Tuesday, May 10, 2005


"Must-see TV"

Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald has written a paean to Chris Wallace, son of Mike Wallace and host of "Fox News Sunday." Wallace took the job after he met with Roger Ailes, head of Fox News—
"The only vaguely political question he asked me was, 'Can you get up in the morning without immediately thinking that your country is at fault?'" says Wallace. "I had no problem doing that."

You bet!

To prevent any such thought from arising, Wallace apparently relies heavily on Republican guests—

There are still skeptics. "Anybody trying to make the case that Wallace is not a Fox company man will fail," declares Steven Rendell, a senior analyst for the lefty media-monitor group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. "This show is shot through with the Fox sensibility." The show's rightward tilt, Rendell declares, is obvious from the guest list: Over the last five months, Wallace's in-depth one-on-one interviews have featured Republicans over Democrats by a margin of more than seven to one.

But Marty Ryan, the show's producer, says the ratio simply reflects the current balance of power in Washington: The GOP controls the White House and both houses of Congress, so it has more newsmakers to appear on Fox News Sunday.

That's quite a power ratio.

It is amazing—and discouraging—what reporters think they're supposed to be doing.

Garvin recounts a Wallace interview with Sen. John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, who has developed an understanding of violence when it's provoked by federal judges—

Wallace played a clip of Cornyn's fiery speech on the Senate floor in which he warned that "political decisions" by judges trigger public anger that "builds up to the point where some people engage in violence." So, Wallace said to the senator, the career criminal in Atlanta who recently shot and killed the judge in his rape trial was just making a political statement?

No, no, Cornyn replied stiffly, his speech "was taken out of context and misinterpreted."

"Well, I don't understand how it was misinterpreted or taken out of context," Wallace reproved. "Judges are making political decisions unaccountably. And it builds up to the point where some people engage in violence. Sounds like it was precisely in context."

"Maybe unartfully stated," conceded Cornyn.

"Do you apologize for trying to make a link between that and acts of violence against judges?" Wallace continued.

"I didn't make the link," Cornyn insisted.

"You don't think you said anything wrong?" Wallace asked in astonishment.

"Well, I regret that I said it perhaps poorly," Cornyn said, finally caving in.

What a triumph! What a cave-in! What crap!

But Garvin is not alone in his opinion. Here's what Juan Williams of the liberals' cherished NPR had to say about it—

"It reminded me of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers," marveled Juan Williams, National Public Radio's senior correspondent, a regular on the roundtable discussions among reporters on Fox News Sunday. "Cornyn trying to dance out of it, Chris staying right with him and following up. It's stuff like that that makes for must-see TV."

Perhaps we may see journalist Garvin himself appearing soon in a newsmaker interview. With pancake makeup they should be able to hide those tell-tale brown stains around his mouth.

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