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

FOX News Uses Biased, Unbalanced Segment To Accuse NY Times Of Bias Over McCain Op-Ed

Reported by Ellen - July 22, 2008 -

It was no surprise that Hannity & Colmes used the New York Times rejection of Senator John McCain’s Op-Ed as their top story last night (7/21/08). But even I was surprised at the level of bias, particularly in a discussion devoted to complaining about bias elsewhere in the media. With video.

The segment started with a two minute intro that doubled as a monologue for Sean Hannity’s talking points. Hannity read,

“In a shocking and revealing display of their left-wing bias, the New York Times is refusing to run an Op-Ed piece by Senator John McCain about the war in Iraq. Now this comes only a week after Senator Obama wrote a piece on that same topic that the newspaper did decide to publish. Now McCain submitted a piece for publication but editor David Shipley rejected the piece, saying that he would be happy to look at future drafts so long as it adheres to the following criteria. And here I quote from the email that he sent to the McCain campaign. Quote, 'The article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq. It would also have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory with troop levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate. And it would need to describe the Senator’s Afghanistan strategy, spelling out how it meshes with his Iraq plan.'

So in order for the piece to appear in the Times, Senator McCain would have to take positions that he doesn’t believe in, like timetables? Excuse me? This is less liberal bias than it is liberal extortion. Now remember, this is the same bunch that gave MoveOn.org an unusually low rate to publish their 'General Betray us' ad and that was last year, so it’s no wonder that these snobs are despised beyond Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Now later this afternoon, the Times issued a statement, reading, quote, 'It is standard procedure on our Op-Ed page, and that of other newspapers, to go back and forth with an author on his or her submission. We look forward to publishing Senator McCain’s view in our paper just as we have in the past. We have published at least seven Op-Ed pieces by Seantor McCain since 1996. The New York Times endorsed Senator McCain as the Republican candidate in the presidential primaries. We take his views very seriously.'

All this while Barack Obama continues his world tour of the Middle East and Europe.”

There was no mention that the Times had also rejected a letter to the editor from the Clinton campaign on similar grounds.

There was no balancing preface/editorial from Alan Colmes. In fact, in three years of blogging about this show, I can’t recall Colmes ever introducing a segment with anything close to similar opprobrium from a liberal perspective.

The only guest for the discussion was Bush administration appointee John Bolton, introduced merely as, “former Ambassador to the U.N. (and) FOX News contributor.” There was no mention of Bolton’s partisan background.

Predictably, Bolton criticized not just the Times but Obama and his foreign policy, too. In a statement that stopped just short of outing his own Republican stripes, Bolton said, “The American people have to decide who they think has the experience and the character and the judgment to make these decisions in circumstances we can’t foresee yet.”

Colmes did an excellent job of defending the Times but all his time was spent interviewing Bolton. Unlike Hannity, Colmes did not have a platform from which to (re)frame the topic.

FOX News contributor Bolton went on to misrepresent the Times’ position, in direct contradiction of what his employer, via Hannity, had just announced in the intro. Bolton complained, “If (the Times) had said, 'We want to publish your piece, Senator, but we think you need this or that or the other thing – '”

Colmes interrupted to say they had.

“No, they didn’t,” Bolton insisted.

“That’s exactly what they did,” Colmes answered. Hannity had just said so, too.