Last week, some in the media and a bunch of both-siders complained that the Democrats were wrong not to allow Fox News to hold a primary debate on the network because, well, I don’t know why. Because of Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace, I guess? And because Fox News really wants to maintain the illusion of respectability, so much so that a publicist from Fox News (Fox News!) asked us (Pajiba!) to include this statement in a piece we wrote about the debates last week:
“We hope the DNC will reconsider its decision to bar Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, all of whom embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism, from moderating a Democratic presidential debate …
All due respect to Wallace, Baier, and MacCallum, but if you put one guy in a suit full of clowns, it is still a clown car. A network is only as good as its reputation, and the reputation of Fox News is shaped by guys like Sean Hannity (basically the President’s chief advisor and chief promoter of the Seth Rich — and many other — conspiracies), Jesse Watters (who once suggested on air that Ivanka Trump gave good blow jobs) and Laura Ingraham (who cyberbullied a high school kid). Two of the biggest clowns in that clown car, however, are Jeanine Pirro and Tucker Carlson, both of whom made headlines this week and forced the network to apologize again for the abhorrent behavior of its on-air talent.
In fact, Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Ilhan Omar elicited a response from one of the network’s own producers.
Fox host Jeanine Pirro says that Ilhan Omar's hijab may mean that she's against the Constitution. pic.twitter.com/yxGRVoYkQm— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) March 10, 2019
@JudgeJeanine can you stop spreading this false narrative that somehow Muslims hate America or women who wear a hijab aren’t American enough? You have Muslims working at the same network you do, including myself. K thx. https://t.co/ZfKhRhlvM3— Hufsa Kamal (@hufkat) March 10, 2019
Fox News has been forced to apologize, although Pirro will do no such thing.
Meanwhile, Media Matters unearthed a lot of audio of Tucker Carlson calling into a radio show to share his opinions, which included defending Warren Jeffs (convicted of assaulting underage girls); calling Martha’s Stewart’s daughter, Alexa, “c*nty”; and calling women “primitive.”
A #FireTuckerCarlson campaign is currently trending on Twitter, but it won’t matter. It won’t matter because this is exactly what Fox News is. This is the reputation of Fox News. And whatever anyone else might think of Chris Wallace, this is how the world sees the network. If they ever want to be respected or do well by the “journalistic integrity and professionalism” of a few of their hard news people, they’ll have to do more than giving the same statement every few months and taking no action against the (clown) faces of their network.
fox news has been giving the same bullshit statement for years pic.twitter.com/nwcbxxZcTQ— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) March 11, 2019
The Fox News pr team will be up all night between Judge Pirro and Tucker Carlson.— Michelangelo Signorile (@MSignorile) March 11, 2019
They’ll say nobody at the network supports this kind of ugly speech.
And then nothing will happen to either of them.
So, no: The DNC should not let a network whose most popular voices think that women are “primitive” and wearing a hijab is unconstitutional hold a debate.