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Fox & Friends Report Old News To Smear Possible Candidate For Bayh’s Senate Seat?

Reported by Priscilla - February 23, 2010 -

Surely with all the news that’s happening now, Fox & Friends doesn’t need to dredge up news that is 6 months old. But when they’re trying to smear a possible Democratic candidate for the US Senate, no news is too old to use. That would seem to have been the motive behind Steve Doocy’s recent interview with two Indiana University students regarding how one of them was told by Democratic Congressman, Baron Hill, that he didn’t allow taping, outside of official news outlets, of his town hall meeting last September. At the time, the right (including Fox News kissing cousin, NewsBusters) did its usual outrage; but it has since subsided. Fox News is now reviving it and any question of why they are doing so is dispelled by the information, readily voiced by Steve Doocey, that Baron Hill is expected to be one of a number of Democrats who are vying for the US Senate seat vacated by Evan Bayh of Indiana. Once again, Fox & Friends demonstrates that it’s not about happy and silly talk – but about being a mouthpiece for the Republican rights. Oh, and in the process of smearing Mr. Hill, in a totally unfair and unbalanced piece, Fox & Friends, once again, misspelled the name of a guest.

Last week, Steve Doocy began the segment with this: “A journalism student, working on a school project, barred” (word emphasized) “from filming a town hall by Indiana Democratic Congressman Baron Hill, the same man who is expected to run for Evan Bayh’s senate seat.” He invited the audience to check out the video, from last September, which showed Rep. Hill telling the student that he did not allow taping at his town halls. Ever the partisan opinionator (Fox & Friends is not, let me repeat, not part of Fox News “fair and balanced” “news.”), Doocy said, audibly, “oh boy,” at the end of the video. He then introduced the woman who asked to film at the Town Hall. Ashley Scott, and her friend Ashley Freije, who was assisting her on a “class project.” Scott said that she was told, by one of Hill’s people,that she couldn’t film. Doocy, ever the objective non journalist, said “that a little crazy.” He continued to frame their argument: “You guys were working on a class project at Indiana University. It’s not like you were up to have some gotcha moment with him.” Ms. Freije said that she provided assurances that her photos would be still photos with no flash. She said that as a journalism student she “knew that she needed to keep her opinions out of it.” Doocy then picked up on the NewsBusters point that this story “got so little coverage on the mainstream media.” He then said that the reason why Fox was “bringing this up is because it sounds like this guy is on the short list for Evan Bayh’s seat. And just to make sure that you know that this guy doesn’t get the Fox seal of approval, more of the video was shown during which Hill said that this was his Town Hall meeting and that he didn’t “allow filming because the videos end up on You Tube in a compromising position.” In case you didn’t get the message (bad mainstream media) the first time, Doocy claimed that the reason why this video ended up on You Tube was because the MSM “didn’t cover it.” In case you didn’t get the message that Fox doesn’t like Hill, Doocy asked Scott what she thought of him. Scott replied that she was shocked that Hill didn’t have the sense to know that this would be seen in a bad light and that he was “unprofessional” and this “showed his true character.” As Freije said that Hill’s constituents have a right to tell him how to run a Town Hall, Doocy giggled and said “yeah.”

Comment: Obviously, the students had a valid issue as Hill’s demeanor seemed a little over the top. But this happened last September after which the video did go viral in the right wing blogosphere. And despite Doocy’s complaint that the MSM didn’t cover it (and beyond the district in Indiana, why would it be covered?) it was reported on by the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Indy Star. The Bloomington Herald Times had the full video. So what was the point of this whole exercise other than to smear a possible (one of several) Democratic candidates for Senate. It’s a good thing that Fox & Friends is an opinion show, because if they were “news,” they might have made an effort to get a statement from Hill or his staff. I wonder if we’ll see this kind of due diligence about other “unprofessional” candidates vying for Senate seats. Wonder if we’ll see any publicity about Blanche Lincoln’s Republican opponent, Curtis Coleman, who compared stem cell research to the Holocaust. Talk about being a total ass orifice!!!! And when you talk about unprofessionalism, you’re talking about Fox & Friends.

Note: Ashley Freije’s name was spelled Ashley Frieje on Fox & Friends. This isn’t the first time that Fox & Friends has misspelled a guest’s name. (And yet I get criticized by a not famous Fox sycophant for my occasional misspellings!) Here’s her Twitter page where she says that her Fox & Friends appearance is “a complete dream come true.” And check out her blog page where she describes herself as “a proud Republican in a sea of Liberals. I hope to one day inherit the 8 PM time slot on Fox News from papa Bear himself.” (Maybe she could be his producer?!) So this “proud Republican” gets her “dream” interview on Fox. As the church lady would say, “isn’t that special?” (Word to Ashley – go blonde!)

Correction Note - I referred to Evan Bayh as Birch Bayh in my original post. It has been corrected. Birch was Evan's father and a politician whom I admired. Yes, we do sometimes make mistakes; but unlike Fox News, we are not a media conglomerate with teams of production people and researchers. But we do our best and have corrected the post. Let's see if Fox corrects its videos.