Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Good Cop, Bad Cop

Reported by Judy - June 4, 2004 -

Jon Scott, host of Fox News Live in the morning, loves to play "good cop, bad cop" with his guests. He does it with a twist, though, as his interview June 3 with two senators -- one Democrat and one Republican -- demonstrates.

"Good cop, bad cop" usually requires two people -- one to be the nice guy and the other to apply pressure, but Scott plays both roles himself. He's a "good cop" when questioning Republican guests and a "bad cop" when he's talking to the Democrats.

In this case, Scott interviewed Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, and Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minnesota, on the general topic of Bush's current trip to Europe. Scott tried to put Dayton on the spot by noting Bush's comparison of the war on terror with World War II and asking with a "how-can-you-disagree-with-that" tone whether Bush has a point. Dayton called Bush's point "inept" and said if Baghdad was the international center of terror, Bush's invasion of Iraq had made it so.

When talking to Ensign, however, Scott turned Mr. Nice Guy, dishing up a question that let the Republican reply with stirring platitudes. Asked Scott, "What about the point that the people who killed Nick Berg are still trying to kill Americans?" Ensign replied with attacks on the "brutal, vicious enemy" without having to say anything substantive.

Scott's strategy is transparent -- be the good cop by giving the Republicans questions that let them shift into their campaign rhetoric, and be the bad cop by asking questions that put Democrats in the position of disagreeing with the president's "strong" stand against terrorism without coming off looking weak or unpatriotic.

To the casual viewer, Scott's interviews may look "fair and balanced," but a real Newshound can sniff out his strategy every time.