Chris Wallace Says What No One Will About McClellan and Olbermann

Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has written a tell-all book about the Bush administration, he's being lauded with so much praise from the usual liberal media suspects that it must be making MSNBC's Keith Olbermann a tad jealous.

This makes Chris Wallace's interview Thursday with WOR radio's Steve Malzberg even more timely, for the "Fox News Sunday" host showed his colleagues what the term "journalism" really means by going after both of these press darlings.

First, Wallace discussed a key question he'd like to ask McClellan that's been completely absent as media applaud the former press secretary's claims (17 minute audio available here, relevant section at minute 6:00):

One of the questions I would ask him, though, and I think this is a legitimate issue: if he, unless this is completely a post-White House conversion, if he had any doubts about, you know, that this was propaganda, and that the President was leading us into a war on bad information, I mean, the person that was in in fact doing that as the President's spokesman was Scott McClellan. I mean, it was McClellan that was up at the podium defending the President's policies in Iraq, and if he felt that was part of the propaganda effort, and had any doubts about it, and, and, and as a result of his words was enabling young men and women to go to Iraq where they were being killed for a bad war, that's a pretty serious thing. And that would be something that you'd really have to, you know, weigh heavily on your conscience I would think. So, I think Scott has to answer for that.

Makes sense, doesn't it? Shouldn't this be the first question McClellan is asked in any interview? As he was the front-man, how does he get to point fingers without anyone asking him why HE spoke such words if he didn't believe them and felt that they were putting innocent Americans unnecessarily in harm's way?

Was it all about the money and prestige THEN, or NOW?

How obvious is this, and why aren't so-called journalists grilling McClellan about it? After all, he either knew he was lying then, and did so for his own personal reasons, or is lying now.

There really isn't a middle-ground here, is there? And, the idea that supposedly impartial journalists across the fruited plain are either too biased to ask such a question, or too addle-minded to recognize the hypocrisy, should keep all of us awake at night.

Next, Malzberg mentioned that Wallace's boss Rupert Murdoch was quoted in the Wall Street Journal referring to Keith Olbermann as being crazy. Wallace responded (minute 14):

I stand by Mr. Rupert Murdoch on that opinion. I'm not going to comment on his sanity. You know, I will say this: we get an awful lot of heat, Fox News does, for being biased or in the tank. I have never heard any one of Fox News, the worst screed by Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity, that compares to Keith Olbermann and what he says. I mean, when he talks about Bush, and I happened to be watching it that night, and said, "Shut the hell up," or when he talked on Friday about Hillary Clinton and the quote "assassination remarks," and goes on for ten minutes on a rant, nobody else in broadcasting does it. And, you know, if he can, and if MSNBC wants to put that on the air, I think it's gonna, I think it'll turn around. I don't think that's a very successful idea for how a news organization ought to be operated. [...]

But the other thing is, I mean, one of the things is Sean Hannity, terrific personality, and I think a valued part of Fox News, Bill O'Reilly. But, you know, Fox News doesn't have them anchor our evening news coverage. I mean, they know that they are people with sharp political opinions, and so they have people like Brit Hume and, I'm proud to say myself, doing the straight news coverage and then we go for commentary from people like Hannity and O'Reilly. But, yet, there's, there's Keith Olbermann, you know, one minute delivering a rant about "Shut the hell up, President Bush," and then the next minute he's the anchor of their news coverage or their election coverage.

Exactly, Chris, and this is the distinction that liberals in the media, in the blogosphere, and at NBC just don't seem to grasp.

Why might that be?

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Noel Sheppard's picture