As was already posted here at Crooks and Liars, Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace decided to bring in Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and grill him about how his comedy show and his criticism of their network which apparently doesn't live up to the fine journalistic standards at Fox, even though he hosts... you know... a comedy show and that fact that it's a joke that Fox should not be considered a "news network" didn't seem to hamper the irony of Wallace doing this interview in the first place.
I think Steve Benen hit the nail on the head with this criticism of the portion of interview which is shown above.
“The Daily Show” host argued that bias may exist in media, but it’s towards “sensationalism, conflict, and laziness.” His host didn’t see it that way.
Host Chris Wallace pressed Stewart on why he didn’t consider the New York Times and the Washington Post biased for asking readers to help read Sarah Palin’s email trove.
“They never said ‘help us go through the 2000 pages of the Obama health care bill,’” Wallace noted.
“I think their bias is towards sensationalism and laziness. I wouldn’t say it’s towards a liberal agenda. It’s light fluff so it’s absolutely within the wheelhouse,” said Stewart.
I had no idea the Palin email thing was seen as evidence of a “liberal media” in Republican circles. I thought it was evidence of “ridiculous media,” and certainly “lazy media,” not to mention “a misguided media lacking in editorial judgment and a sense of priorities,” but not “liberal.”
Indeed, the very idea strikes me as self-defeating. If major news outlets are obsessed with combing through emails of a former half-term governor turned right-wing media personality, isn’t that evidence that the media isn’t liberal? Wouldn’t an actually liberal media be more inclined to ignore the emails?
As for the fact that major outlets didn’t try to crowd-source the Affordable Care Act’s legislative language, the comparison seems bizarre. For one thing, the bill had far fewer pages, and had been scrutinized over the course of months as it worked its way through the committee process. For another, legislation and emails aren’t similar — filled with technical and legal jargon, bills aren’t written in a way to be read by a general lay audience.
If Wallace is looking for evidence of media “bias,” he’ll need to come up with some far better examples.
If Fox News Sunday wasn't desperate for some better ratings, I can't imagine another scenario of why they'd allow Stewart on one of their shows in the first place to make a fool out of Chris Wallace.
Full transcript below the fold.
WALLACE: Even you make fun of the fact that "The New York Times" and the "Washington Post" when this document dump of 24,000 e-mails of Sarah Palin was released, and they got so excited about it, they asked their readers, can you help us go through these 24,00 documents?
WALLACE: How do you explain the fact that they would do that? They would ask the readers to help them go through the Palin e-mails -- inconsequential as they turned out to be --
WALLACE: -- but they never said help us go through the 2,000 pages of the Obama health care bill?
STEWART: Because I think their bias is towards sensationalism and laziness. I wouldn't say it's towards a liberal agenda. It's light fluff. So, it's absolutely within the wheelhouse.
I mean, if your suggestion is that they are relentlessly partisan and why haven't they gone and backed away from Weiner? Now, they've dove, they've jumped into the Weiner pool -- so, with such delight and relish, because the bias --
WALLACE: Some things are indefensible.
STEWART: -- the bias of the mainstream media -- oh, I'm not saying it's defensible, but the bias of the mainstream media is toward sensationalism, conflict and laziness.