Fox News hosted a slew of Republican guests who criticized the deal that got five Americans released from Iran yesterday. When the network finally talked to a Democrat, he was just another critic.
I’ve previously posted about Fox News’ interview with John Bolton, who called the deal a “diplomatic debacle” for the United States. Check out three more interviews on the subect that were only a bit less antagonistic.
In the first video, below, Shepard Smith interviewed Republican Fox News contributor Ric Grenell, incorrectly identified on the screen as “United Nations spokesman” (he’s a former spokesman). Grenell acknowledged, “We can celebrate with the families” that their loved ones had been returned. But that didn’t mean he wanted to give the Obama administration any credit.
GRENELL: It’s clear now that during the nuclear negotiations, the Iranians outsmarted the Americans in many ways. …I think that this whole negotiation has been a disaster for the Obama administration.
To his credit, Smith did a great job of smacking down Grenell’s framing. Smith pointed out that the prisoners have been “used as a political football” during the presidential campaign. Noting the (Republican) “demands that they be released," Smith continued, "They have now been released.” He later said, “The headline of the day is one that I feel pretty good about living with: Americans who had been held overseas against their will for reasons that seemed incredible and injust (sic), are being released to come home to their families.”
About an hour and a half later, in the second video below, birther Heather Childers interviewed Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger whom she described as having “worked tirelessly to help free these individuals.” Clearly, he was the hero and not the Obama administration.
“We’re just glad that this long road has ended,” Pittenger said. But not so glad that he forgot to do some partisan carping. “I think what has been troubling, Heather, is the time that’s elapsed. You know, two years ago we began the discussions with Iran on this agreement. …I’ve been discouraged over, frankly, the lack of effectiveness of our negotiators. I think, frankly, sometimes I wish we could trade negotiators in this entire process. …God help us with a country of this size, this magnitude, is a sponsor of terrorism for the last 30 years…”
Childers interrupted because she wanted to make sure to get in her own swipe at Obama before she had to end the discussion. “And we negotiated with them. And that’s the other thing. I have to wrap you up pretty quickly here, though. But that’s a big question as well, today. You know, does this change what has always been the American standard. We are now negotiating with terrorists.”
Later, Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman appeared (the third video below). He said, “America has paid a very high price” for the release of the prisoners. He said “successful terrorists” had been released in exchange for the Americans.
Sherman also called the deal “a great victory for Iran’s intelligence forces.”
“And that’s what you mean by being ‘a gift for Iran,’” Childers’ co-anchor, Kelly Wright, helpfully clarified. He also said that the families of the prisoners see it as a gift to them. Then Wright added, “Many people who have been criticizing the president including yourself, sir, on the Iran nuclear deal, are now saying that President Obama capitulated to Iran.”
Sherman said, “This move today could be part of a good foreign policy if we turn the page and say we’re going to impose tough new sanctions on Iran until they stop their support for terrorism in Syria and Yemen.”
That was pretty much all the “support” for the Obama administration shown by Sherman.
It’s worth pointing out that host Greta Van Susteren thanked John Kerry and President Obama in a tweet for getting the Americans released.
Van Susteren was also pretty supportive on the air (the fourth video below). But she was focused on the release of the prisoners, not the deal itself.
You can watch all four segments below, from the January 16 coverage of the release of the American prisoners from Iran.
Is he a liar, or just stupid? No “terrorists” were released. The O admin refused Iran’s request to release people suspected of terrorist ties. They released seven people whose crimes were breaking the very sanctions regime that has now been canceled.