One day after Ted Cruz was a guest on the Fox News Sunday program, conservative radio personality Mark Levin hammered that show's host -- Chris Wallace -- for performing a “hit job” on that Republican presidential candidate after conducting a softball interview with Donald Trump, even though the GOP front-runner has made several of the same mistakes Cruz was accused of making.
Levin began the segment by stating that “Wallace went after Cruz” and is a person he's “never liked” because Wallace is “a chip off the old block,” a son of longtime liberal CBS journalist Mike Wallace, which the radio host stated “is the problem” with his interviews and coverage of the news.
“And no, this isn't journalism or anything of the sort,” Levin stated before airing Wallace's first question to the senator from Texas.
“Your campaign has been involved in a series of incidents that people are calling 'dirty tricks.'” the host noted. “In Iowa, the Cruz campaign sent out tweets saying Ben Carson … .”
“Let's just stop here,” Levin interjected before asserting:
This is why we can never have a discussion on issues. You take the allegations of other campaigns, and you just list them, and the guy is defending them, defending them, defending them.
We've been through them what, a thousand times? This is how you folks make decisions? This is a 'hit job;' a pure and simple hit job. No other candidate goes through this. None.
The audio began again with Wallace accusing Cruz of saying that Carson “was withdrawing from the campaign. That was false. The campaign put out fliers accusing people of voting violations. That was false.”
“In South Carolina,” Wallace continued, “a Cruz Super PAC attacked Trump over the Confederate flag, and your then-communications director posted a link this week accusing Rubio of disrespecting the Bible. That was false.”
Those comments led the host to ask if the GOP candidate “takes personal responsibility” for those incidents and explain what they “say about the culture of the campaign you're running.”
“Let's just stop for a minute,” Levin again interjected. “Is this guy a moron? When you have a Super PAC, you're not even allowed legally to be involved in it. So … you can't take personal responsibility for a Super PAC. I'm not defending it; I'm just saying that is 'a jackass question.'”
“Chris,” Cruz replied, “every accusation you raised there is incorrect. I appreciate you reading the Donald Trump attack file on that.”
Wallace immediately went on the attack. “Oh, come on, senator! Wait a minute, sir! … Don't say this is an oppo(sition) file on our part, sir!”
“Chris, please don't interrupt me,” Cruz responded.
“Well, please don't say, don't accuse me of something I didn't do,” the host stated angrily.
“Chris, let me know when I'm allowed to answer,” the presidential candidate replied.
“Well, you apologized for one and fired your communications director over the other,” Wallace declared.
Levin then halted the audio and stated: “Well, if he did that, then why did you bring it up?”
Cruz replied by telling Wallace: “Chris, our campaign from the beginning has been the highest level of integrity. When others have engaged in personal attacks and insults, we don't respond in kind. And it was striking.”
You just had Donald Trump on the air. You didn't ask him about the fact that he sent out a fabricated quote from Tom Coburn impugning my integrity. [Former Oklahoma] Senator Coburn came out and said it was an utter fabrication, and yet Donald continued repeating what he knew to be false.
You didn't ask Donald Trump about the robo-calls that went out from a white supremacist group supporting Donald Trump telling people: “Do not vote for a Cuban. Vote for Donald Trump.”
“Listen, Chris, the facts matter,” he stated. “I understand there are folks that don't want to focus on the facts, but listen, the voters care about the truth.”
Levin noted that Wallace had conducted two “totally different interviews. That's why I can't watch these Sunday shows.”
“And it's not a coincidence that Rupert Murdoch the other day tweeted out that Trump, Rubio, Kasich and the establishment need to unite to beat the Democrats,” he stated.
“Now who was left out of that?” the host asked. “Cruz … because Cruz is the true outsider, and he's the true conservative.”
Judging from this incident, it appears that Levin has found a downside to the Fox News Channel being “fair and balanced.”