Chris Wallace has proven once again why John Edwards (and any other Democrat) is thoroughly justified in declining to appear on Rupert Murdoch’s Foxic airwaves.
In a segment that was only three and a half minutes long (video below), Wallace wasted half of it badgering Edwards’ spokesman, Chris Kofinis, about why Edwards wouldn’t come out and play with Wallace. This already too brief interview, on the day of the Iowa caucus, was halved because Wallace was determined to make a self-serving point that could only have been of interest to Fox News insiders. Wallace asked a total of five questions, three of which concerned Edwards’ non-appearance on the network. Here’s the first question:
“Before we get to the caucuses, let me ask you a question. When is Senator Edwards going to stop boycotting the voters who watch Fox News?”
First of all, let’s be clear about who the voters who watch Fox News really are:
“…research revealed that Fox viewers supported George Bush over John Kerry by 88% to 7%. Only Republicans were more united in supporting Bush. Conservatives, white evangelical Christians, gun owners, and supporters of the Iraq war all gave Bush fewer votes than did regular Fox News viewers.”
Secondly, despite Wallace’s dishonest phrasing, Edwards is not boycotting viewers at all. He is sending a clear message to Murdoch and Fox that they cannot repeatedly disparage a party, its members, supporters and ideals, and expect to be received with gracious hospitality.
This exchange is proof that a concerted effort by Democrats to embargo Fox News (see Starve the Beast for more) is both warranted and working. It is warranted because, as you can see in this interview, Fox is more interested in its own affairs than in providing fair access to information. It is working because, as is also apparent, Wallace is obsessed with Edwards’ cold shoulder. If the strategy wasn’t hurting Fox, Wallace would not have spent half his time whining about it. He even came back to his lament at the close of the segment saying:
“Chris Kofinis it’s a pleasure talking to you. It would be even more of a pleasure to talk to your boss, but thank you so much.”
Wallace couldn’t let it go, and there is a reason for that. He knows that this strategy could result in delegitimizing Fox News on a broad scale (yeah I know, delegitimizing Fox News is like dehydrating the Sahara). A reputable news agency is not sustainable if half of its subjects refuse to respect its validity. Wallace knows this and that is why he is so fixated on it and fearful of it. Just last month he resorted to insulting the very constituency he is now pretending to covet:
“I think the Democrats are damn fools [for] not coming on Fox News.”
If that’s an example of how Wallace intends to cajole Democrats into his lair, he may encounter some resistance. However, it is a good example, along with this interview, of why Fox should be considered off-limits by reasonable Democrats and progressives.