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Fox News Trots Out "Presidential Historian" To Discuss Massachusetts Senate Race, Without Noting Her GOP connections

Reported by Ellen - January 17, 2010 -

Co-authored by Brian

On Friday's (1/15/10) Your World, “presidential historian” Jane Hampton Cook, unidentified as a former George W. Bush operative, actively assisted the Fox News meme of attacking Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley over the incident in which an aide got aggressive with a reporter from Weekly Standard as Coakley supposedly looked on without helping the fallen reporter. Rather than come clean about Hampton Cook’s partisan affiliation or their own partisan agenda, Cavuto and Fox News pretended that she was only there to discuss courtesy and the likeability factor of candidates in general. I’m sure it's just a coincidence that the only political race of note right now is the upcoming Massachusetts race which Fox has been relentlessly hyping and spinning. And I’m sure Hampton Cook’s political affiliation had nothing to do with her attacks on Coakley. This was at least the second time Hampton Cook has appeared on Cavuto and been disingenuously identified "presidential historian." With video.

After rehashing the Coakley incident, Cavuto began the interview by saying. “You’ve often reminded me that politicans are supposed to be big ol’ people people, right? They’re supposed to like people.”

Hampton Cook wasted no time ripping into Coakley. "Courtesy goes a long way in politics,” Hampton Cook said. “And you’ve seen this week that not extending that helping hand really made you wonder, what does she do behind closed doors if she can’t be helpful in a moment of crisis?"

Never mind that the reporter, himself, John McCormack, told Sean Hannity two nights before on Fox that, as News Hounds’ Alex posted, Coakley had been walking a little ahead of him and probably hadn’t been aware of the incident until she heard the clanging of the metal barrier falling to the ground and turned around – by which time McCormack would have been on the ground and, as can be seen in the photo, Meehan was reaching down to help him up.

Cavuto either didn’t know that or else chose not to bring it up. But he did say, “Well, you know, a picture just freezes a moment… I just wonder though… maybe she was confused, busy, distracted. Maybe we’re reading too much into it. What do you think?”

“That’s possible. We all have our bad days,” Hampton Cook conceded. Then she reiterated the same talking point, as though Coakley’s “rudeness” was a certainty. “Courtesy does go a long way.” Hampton Cook went on to cite the wonderful impression George Washington made on Abigail Adams because of his courtesy. “Courtesy is a good thing for our politicians,” she repeated, once again suggesting it was something Coakley lacked.

Cavuto used that “courtesy” opening to claim that Democrat John Corzine’s ad about his “hefty opponent” in the recent New Jersey gubernatorial race (which he lost) “really boomeranged on him… because it just looked mean.”

Hampton Cook readily agreed. "That's right. Cheap shots can really cost you. The campaign about Christie ‘throwing his weight around’ really backfired on the Corzine campaign. Christie responded with great affability. He was poised about it, he showed good manners about it… Yes, cheap shots can backfire on you.”

Funny how they didn’t mention Karl Rove’s whispering campaign against John McCain or the sickening, below-the-belt tactics attacks on veteran and triple-amputee Max Cleland to suggest he was soft on national security. And how about Dick Cheney’s breach of courtesy when he cursed out Senator Patrick Leahy on the Senate floor?

Instead, Cavuto brought up how Hampton Cook had reminded him of "The first Gore-Bush debate… On just the likeability factor, that famous scene where Al Gore sort of got in George Bush's face, and Bush just sort of gave him that nod… That registered in some undercurrent, didn’t it?"

Hampton Cook said, "Bush showed that he was the kind of guy you could have a laugh with, where Gore was sort of standoffish and you weren’t really sure that you wanted to sit down and have a laugh with Gore.”

Still Cavuto did not feel the need to let the "we report, you decide" network's viewers know of Hampton Cook's relationship with George W. Bush.

At the end of the interview, they did praise Democratic President Kennedy for reaching out to coal miners in 1960 and ripped Republican Nelson Rockefeller for flipping the bird. Of course, both those politicians are long dead and out of the political arena.