In a recent appearance on Fox News, Juan Williams made an observation that most thinking people would regard as objectively true when he said that Sarah Palin “can’t stand on the intellectual stage with Obama.” Even most Republicans don’t think Palin has the qualifications to be president, and many are simply embarrassed by her frequent incoherent Facebookings and Tweets.
But Palin’s Fox News colleague, Greta Van Susteren, is not amongst them. In response to Williams’ comment Van Susteren took to her blog to question Williams’ journalistic credibility and to ask whether he had ever interviewed the Tea Hag, implying that if he had not his opinion is irrelevant. Says Van Susteren:
“Knowing the source of a journalist’s information helps you judge whether it is good information or just yak. [...] Knowing if he interviewed (first hand knowledge) either and to what depth can help guide you as to whether you should credit his opinion or not.”
Really? Then it should be noted that Van Susteren is a personal friend of Palin and that her husband has been an advisor on Palin’s staff for years. This is something that Van Susteren fails to disclose when she defends Palin, as she often does.
What’s more, if Van Susteren is going to make the absurd contention that no one can have an opinion of a public figure without having first interviewed them, would she apply that standard to herself? Would she apply it to Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, and everyone else on Fox News, or in all of the media? (This would put a lot of pundits out of work which, come to think of it, may not be such a bad idea). Or does it only apply to people with whom she disagrees when they are critical of her friends and her husband’s clients? For Van Susteren to pass judgment on Williams in this manner says more about her own lack of journalistic standards than it does of his.
However, both Williams and Van Susteren may have bigger problems. They are both in violation of their boss’s edict to refrain from criticizing fellow Fox Newsers. Williams attacked Palin whereupon Van Susteren attacked Williams. On a prior occasion when Fox insiders were complaining publicly about Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes said…
“Yeah, shut up. You’re getting a paycheck. Go on the team or get off the team. Don’t run around here badmouthing a colleague.”
You think Ailes will be having a talk with these two malcontents?