On 'The View,' Bret Baier Beats Back Notion of Fox News as 'Administration's Mouthpiece'

May 17th, 2018 3:27 PM

Fox News anchor Bret Baier appeared on ABC's The View on Thursday to promote his new book Three Days in Moscow about Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. But the ABC crew peppered him with questions about their favorite topic -- the White House aide who insulted John McCain -- and whether Fox News is the "administration's mouthpiece," since it's reported Sean Hannity talks to the president nightly after his show. Baier replied "There may be opinion shows that have a direct relationship with the president, and Sean is not calling me and giving me a download of the call."

As if The View didn't seem wholly owned by Obama when he showed up for an interview? 

Whoopi Goldberg asked Baier twice about her outrage toward Team Trump on McCain being dismissed by an aide as "dying anyway." She insisted “We have lots of young people who watch your network who are taking a page out of that book… Does it bother you that we can’t seem to just say, ‘I’m sorry, I made a mistake?'” Baier said “Yes, and I cover all of this,” Baier said. “If you watch my show, you know, some of the loudest critics of Fox don’t watch my show. We’re on the news side and there’s an opinion side.”

Joy  Behar asked if it's a "dangerous time for the news" under Trump, and then suggested Trump's base doesn't know truth from falsehood: "But if Trump keeps lying -- he's up to nine a day...his base doesn't know what is the truth and what isn't the truth." Baier calmly suggested "From their point of view, they say the Resistance is going over the top and lying about X, Y, and Z, so you have to call facts facts, and I agree with you." 

But then Sunny Hostin, who routinely reminds viewers of her days as a legal analyst at CNN, threw shade at  Fox, as CNN people do: "People do see Fox News as the administration’s mouthpiece. I don’t know if it helped that it’s been reported that your colleague Sean Hannity talks to the president nightly before bed, about the day’s musings. Do you think that’s appropriate? I understand Sean is on the opinion side of the network. But as a representative of the network, that Sean is, is that appropriate?”

“First of all, the network overall is not a mouthpiece,” Baier responded. “There may be opinion shows that have a direct relationship with the president, and Sean is not calling me and giving me a download of the call.”

He added “I was on his show the other night, and he said to me, how much problem do I cause the news division, scale of one to 10? And I said, you know, a solid six. But it depends on the day.” He said he tries to do it straight: "I have horse blinders on from six to seven."

Was Baier kidding about the chat with Hannity? No. He was recounting this exchange on Tuesday night's Hannity:

HANNITY: Great book. How much crap do you take for being -- for me being opinionated?

BAIER: On a scale of one to 10?

HANNITY: Yes, on a scale of one to 10.

BAIER: You know, it's a good six.

HANNITY: Just tell everybody your news, I'm opinion, and every paper has a news section, sports section and a Hannity section.

BAIER: I do.