I'm talking, complaining, kvetching and whining this morning about the abysmal political coverage last night --not the usual suspects in the mainstream media, but our friends over at Fox News.
I watched television last night for 3 hours and fifteen minutes, and Fred Thompson's name was mentioned exactly ONCE around 7:54 PST as the guy who tied John McCain for third place in Iowa.
My pal Ron Winter sums it up best in an e-mail to me this morning:
"At the 6 pm newscast last night Fox repeated a RUMOR that Thompson was going to quit if he placed 4th, and release his delegates to McCain.
Thompson had already strongly denied the rumor earlier in the afternoon, which should have put an end to it right there before it ever was aired.
But then they ran it on air again with Mary Matalin once again denying it. What a crock. What the hell is going on at FOX?
20 years in journalism and one of the basic tenets I learned right out of the gate is you NEVER run with a rumor. You need at least two reliable sources to verify it, which then makes it fact, and then you get response.
But rumors are taboo. What gives?
Then, although they had portrayed Thompson as 4th throughout the run-up to the caucus, even though only a fraction of a point separated him and McCain, when Thompson pulls it out over McCain by a similar margin they say he is TIED! If the numbers were reversed you can bet Fox would have said Thompson came in a disappointing 4th and start signaling his demise.I am really, really disappointed in these guys lately, and frankly, this clumsy and obvious attempts to manipulate the votes are tainting every single commentator who does politics on that station." ...Ron
And from David in London who noted that Fox was getting it wrong.
#1. The all night 4 person Fox panel. After Laura Ingraham left, it comprised three in house liberals -- Greta Van Susteren, Susan Estrich and Shepard Smith yakking. But the on-air "interview" with Tom Tancredo was a bizarre disgrace. After asking his opinion about the result and MCCAIN... the three then talked over him and chatted amongst themselves. And when Shep Smith finally shrieks Tom another question about MCCAIN, Tom says he's scary... followed by AUDIBLE gasps from the liberals before Smith interrupts then proceeds to answer his own question. Amazing.
#2. Despite Fred Thompson actually gaining more caucus votes that McCain, their headlines all night flagged a tie for third all night.