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Fox News’ Bernard Goldberg Goes Out Of His Way To Debunk Sarah Palin

Reported by Ellen - January 18, 2010 -

Chalk up Bernard Goldberg as another Fox News employee less than bowled over by his new colleague, Sarah Palin. Last week, I noted how Brit Hume damned Palin with faint praise. A few days later, on The O’Reilly Factor, Goldberg didn’t even go that far. In fact, he made a point of debunking one of her claims supposedly made during her debut as a Fox News contributor, an interview with Bill O’Reilly. With video

In a January 14, 2010 discussion about Palin’s debut, Goldberg said, “There is a big difference between being a political activist and being a political analyst.” He went on to note that when he watches other Fox News analysts who were once political operatives, such as Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove, “I learn something… These people make open-minded people think about things.” The obvious implication was that Palin did not. Driving that point home, Goldberg added, “I don’t know if Sarah Palin is going to make that transition. Maybe she will. The jury is out.”

“She has to decide,” O’Reilly said.

Then Goldberg made a point of mentioning that he had fact-checked Sarah Palin’s claim that 60 Minutes never contacted her before airing a damning segment with Steven Schmidt. “In your interview, you asked her if 60 Minutes gave her an opportunity to respond. And she said, ‘Well, they didn’t come to me and if they came to one of my people and they...’ It was unintelligible but it was something like, ‘I don’t know about it.’ I checked with the executive producer of 60 Minutes today. I’ve known him for 30 years. He’s a straight shooter. And he said, ‘We definitely asked her to come on, through her people, and they said no.’”

“But she probably didn’t get that message,” O’Reilly said.

“That’s on her and her people, not on 60 Minutes,” Goldberg said. In other words, he was telling the Fox News audience Palin was not telling the truth. I watched the interview and did not hear Palin actually tell O'Reily that she had never been contacted by 60 Minutes. Perhaps she said it during her interview with Glenn Beck the next day or somewhere else. But even if she did not say it, the fact that Goldberg went out of his way to defend 60 Minutes at the expense of his new colleague is very telling.

“No problem,” O’Reilly said. He added, “And I said I admired 60 Minutes during that interview.” Apparently, he was not completely buying Palin’s veracity, either.