Fox News' "objective" reporter Ed Henry is profiled by AP's David Bauder today. It's an interesting piece and worth reading. But Bauder pulls his punches in two key places regarding Henry's supposed objectivity. The biggest one has to do with Benghazi, where Henry says both that Fox has had "the proper emphasis" on the story and that "some of our shows, some of our commentators, have covered it more than it needed to be covered."
Bauder notes that Henry is in something of a tough spot covering President Obama and working for Fox News. Although Henry is supposed to be a reporter, not a commentator, Bauder acknowledges, "It's naive to suggest there's no point of view." One of the examples he cites to illustrate that point is Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter Tom Ricks' aborted interview in which he confronted Fox over its politicized reporting of the Benghazi tragedy. Bauder writes:
Henry rejects the notion that he works off Fox marching orders in discussing the issue, but said, "I wouldn't lie to you. I see that we're covering Benghazi a lot, and I think that should be something that we're asking about."
He said other news outlets have under-covered the story, since four Americans were killed and there's still some mystery about what the administration knew and when they knew about the attack.
"We've had the proper emphasis," he said. "But I would not be so deluded to say that some of our shows, some of our commentators, have covered it more than it needed to be covered."
Well, which is it? Proper emphasis or too much coverage?
In another spot, Bauder writes about a testy back and forth between Henry and Obama during the last campaign:
When Henry asked Obama to respond to a Romney comment that "if you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your president," Obama said that, "I didn't know you were the spokesman for Mitt Romney."
...(Henry) was simply asking for a response to a critic's statement, something reporters do every day.
Except that Henry was not "simply asking for a response" to Romney. Henry gratuitously threw Romney's remark into a question that had nothing to do with it. From the White House transcript:
President Obama, I wanted to get your first reaction to the Iranian terror plot. Your Secretary of State called it a dangerous escalation. What specific steps will you take to hold Iran accountable, especially when Mitt Romney charged last week, “If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President -- you have that President today”?
Henry was referring to an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador. Romney's remarks were part of an October 7, 2011 general speech on foreign policy that he gave before the Iranian plot was revealed on October 11, 2011. It's hard to see what news purpose was served by inserting Romney's remarks - other than to cast doubt on Obama's foreign policy bona fides and/or enhance Romney's.