It’s easy to imagine Fox News throwing Sean Hannity in, at the last minute, to moderate the debate.
Well, he is right about that. A Democratic debate moderated by Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reily would not be good for democracy. It would be like Chris Matthews moderating a Republican debate on PMSNBC. Oh. Wait. Um…
Moving on, Michael adds:
Johnson misses the point. It’s not reaching out to Republicans that the netroots is worried about. (Although, that isn’t the goal.) It’s that Fox News is the RNC PR machine. It is not in the network’s interest to have a “fair and balanced” debate.
I understand his perspective, and he has a very valid point. Fox News is often the mouthpiece for Republicans and the White House. Part of the reason is because other media outlets aren’t as willing to disseminate the information, and a larger part is that Republicans use Fox News to “preach to the choir” so to speak.
Yeah. He’s right. Can’t argue that point.
But, I ask. So what?
What prompted my original post was a review of the Fox News GOP Debate on CNN’s Reliable Sources. Here is the transcript of a portion from that show involving CNN’s Howard Kurtz as host, “David Frum, columnist for National Review Online, and a former speech writer for President Bush; Ryan Lizza, senior editor at The New Republic and a correspondent for GQ magazine; and Gloria Borger, national political correspondent for CBS News and a contributing editor for U.S. News & World Report“:
KURTZ: Let’s face it, a lot of people expected FOX to go easy on Republicans.
Did that happen?
FRUM: I think it was a triumphant night for FOX, and I say this as someone who’s often had doubts about the way they cover politics. But they asked a very — the important thing they did was not that they were tough — anyone can be tough — they were precise.
One of the problems with the first debate was that the 60-second format felt too short for an answer. But that was because…
KURTZ: That was the debate on MSNBC.
FRUM: That’s right. When you ask diffuse, rambling, look — “I’m the journalist, I’m the star, look at me” questions…
KURTZ: Who would you be referring to here?
FRUM: Other questioners — then 60 seconds is too short. But if you say, here is an answer, yes, no? Sixty seconds is plenty of time.
I thought the FOX questioners did a masterful job.
KURTZ: For those who don’t know, Chris Matthews moderated the first Republican debate on MSNBC.
A little difference in the style?
LIZZA: Yes. Look, there is the good FOX and there’s the bad FOX. FOX has a reputation for being intellectually dishonest and a little bit propagandistic for the Republican Party. And with certain commentators, that’s true.
If you had Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly doing this debate, it would be totally different. But they also have a good team of political reporters who are junkies and ask good questions.
BORGER: Well, I think the key to being a good questioner, a good journalist in this kind of program is you have to have well-researched questions. They knew their facts and they threw them out there.
KURTZ: So should the Democrats debate on FOX? They’re basically boycotting FOX.
BORGER: I do not see why the Democrats should not debate on FOX News.
I don’t think I could have said it better myself.