Fox & Friends feigned sympathy for Rand Paul’s media mishaps but the choice of Mike Huckabee – one of Paul’s 2016 rivals – as a guest all but guaranteed Paul would not come out ahead.
After playing a clip of Paul’s contentious interview with Today's Savannah Guthrie in which Paul lectured Guthrie about her questions (and which Fox has repeatedly scolded Paul about), cohost Brian Kilmeade asked, “Will other media outlets treat the GOP candidates fairly?”
Cohost Steve Doocy said, predictably, “Probably not.”
Doocy asked Huckabee, “Was that a fair interview?”
And shocker! Huckabee thought it was.
HUCKABEE: I think the questions are fair because when you’re running for president, all is fair in love and war. This is war. This is the big leagues. You’re going to have to expect that you’re going to have a lot of fastballs that are going to be aimed right at your nose, and how you handle them is part of the process, it’s part of the game if you will.
That paved the way for Kilmeade to ask, “Do you believe he reacted in a thin skinned way?”
That was another opening for Huckabee to criticize Paul on his behavior.
HUCKABEE: The audience is not the reporter. The audience is going to be the viewer, and so you’re trying to communicate your message to the viewer, not just to the reporter. If you come across as if you’re being harsh, unwilling to answer the question, the viewer is going to see that as running away from being forthright. If you’re simply trying to make your position clear, they’ll see that as being bold. Again, the line is sometimes difficult to know, but it’s part of the process.
…You’ve got to be careful. Do you come across as angry, or can you use humor and some other form of communication to deflect the tough question?
Cohost Elisabeth Hasselbeck approved. “Wise advice there,” she said.
CNN reports that Rupert Murdoch is a big fan of Paul’s. Apparently, he has yet to win over Roger Ailes.