Live-Blogging Fox News: We Report, You...Oh, Never Mind
July 14, 2008 1:53 PM
Karl Rove. Fox News execs. Maybe even an Irena Briganti sighting? Welcome to Fox News at TCA—one more chance to finally get this party started. Please. We need something, people.
Chris Wallace is here. Rove. John Moody. Howard Wolfson. But no Roger. And no Irena. Sigh.
2:02 p.m.: Howard Wolfson claims Fox News coverage is "outstanding" and "fair." Hillary Clinton supporters "understood quite well why it made sense for me to join the Fox News team," Wolfson says. Translation: Big paycheck.
2:05 p.m.: Wallace asked about "Fox and Friends" making fun of the New York Times and Barack Obama. He says the fact that he went on the show and told them "to knock it off" is proof the channel is "fair and balanced." He challenges NBC News reporters to go on Keith Olbermann's show and do the same.
2:10 p.m.: Rove and Wolfson asked whether they have an agenda when they offer commentary. Neither really answers the question, though Wolfson insists he's going to "tell it the way I see it."
2:12 p.m.: Moody: "None of our anchors is out there cheering for any candidate." Keith Olbermann might beg to differ.
2:15 p.m.: Wallace is worshipping at the altar of Rove. "It's a ... humbling experience" working primary night next to Rove, Wallace says.
2:18 p.m.: Terrorist fist jab question! Moody says it was "regrettable", but that anchors on Fox News have "a certain amount of freedom." Wolfson argues all cable news networks have made mistakes.
2:20 p.m.: Rove asked whether he agreed with the appointment of "Brownie" to head FEMA. He says he'll answer the question in his book ... out next year "for $29.95" and available for pre-order on Amazon.
2:26 p.m.: TVWeek (that's me) asks about Fox's recent ratings woes. Moody admits, "We've been tested in the last year. We've gotten past the worst of it. ... We've always had tougher competition during the (big news events). We don't ever ignore it. We don't ever say that it doesn't matter. We think we've come through a period of testing pretty well."
2:29 p.m.: Moody asked if he's worried Rove would secretly advise John McCain's campaign. "I don't think Karl would cross that ethical line," Moody says. Audible laughter from reporters.
2:31 p.m.: Rove talks up a Republican governor who "knows more about health care than is allowed by law." Wallace laughs out loud. These guys like each other.
2:34 p.m.: A reporter asks if Rove has seen the shots Fox's animated shows take at him. He says "no" and adds: "Who cares? I know who I am." Says he's been made into a myth. "I'm like Grendel in 'Beowulf.'" Nice literary reference, Rove!
2:35 p.m.: Fox News PR chief Brian Lewis says the session is over. Reporters protest, saying they were promised more time. The session continues, but Rove makes it clear: I'm outta here at 2:45. ... I've got a plane to catch.
2:39 p.m.: Wallace says Fox News is unfairly attacked for being biased, while CNN and MSNBC don't get any flack. "I think there's a double standard here," he says. "MSNBC went so far over the line in being in the tank for Barack Obama, it lost a lot of its credibility." He attacks the network for letting Olbermann anchoring primary coverage.
2:45 p.m.: Now Wallace is attacking TCA members for grilling Rove about his subpoena to appear before Congress. He's pretty upset, saying whatever squabble is going on between Congress and the White House shouldn't impact "an independent news organization" and its hiring decisions. When Wallace suggests reporters wouldn't have a problem if CNN contributor James Carville was called to testify before Congress, there's loud grumbling from several reporters shouting, "Yes, we would!"
2:49 p.m.: That's over. Thank goodness.