The crisis in Iraq was the top story on Fox News Sunday today. But instead of a truly fair and balanced discussion, the only guest was Republican Congressman Mike Rogers who teamed up with host Chris Wallace for maximum President Obama blaming.
Wallace’s agenda was clear in his first question to Rogers:
WALLACE: President Obama said Friday that he intends to review military options for, quote, “several days,” before deciding what to do. And then he says it’s contingent on Prime Minister Maliki reaching out to the other sectarian factions inside Iraq.
…With ISIS moving so fast, do we have several days for him to review options and he said basically it was contingent on Maliki reaching out. If Maliki does not reach out to the Kurds and to the Sunnis and decides to stick with the Shia base, what does the U.S. do then?
Sure enough, Rogers replied:
ROGERS: Well, again, leadership is important. Absence of leadership and decisiveness is important in this. It’s too late to have long, political reconciliation meetings that will last weeks or months to try to get through even the finest points of difference.
Not only that, Rogers was allowed to fear monger about Obama’s stance, without pushback:
ROGERS: We can’t wait days and weeks and months to scratch our heads in some political reconciliation process. We have to ask one single question. Is al Qaeda holding land the size of Indiana a problem for the United States?
Well, it certainly was when they were in Afghanistan and had time to plan the 9/11 event, and I guarantee you, this is a problem that we will have to face and we’re either going to face it in New York City or we’re going to face it here.
Wallace’s response? More exploiting the crisis against Obama:
WALLACE: So, when the president talks, as he did, and you heard the clip, and he talked about it a lot on Friday, about all of this being contingent on political reconciliation inside Iraq, is that a condition or is that an excuse not to act?
Wallace failed to point out what CNN did, that military action is not so simple:
Calls for American airstrikes have increased in Washington, but U.S. military planners trying to find a way to help Iraq fend off the militant fighters are worried that such attacks could prove futile, several officials told CNN.
Among other complications, U.S. officials don't have good intelligence about where militants are. Even if they did, the militants don't have the type of targets -- command and control centers, air defense sites, military bases -- that lend themselves to aerial attacks, the officials said on condition of not being identified.
Predictably, FoxNews.com used one of Rogers' inflammatory comments and made it their top story:
The only Democrat on the show was Jane Harman, a former Congresswoman, who took part in the panel discussion. She did not call out Fox for its lack of balance or anti-Obama perspective.
The role of the invasion of Iraq or President Bush’s handling of the aftermath was never mentioned anywhere in the show.
This week marks the second week in a row without Democratic interviews. Below is our (growing) list of previous Fox News Sunday shows without Democratic interviews.
Watch Wallace and Rogers tag team to use the Iraq crisis as political fodder against Obama below.