"The mainstream media was late to the party when it came to covering" the Wisconsin budget protests, Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney noted as he introduced NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell earlier today on the February 21 edition of "Varney & Co."
But are the media now skewing coverage in favor of the perspective of the public sector labor unions, Varney asked.
Most certainly they are, Media Research Center founder Bozell answered.
[Video of the segment and transcript follow the page break]
[Access MP3 audio here]
"You've got Christiane Amanpour trying to liken [union protesters] to freedom marchers in Egypt. You've got the same media that condemned forever Sarah Palin for having that cross hairs on her website, that same media have the opportunity to show the actual video of these marchers in Wisconsin with cross hairs on the governor's face, and nobody's covering that," Bozell complained.
What's worse, the media have ignored or excused doctors who are handing out sick notes like candy to protesters, Bozell noted. "[N]obody's covering that because, Stuart, it goes against the narrative. The narrative is that these are noble people doing noble things when in fact they are lying and doctors are committing fraud."
A transcript of portions of the interview follows. You can watch the entire segment by clicking the play button on the embed above:
STUART VARNEY, host of FBN's "Varney & Co.": How did the mainstream media cover this fake sick-out by 1,000 teachers and these fake sick notes issued by doctors over the weekend. How did the mainstream media cover that angle of the story?
BRENT BOZELL: Stuart, let me ask you a question. How do you think the media would cover the story if doctors were giving fake medical excuses for Tea Party people to leave work and march in a Tea Party protest?
VARNEY: Headline in the New York Times. Yes.
BOZELL: They'd be leading the news, every network would be leading it in the evening, calling for investigations of the doctors. In fact this is what's happening in Wisconsin. The only thing I've seen, I may have something wrong here, the only thing I've seen is CNN, and CNN is acting like it's a noble thing that they're doing, that doctors are also sacrificing on behalf of the workers by possibly getting themselves into trouble.
No, this is fraud. And it's something that should be newsworthy. Stuart, the whole coverage of this is fraudulent on the part of the press. You've got Christiane Amanpour trying to liken them to freedom marchers in Egypt. You've got the same media that condemned forever Sarah Palin for having that cross hairs on her website, that same media have the opportunity to show the actual video of these marchers in Wisconsin with cross hairs on the governor's face, and nobody's covering that.
VARNEY: If you wanted to cover the other side of the coin, which is, perhaps, the people, the taxpayers of Wisconsin who've got to pay for this stuff. If you wanted to cover that side of it, how would Brent Bozell do it?
BOZELL: Well, taxpayers aren't victims [to the liberal media] that's why you don't cover them. No, what you do is you simply look at the reality of the situation... the state is going bankrupt and it is either this or nothing for the unions, because there is no money. And the taxpayers are being asked... the people who are being asked to pay for these pension plans for the unions, and you ask the taxpayer their opinion, and what you would get uniformly, I expect, for the evening news is the public being outraged at these unions that are bankrupting their state.
VARNEY: Have you seen anybody pick up on Fox's story about the doctors handing out sick notes to anybody and everybody in Madison over the weekend? Has anybody else covered that that you've seen?
BOZELL: No, I haven't. I've seen CNN mention it and just be dismissive of that's interesting, but they haven't gone any further than that. No, nobody's covering that because, Stuart, it goes against the narrative. The narrative is that these are noble people doing noble things when in fact they are lying and doctors are committing fraud.