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Griff Jenkins Disingenuously Says “I’m Just Documenting” Tea Party Express

Reported by Ellen - September 3, 2009 -

Griff Jenkins has been traveling with the Tea Party Express’ cross country protest tour bus, offering fawning, glowing reports regularly on Fox News. As Media Matters reported, Jenkins has been extremely supportive of the protesters. But on Tuesday night (9/1/09), after another promotional, uncritical report on On The Record, Jenkins disingenuously claimed he was “just documenting” the protests. Van Susteren not only didn’t challenge that ludicrous statement, she made a point of prodding him into saying it. With video.

As Media Matters has also noted, Fox News has relentlessly promoted the Tea Party Express and other protests. Part of that effort in this segment included a cute little animation showing where the tour is going. After that, and at the end of Jenkins reporting (you can see the entire segment here), Van Susteren made a point of a noting, “You aren’t on this bus, you’re following and reporting about what’s going on, right?… You’re not on this bus.”

“That’s correct,” Jenkins said. “…I haven’t been on the bus yet. I’m just documenting, following these people because it’s an interesting movement… and I want to document it and see as much as we can, and to challenge it. But we are not on the bus. We are not part of it. I am simply reporting on this, although we might try and get at some point… an inside look of how the bus works and the players on it.”

Van Susteren said helpfully, “I’d love to see you get a camera inside that bus ‘cause I’m sort of curious… what they’re talking about doing inside that bus as well.”

Jenkins promised, “I will get on that bus tomorrow!”

Not only have I not seen a single report from Jenkins “challenging” the “interesting movement,” every one of his reports has gushed about it. It’s very clear he’s “on the bus” whether or not he ever steps foot inside it.