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Chris Wallace continues to misrepresent Democrats' reasons for repudiation

Reported by Chrish - December 16, 2007 -

In a perhaps unintentional irony, this morning 12/16/07 FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace offered further evidence of why Democratic candidates John Edwards and Barack Obama are correct to refuse invitations to appear on the program. Wallace misrepresented the candidates' reasoning by reading viewer emails that perpetuate the myth that they are afraid of tough questioning from the Republican propaganda network.

These emails were responses to a brief comment Wallace made last week, that Obama and Edwards continue to decline invitations but FOX will continue to ask (presumably so they can continue to complain and further the talking points.)

Wallace said that viewers had a lot to say about Democrats Edwards and Obama refusing to come on FNS all this year, yet only read two with the same talking point:

"Are they afraid of something? These people want to lead our nation. What is going to happen when a rogue nation threatens us? Are they going to run with their tails between their legs like they do from your show? At least Clinton has the guts to talk to you." and
"Until you start throwing softballs, don't expect any Democrat to show up."

Wallace added, as a "by the way," that today John Edwards was appearing on ABC, CBS, and CNN, but once again he, and Obama, turned FOX down.

Edwards made clear, in August, that he was detaching from the Murdoch empire and urging fellow Democrats to do the same because

"It is time for Democrats to stop pretending to be friends with the very people who demonize the Democratic Party and call it "news." [...] help send a message that Democrats are united against Fox News expanding its influence over our politics. [...] ...why are some candidates still taking money from top executives at Fox News—who skew the news viewed by millions of hard-working people to advance their right-wing agenda?"

As for Barack Obama, why on earth would he give FOX News the time of day after how they attacked him, even before he formally announced his candidacy? He has rightfully frozen them out after their unprofessional tabloid smears of him, his name, and his background.

A commenter at Huffington Post who goes by LeoMarvin summed it up succinctly when he wrote:

"But what these people don't understand, and they need to have explained to them, is that there's bias, and then there's BIAS. There's a fundamental difference between the bias of individuals that leaks out of any human enterprise, a bias which mainstream media does its best to blunt with policies that enforce (with admittedly very uneven results) journalistic standards and practices that at least aim for objectivity, on the one hand, and the FOX brand of institutionally packaged BIAS that poses FOX in the disguise of a legitimate media outlet no different than its competitors (other than the direction of the political point of view), while in fact its the product of an intentional confluence of demographically driven business model and Republican politics. The instructions that the FOX broadcasters get to propagandize and electioneer using prescribed jargon and talking points is exactly the opposite of the instructions their peers on other networks get to filter such herding stimuli out of their presentation."

The suggestion that Democrats are "afraid" of FOX because they'd be asked "tough" questions is nonsense, and conflating refusal to dignify the smear merchants with future inability to engage with confrontational and antagonistic world leaders serves only to put forward the Republican myth that they are the party that is "tough on terror." George Bush sat on his hands while the final stages of the WTC attacks were carried out and his Republican administration has repeatedly refused to meet with challenging, antagonistic world leaders, preferring to label them "terrorists" and refusing to "negotiate." Audience members for Bush performances are carefully screened to remove hecklers and dissidents, yet he willingly subjects to the scrutiny of infotainer/opinionator Bill O'Reilly. Puh-leeze.

Edwards and Obama have given their reasons for not going on FOX; the repetition of false accusations to paint them as inadequate only serves to reinforce their good judgment.