It’s hard to think of anything more laughably hypocritical than two media critics on Fox News whining that an openly liberal comedy show host was too friendly to President Obama. As if their own supposedly real news network isn’t just that friendly to Republicans.
“It was 22 minutes and 13 seconds of ‘Let Obama Spin His Spin,’” guest David Zurawik, media critic for The Baltimore Sun, complained. He called Stewart “an important cultural force” and he praised him for having “engaged young people in the political process.” But, Zurawik added, “What comes with it is an ideology. You know he has an ideology that’s left-wing... so he gave him a clear run.”
Zurawik’s biggest gripe seemed to be that Obama was allowed to talk up his nuclear deal with Iran and how, during the interview, he asked viewers to voice their support to their congressional representatives.
And yet, Fox News does this kind of thing all the time. Remember when Sean Hannity plugged George Zimmerman’s defense fund? Or when Bill O’Reilly informed his viewers that an anti-abortion group featured on Fox depends on donations and provided the website name? More recently, Bill O’Reilly offered the parents of a young woman murdered by a Mexican immigrant a trip to Washington “at our expense” and offered to set up meetings with legislators for them in order to promote anti-immigrant legislation. “Straight news anchor” Megyn Kelly recently used an interview to overtly help Fox fave Sheriff David Clarke advance his mayoral ambitions.
Last I checked, Stewart never claimed to be anything other than what he is. It’s Fox News that claims otherwise. But instead of acknowledging the many infomercials Fox has done for its pals, Zurawik called the Obama administration “one of the most hostile press administrations in the world” and said it's “as hostile as Richard Nixon’s.”
“We have tried to push back and it’s guys like Jon Stewart who let him get away with it,” Zurawik continued. “He has done nothing but take power away from the press. …He protects his friends. He’s not an honest broker like a newsman would be and yet he’s the most trusted guy on TV.”
Even on that same show (second video below), Kurtz discussed how Trump shouted down Telemundo and MSNBC anchor José Diaz-Balart when he tried to ask Trump about his description of Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers. Diaz-Balart said, “Many feel that what you said, when you said that the people that cross the border are rapists and murderers...” when he was cut off with a harangue from Trump.
Yet, Kurtz criticized Diaz-Balart. “He wasn’t very precise in his question. He made it sound like Trump was saying that all people crossing the border are criminals,” Kurtz said.
Hello! That’s because Trump made it sound like all people crossing the border are criminals, a point that panelist Simon Rosenberg made and Kurtz did not dispute.
And where was the concern for hostility toward the press when Trump pulled the credentials of a reporter for the Des Moines Register after an editorial blasted Trump and said he should get out of the race? Panelist Susan Ferrechio called it “a great move for him, for publicity” given that people hate the media.
Conservative though she seems to be, I have great respect for Ferrechio. It's worth noting that she spoke from a handling-the-media perspective, unlike Zurawik’s take on Obama, and nobody seemed to mind. Furthermore, another conservative panelist, Amy Holmes, of The Blaze, added, “at least he didn’t round them up with a rope,” which was a dig at Hillary Clinton. Everybody laughed.
It was Ferrechio who said she thinks the big, undercovered story about Trump is why he does so well in the polls and what he speaks to in the electorate. That “is really the responsibility of the media right now and it’s being largely ignored,” she said.
But Kurtz said, “We’re only starting to see signs of it now,” then moved on to attack the media for not seeing the fabulousness of Trump in the first place. “This was a colossal failure of journalism” because almost everyone “consistently dismissed Trump at the beginning, who mocked him, who kept saying he’s gonna blow up. He’s now leading in most Republican polls. How did the media blow it so badly?” Kurtz asked.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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