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Greta Van Susteren And Byron York Can’t Understand Why President Obama Called Out Reporter Ed Henry

Reported by Ellen - October 14, 2011 -

Memo to Greta Van Susteren and Byron York. This may be hard for you to understand – seeing as you two are great Fox News fans – but the reason President Obama called out Fox White House correspondent Ed Henry for using Republican talking points was probably because… Henry was using Republican points in the form of a question. Or to put it another way, when Henry used Mitt Romney’s attack on Obama’s handling of foreign policy and rephrased it as a question about Obama’s handling of the Iran terror plot, it quacked just like... Republican talking points!

In case you missed my earlier post on this subject, in a press conference yesterday, Henry asked Obama what specific steps he’d take to hold Iran accountable for the recently foiled terror plot. Fair question. But then Henry gratuitously added, “especially when Mitt Romney charged last week, quote, ‘If you do not want America to be the strongest place on earth, I am not your president. You have that president today.’”

As I previously noted, Romney’s comments had nothing to do with the Iran plot – in fact, they had been made before it was uncovered. It’s hard to see Henry’s “question” as anything but a ploy designed to a) implicitly paint Romney as an important player in foreign policy, b) highlight and give prominence to his criticisms of President Obama and c) put Obama on defense against Romney - thereby furthering points a) and b).

But if you’re a Fox Newsie, then Obama’s joking response to Henry, “I didn’t know you were the spokesperson for Romney” was just out of line.

Time to call a Wah-mbulance and dust off that GOP Special Victims Unit Jon Stewart made up for occasions just like this.

As a banner on the screen read, “roughin’ up a reporter,” Van Susteren said, “It’s sort of hard not to be suspicious… I don’t remember (Henry) being jabbed when he was over at CNN and they (the White House) seem to have a little bit of a thing about Fox News.”

Well, you might say that Fox News seems to have a “little bit of a thing” about President Obama. But, of course, Van Susteren didn't.

York, the only guest for this segment, dubiously claimed that Henry has always asked the same sort of questions. “All of a sudden he’s working for Fox and has Republican talking points.” York concluded, “This is part of a long-term White House campaign against Fox, to try to deligitimize Fox.”

Van Susteren, sounding as if she were thinking out loud (as opposed to having planned such comments in advance) mused, “I would think they’d be a little bit smarter, more clever about it. I mean, they actually sort of seem a little petty and the way they jab – of all people, Ed.” She later accused Obama of using his “little Fox talking points against Ed.”

You know, Greta and Byron, when an entire network spends weeks devoting itself to a bogus conspiracy theory about President Obama's birth certificate - three years after it had been completely debunked and a favorite guest baselessly suggests he's a secret Muslim - it does become a tad difficult to believe there isn't some anti-Obama agenda going on.

York assured Van Susteren that the White House does not treat other reporters the way it treats Henry – with the obvious suggestion that that was proof the White House has it in for Fox, as opposed to, say, evidence that Fox is the biased outfit.

Van Susteren wondered. “What is it that they’re so – that gets them all sort of tied up in a bundle (about Fox News)?

The sad thing is, I believe Van Susteren really didn’t know. But if she really wanted to know, she’d ask us or Media Matters or just about any other liberal who’s watched the network for more than 10 minutes.

York, on the other hand, came up with the fairly predictable plaudit, “Fox has done something a little different… and it’s been so successful.” Well, at least he didn’t say that Fox is the only network that isn’t in the tank for Obama, the mantra throughout most of the rest of the Fox airwaves. In fact, York even suggested that plenty of people agree with the White House when he said, “There are groups on the left that are pretty well funded whose job it is simply to monitor Fox all the time.”

“I like a good challenge… It’s more fun, it’s more interesting,” Van Susteren said, to have a “vigorous debate” about the issues than to just “sit around and go ‘Yup. Yup. Yup, that’s right.'”

Then why is it, Ms. Van Susteren, that the vast preponderance of your guests are conservatives you agree with? Including the one in this interview?

Then, arguing that President Obama should come on the network with his complaints (as if the he-hates-Fox-because-he-can’t-stand-being-challenged-the-way-a-real-news-network-should meme wouldn’t erupt on steroids all over “fair and balanced” Fox), she added that it looks cowardly for him not to come.

In fact, Obama HAS come. He did an interview with Bill O’Reilly and Bret Baier and each of them would barely let him answer a question before interrupting. Candidate Obama also appeared on Fox News Sunday and did an interview with reporter Major Garrett on Hannity & Colmes.

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