On his FNC show yesterday Neil Cavuto launched into a defense of Fox News’ 2009 election coverage. Cavuto said, “We are not red. We are not blue. We are all about green…your money.” However, this does not explain why Fox News has done 16 segments over the past two weeks with candidates Chris Christie, Bob McConnell, and Doug Hoffman.
Here is the Neil Cavuto video:
Due to some criticism by Shep Smith over the lack of balance in some of the network’s coverage, Cavuto said, “The notion that the better part of fair and balanced is not to include any interview with any candidate because his opponent refuses to come on is something that we simply don’t subscribe to here. The alternative for you would be no guests…Here is why that doesn’t suit me or you. We talk to those who will talk, and go the extra mile to include the questions and criticisms of even those who refuse to talk to us, so invite all parties, all candidates, all the time. Sometimes, in fact most times, we make real pests of ourselves, but we always try because you deserve that always, so let me be very, very clear again. We are not red. We are not blue. You know what we are? We’re green. We’re all about green. You’re green. Your money and who’s accountable for your money.”
If this is the case, it would be hear the explanation of this little fun fact from Media Matters, “In the two weeks leading up to their November 3 elections, Conservative Party congressional candidate Doug Hoffman, New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie, and Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell appeared on Fox News and its personalities’ radio shows at least 16 times for live interviews lasting a total of 114 minutes 36 seconds.”
Fox News’ defense is that Democrats won’t come on the network, but if FNC behaved like an unbiased news organization, I am sure that members of all parties would be beating down their doors to get some free media. It is more that a bit disingenuous to claim that people refuse to come on their air, without explaining why.
What has really jumped out at me about their coverage is that Fox News because the Doug Hoffman/Chris Christie network, especially over the past week. FNC has become the publicity arm for these two candidates. There is distinction between covering an election, and advocating for candidates. Fox News has been disguising electioneering as coverage for the past two weeks, so it is hard to believe that the door is really open for all candidates to come on FNC.