sides in a tight election season.
Hallberg closed out the segment with one of many nonsensical statements from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre with this one focusing on her false claim that President Biden was only talking on CBS’s 60 Minutes about the COVID-19 pandemic being over at the Detroit Auto Show because that’s where part of the interview took place.
To see the relevant transcript from September 24, click “expand.”
FNC’s Fox News @ Night
September 24, 2022
12:13 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: News Week; Media Panel Discusses This Week’s Highs and Lows]
KEVIN CORKE: The weekend is upon us after another very busy news week here across the country. And to discuss what went down as well as the highs and lows, we welcome tonight’s media panel. Beverly Hallberg, District Media Group President and Senior Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum. And Curtis Houck, NewsBusters Managing Editor. I look forward to this segment all the time because it gives us a chance to sort of unpack what in the world went on. I want to take you, Curtis, first. And I just want to share this from Tuesday, a headline. Doocy -- a Doocy on the border. And they’re not talking about our Peter Doocy. Tell me about that. Why is this relevant for you?
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: From the Playbook; Politico Focuses on Fox News Reporting From Border]
CURTIS HOUCK: Yes, the White House is apparently triggered by the fact that Bill Melugin, A, spends time at the Southern Border reporting on what he sees, which is record numbers of migrants coming across the border, some of them tragically drowning, and then sharing it with the rest of the world. I mean, they say that he is alarmist in his behavior and he’s not displaying nuance in his coverage, Kevin. I mean, I just find that so absurd that in this media age, a reporter who spends time in the field, and his boots on the ground is seen as an alarmist and not displaying nuance, and has drawn the ire of the White House. And when the White House tried to peddle this on Politico with the second story on Wednesday, they’re pushed back, he was an Abercrombie model in college. Oh, no.
CORKE: Oh, no, heaven forbid. That’s an interesting highlight of the week for you, Curtis. Let me bring you in, Beverly, to the conversation. What’s your highlight for the week?
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Royal Lessons; Commentator Corrects Don Lemon’s Reparation Claims]
BEVERLY HALLBERG: Well, my media highlight of the week is Royal Commentator Hilary Fordwich who stunned Don Lemon into silence on his brand new morning show. She brought reason and facts to the table, turning the narrative against a typical reparations commentary. So, basically, instead of a Read with Don Lemon on what reparations should be, she brought some historical facts. She talked about William Wilberforce and how the Brits were the first country to abolish slavery. And she rightly pointed out that the majority of slaves were sold by their own people, by African leaders. Well, Don Lemon didn’t know what to do with this. He actually had this long, awkward silence and then quickly went to commercial break. And I think what it points out is when you can poke holes and a typical narrative, you win the argument. And so, that is why she is my winner of the week.
CORKE: You know, I watched it live and I have to admit, I was like, well, that was something. But I’m not just going to tell you about it. I’m going to let the folks at home watch it because this was — well, we’ll let you judge.
HILARY FORDWICH: When slavery was taking place, which was the first nation in the world that abolished slavery? The first nation in the world to abolish it, it was started by William Wilberforce, was the British.
CORKE: The look on the face, Curtis, was a sight to see. So, that was Beverly’s high point of the week. What about your low point?
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Life Alert; Abrams: “No Such Thing as a Heartbeat at Six Weeks]
HOUCK: My low point was the media coverage rushing to defend Stacey Abrams for her coverage insisting that the ultrasound machines for pregnant women is really just a beeping sound. It’s some sort of Moon Landing-level conspiracy theory. And of course, we had the Washington Post Glenn Kessler, the so-called Fact Checker running after him. And my colleague, Bill D’Agostino at NewsBusters put together a hall of shame over the years showing how the media have really created this narrative, whether it’s the Washington Post, The New York Times, The Atlantic, suggesting that this is some sort of pseudo-science machine, I guess, created by men or whatever. They’re really willing to do anything to cover up for Stacey Abrams and help create this narrative for the pro-abortion side. And if the media were honest in this tight election season, they would be covering gaffes from both sides. But thus far, we have not seen that with this from Stacey Abrams.
CORKE: No. And you’ve seen this pattern actually dating back I think over the last six years. If one side makes a mistake, misspeaks, or flubs of fact, lie, and then if people go crazy, but if the other side does it, it’s like, oh, well, you know, accidents happen. Speaking of accidents, your low light for the week, Beverly, is a sight to see. Tell me about it then we’ll let the folks at home see.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Pandemic Pause; WH Press Sec Walks Back Biden’s ‘60 Minutes’ Comments]
HALLBERG: Yes, this is press secretary — White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre who’s struggled very much answering how she could discuss the President saying in his 60 Minutes interview on Sunday when he said the pandemic is over. She struggled to have a response, not only saying -- trying to walk it back, saying that that’s not what he really meant, but even pointing out that he was walking through the Detroit car show, making us all think that maybe he was just distracted by cars, but a poor response by her all the way around.
CORKE: That was a tough one because you would think that she would be better prepared because she’s seen it happen. I’m sure she talked about it with the staff. And for some reason, in the moment, she just missed on that one. Let me share what she said so you can watch what Beverly just described.
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: So, the President said, and he was very clear in his 60 Minutes interview that, you know, COVID remains a problem and we’re fighting it. And we have to continue to make sure that we are fighting this once in a generation pandemic. And so, here’s the thing, what he believes is we can acknowledge that the massive amount of progress that we have made.
CORKE: Again, a lot of this is just practice your answer. Practice your answer repeatedly. Get good at it. And if they go one way, you go the other way. But you know, that’s just time on the job and obviously, she’s still learning as we go. Beverly and Curtis, real pleasure to have you with us on a Friday. Have a great weekend. Thank you.
HALLBERG: You too, Kevin. Thanks.
HOUCK: Thanks, Kevin.