Thomas and Beckel Bring 'Common Ground' to Undermining Demonization of Fox News

In the Thursday edition of their every other week "Common Ground" discussion for USA Today, Cal Thomas and Bob Beckel took up the liberal charge the Fox News Channel is out of bounds. Neither found any credence or efficacy in the efforts to discredit the channel. "The White House had been essentially stiff-arming Fox reporters in a very Nixonian way until someone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue wised up," the liberal Beckel noted in the March 25 back-and-forth titled "Crazy Like a Fox?" He observed:

In fact, the president sat down with Bret Baier last week to discuss the health care legislation, and though the interview was seen as testy, no one can say Baier did anything except ask tough questions on behalf of his viewers. By any definition, that's journalism. And the president reached millions he might not have otherwise. That's a problem?

The conservative Thomas pointed out: "The left criticizes Fox for being biased, but the other cable and broadcast networks are loaded with liberal reporters and commentators who have a history of political activism." He named names:

ABC's George Stephanopoulos, of course, helped run Bill Clinton's campaign and was a senior adviser. Jay Carney, former Time magazine Washington bureau chief, left that job to join Vice President Biden's staff. Carney's wife is ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman. Linda Douglass left ABC News for the Obama campaign and now directs the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Health Reform Communications office....

Jason DeParle of The New York Times Washington bureau is married to Nancy-Ann DeParle, who directs the Office of Health Reform. You get the point. The public looks at this and thinks much of the mainstream media are in bed - literally and figuratively - with some of the people they are supposed to fairly cover.

Thomas concluded by recalling liberal hypocrisy:

In the 1980s, liberals told conservatives who wanted to control television sleaze to change the channel or turn it off if they didn't like what was on. No one is forcing anyone to watch Fox News, but a growing number of people are choosing to. For a party so often obsessed with "choice," why the obsession to take this one away?

A video version their discussion. It's also on YouTube.

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.