Mediaite.com featured a blog today titled: “Santorum Accuses Fox News of Shilling for Romney, is Called Out By Brian Kilmeade”
This sentiment has been circulating the Internet for the past several months and is growing stronger by the day. It is obvious Fox is aware of it as there has been a noticeable cognizance by program hosts and reporters who have been adding subtle disclaimers this past week to their talking points.
Kilmeade said to Santorum “there’s no way I agree with that and you’ve been on as much as anyone.”
First of all, I have never seen or heard Brian Kilmeade shilling for anyone, so he is not the problem. Steve Doocy is a different story.
Nevertheless, Kilmead’s premise is flawed. HOW MUCH TIME ONE CANDIDATE IS ON THE TV CHANNEL OVER ANOTHER has nothing to do with objectivity in reporting. Romney, despite being trapped as a candidate supported only by the minority of the party, has enjoyed exceptional positioning by Fox as the de facto, generic candidate in most Fox polls that purport to gauge general sentiment.
For the past two years, in a substantial number of Fox polls, Romney has been represented as the “presumptive nominee” for no other reason than he was the only declared candidate - because he doesn’t stop running for President. This is irresponsible journalism and is unfair to Republicans. The transparent agenda is to create a self-fulfilling prophecy just like they did this past election for McCain.
Rick Perry, Newt and Santorum have EACH seen organic groundswells of support during this campaign and have then been targets of the same formula to underhandedly quell their leads. The disreputable tactics are the "one, two punch" of $20 million worth of sleazy Romney ads - accompanied by incessant Fox talking point campaigns.
It’s a formula and if they want to prove otherwise, I say let’s see a Brent Bozell Media Research Center study on their objectivity. But even those can be manipulated if they simply gauge “objectivity” by the amount of media coverage in lieu of the TYPE of coverage. We can say that Chris Matthews is the most objective reporter in all of news today if we simply add how much time he spends talking about Republicans versus Democrats.
The FACT that they "sat on" the story of Romney being caught in yet another lie about his position on the crucial "individual mandate" upon which the entire Supreme Court case will rest - was a deliberate omission on the part of Fox. You don’t just miss those kinds of stories. There had to be a concerted agenda. Meetings had to take place at Fox in which it was decided –not- to run with these stories that broke two days before Super Tuesday. If such lies were uncovered by any other candidate, they would have been the top stories every hour – and rightly so. The stories were left to be reported by “citizen journalists” and small publications and did not come close to reaching critical mass – even up to this Tuesday’s election.
That is a major violation of journalistic integrity by the so-called "fair and balanced" network.
Fox also OMITTED the substantial story of Jim DeMint calling Romneycare an "unjust law". This is one of, if not the single most powerful conservatives in the Senate – who had endorsed Romney in 2008!
Those two issues SHOULD have destroyed Romney's campaign and WOULD have if Fox News exercised even a fraction of their journalistic duties.
No matter how many times they invite Rick or Newt to appear on Fox at this time in attempt to assuage the backlash for the tactics in which they have engaged - it is quite frankly - TOO LATE. The damage of omitting material facts regarding Romney’s propensity to misrepresent himself makes them appear to be of the same nature.
We cannot turn back the clock. The damage from Fox's omissions of material facts from a full 24 hour news cycle, the gravity of which would have appropriately shut down Romney's campaign if appropriately reported - cannot be fixed by any amount of posturing by Fox.
They simply got carried away with their flagrant campaigning and thought they could get away with betraying and manipulating their key audience in the way the liberal media get away with it routinely when perpetrated against an electorate half of which cares more about Dancing with the Stars. The key difference is that Fox miscalculated in their assessment of the intelligence and perspicacity of their audience.
I enlarged upon this in my March 10th video commentary “Romney's unregistered SUPERPAC Fox News”: