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FOX Trots Out Discredited Terrorism Expert To Complain About Balance At The New York Times

Reported by Ellen - January 9, 2009 -

In the same week that FOX News dug up discredited “terrorism expert” Steve Emerson to smear Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison as somehow being in cahoots with terrorists, it also trotted out Emerson to accuse the New York Times of “siding with Hamas.” What was Emerson's beef? The Times' coverage of Israel's war in Gaza was too balanced. Quite an irony for a network that brags about the importance of fairness and balance. With video.

In a segment on the January 7, 2009 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Alan Colmes' scripted introduction for the segment with Emerson said, “Terrorism expert Steve Emerson dissects what he says is The New York Times' clearly sympathetic view of Hamas when reporting on the Israeli-Hamas conflict in Gaza... Emerson says The Times is trying to humanize the terror group.”

The headline on FOXNews.com went further.

Terrorism Expert: New York Times Siding With Hamas

Colmes opened the interview by suggesting that a fair and balanced presentation is desirable in media coverage of the conflict.

Steve, The New York Times is an easy target, but would you honestly say that, in the United States, there's a fair and balanced presentation, media-wide, giving both sides of the issue here?

Emerson not only disagreed, he dismissed evenhandedness as “contrived.”

Well, Alan, the question is who's telling the truth? It's not a question of giving both sides. You can give the side of al Qaeda, and then you have a contrived evenhandedness. That's not the issue. The issue is telling the truth, equating the arsonist with a fireman. That's what The Times has done.

Later in the interview, Emerson went so far as to suggest that giving a balanced report was equivalent to treason.

Emerson: I saw on CNN Fareed Zakaria pepper an Israeli official, saying, "Well, how many were killed?" Well, you don't ask that question. You say, "How many rockets were fired," in order to understand the dilemma that Israeli has been facing.

Hannity: Steve, the answer is don't watch CNN. Thank you.

Emerson: I've got to watch what the enemy is saying.

While FOX was busy pimping hatred for the “liberal media,” they never told their viewers about Emerson's long history of scurrilous, anti-Muslim “punditry.” For example, last year, Emerson told Hannity & Colmes viewers that Muslim jihadists had infiltrated the Pentagon and other U.S. Agencies. Funny, how we haven't heard any follow up about that.

FAIR has more on Emerson's questionable "expertise." Think Progress noted that FOX is virtually the only news organization still willing to host Emerson.

UPDATE: The FOX News shills have pointed out that other networks have been hosting Emerson, though most of their examples are from 2007.