Fox News Sunday
During Sunday’s edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace reported from the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California; where he and his panel reflected on the life of Former President George H.W. Bush. Liberal panelist Juan Williams used the opportunity to praise the late former President and contrast him favorably against President Trump; not an uncommon occurrence over the past 48 hours. Williams specifically focused on the difference between the two Presidents’ relationships with the National Rifle Association.
During Sunday’s Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace contrasted front-page headlines from The Washington Post the day after Republican Congressman Steve Scalise was shot at an Alexandria, VA baseball field by a Bernie Sanders supporter with The Post's headline following the capture of mail bomb mastermind and Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc. Not surprisingly, The Post made sure to emphasize that Sayoc's political views were mentioned in the headline while the assailant's political leanings were not mentioned in the Scalise shooting headline.
On Fox News Sunday, substitute host Dana Perino did something that the more liberal journalists never do as she confronted NARAL president Ilyse Hogue with poll numbers suggesting that most Americans support significant restrictions on abortion in spite of surveys that find most voice support for Roe v. Wade.
ABC and NBC couldn’t find time on their February 11 Sunday political shows to mention conservative criticism of a budget deal that adds roughly $300 billion to the deficit, bringing the deficit total to over a trillion dollars. Conservative lawmakers have expressed concern that this deal goes against a fiscally conservative platform that the President and many in Congress campaigned on.
The media want to ignore Hillary Clinton and the Russian uranium deal because “it defies what they want to talk about,” according to MRC’s Vice President for Business and Culture Dan Gainor.
Of this past Sunday's political talk shows, NBC's Meet the Press went the furthest in informing viewers of Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez's recent statement against Democrats who hold pro-life views as host Chuck Todd brought up the issue with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and even raised the matter again during the show's regular panel segment. CNN's State of the Union also touched on the issue as CBS's Face the Nation only brought it up vaguely, while ABC's This Week and Fox News Sunday ignored it completely.
During the panel discussion on the January 8 episode of Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams claimed that last week's torture of a mentally handicapped white man by four black adults "stirs up racial tensions already hot from the campaign rhetoric of Donald Trump," and that "white nationalists" would see this as an excuse to "legitimize acts of white racism." After the panel spent a couple of minutes dealing with a viewer's question about a perceived overemphasis on the "politics" of this crime instead of the fact that it was "a racial hate crime," Laura Ingraham circled back to criticize Williams's comment as "completely off base."
At the end of the panel discussion on the most recent Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked the Associated Press's Julie Pace how big of a deal she thought President-Elect Donald Trump's "transparency" in moving away from direct involvement in his business interests would be.
Her answer came across to me as self-important, given that she basically said that the she and the press were going to consistently report on it "whether they (the public) care about it or not." Wallace appeared to react similarly. His response to her answer was delicious, especially because it ended the segment: "I think Donald Trump's going to determine his own interests, not Julie Pace." Ouch.
Author and talk-show host Laura Ingraham is being considered for White House press secretary. On Fox News Sunday, Ingraham demonstrated she was more than ready to come to the emerging administration's defense. After Fox analyst Juan Williams claimed Trump was nominating a "team of radicals," singling out Sen. Jeff Sessions and Gen. Mike Flynn -- something no liberal journalist said about Obama's Cabinet picks like Eric "Nation of Cowards" Holder and HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius -- Ingraham took out a rhetorical hammer:
The liberals who thought Chris Wallace did a bang-up job as moderator of the third presidential debate were judging strictly by appearances, contended Daily Kos’s Laura Clawson and Salon’s Gary Legum in separate articles. Clawson pooh-poohed the praise for Wallace, sneering that he “really wasn’t all that. Unless the ‘that’ is ‘a purveyor of right-wing talking points masked as “fair and balanced” questions.’” Legum called Wallace “a creature of Fox News, a point of view he betrayed through both his selection of several questions and the right-wing frame he gave to them. Which might have tickled the amygdala of conservatives everywhere, but also managed to perpetrate for a mainstream audience a couple of the more pernicious policy myths that haunt our political discourse.”
While Fox's Chris Wallace has drawn near-universal praise for moderating the final presidential debate, the Hollywood trade paper Variety carried the contrarian headline: "Final Debate: Wallace Misses." TV critic Sonia Soraiya wrote Wallace’s questions “provided some of the most heartfelt responses from her [Hillary] , such as her articulate, emotional statement of purpose on abortion.”
She complained "Wallace’s questions had the effect of equalizing the two candidates, a journalistic tic that is admirable but unhelpful in 2016. Trump’s mendacious statements going unchallenged did not help anyone except Trump himself."
Sunday night, Matt Drudge characterized a lengthy Sunday evening Washington Post report by John Wagner, Abby Phillip and Jose A. DelReal set to appear in Monday's paper as an assertion that "CLINTON (HAS) ALREADY WON!"