Fox host Chris Wallace asked Fox News Sunday viewers to submit questions for the panel “about accusations of politics on both sides of the Benghazi investigation.” But the questions selected were a perfect example of Fox News “balance”: one was pro-Republican and the other anti-Democrat. For extra GOP friendliness, Wallace took the liberty of throwing in the IRS on his own.
Just before the panel discussion, Wallace said to viewers, “What would you like to ask the panel about accusations of politics on both sides of the Benghazi investigation? Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.”
And here's how Wallace followed up:
Well, we asked you for questions for the panel. And we got two on Facebook that we want to put up. First of all, Tom Johnson asks, “How can Republicans conduct these investigations so they are not written off as more Washington antics? And Donna Marie Sikes writes, “I want to know what the Democrats are afraid of finding out.”
Apparently, that was not enough Republican perspective for Wallace. He tossed in the IRS as he gave the questions to conservative Brit Hume:
Brit, they were writing about Benghazi. But how would you answer both of them when it comes to both Benghazi and also the pursuit of the IRS investigation?
I’ve previously noted how Wallace “just happened” to choose a viewer’s question that amplified Fox’s Republican slant.
Just before writing this, I took a look at Fox News Sunday's Facebook page. Sure enough, I found some questions that Wallace could have asked that were critical of Republicans. For example, one writer wanted to know what the GOP "Part of No" is for. Another asked who in Congress decided to underfund the embassy?
Do you think that one reason Mr. Holahan's question wasn't selected is because the House Republicans cut security funding for the State Department?
"Absolutely," Chaffetz said. "Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have…15,000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we’re talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you’re in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things.”
For the past two years, House Republicans have continued to deprioritize the security forcesprotecting State Department personnel around the world. In fiscal year 2011, lawmakers shaved $128 million off of the administration's request for embassy security funding. House Republicans drained off even more funds in fiscal year 2012 -- cutting back on the department's request by $331 million.
I think I’ll keep an eye on this latest tool in Fox’s partisanship quiver.