One of the most visible faces on Fox News is Bill Sammon. He is the Washington, D.C., deputy managing editor and is prominent on Fox broadcasts throughout the news day. His senior post places him at the most high profile events, particularly at the White House.
Yesterday he covered Barack Obama’s first prime time press conference, and today he published his observations in an article on the Fox News website. The most significant revelations Sammon drew from the event appear to be related to the press pool’s guest list and the seating chart. Here is how Sammon described the game of political chairs:
“He seated a left-wing radio host in the coveted front row. He called on a liberal blogger from the Huffington Post. He even brought far-left columnist Helen Thomas out of the wilderness and let her ruminate about ‘so-called terrorists.’ […] Clearly, President Obama was making a point of showing deference to the Left at his first prime-time press conference.”
Clearly? I wonder if Sammon is just perturbed that the “coveted front row” was no longer reserved for right-wing media elitists like himself. Perhaps Ed Schultz took his seat. Or maybe he thinks that he would have asked a better question than Sam Stein of the Huffington Post (the first online journalist ever called on at a presidential presser). No doubt Sammon would have asked something important like, “Mr. President, how come I didn’t get a seat in the front row?” And how petty do you have to be to whine about Helen Thomas, the 88 year-old dean of the Washington press corps, getting to ask a question of the tenth president she’s covered in her unparalleled career?
Sammon has the nerve to describe this article as an analysis of the press conference. But in over 500 words he never addresses a single subject touched on by the press or the President. He is consumed with the layout of the room and its occupants. Of particular concern is the ideology of the gathered reporters. Unfortunately, all his squinted eyes can see are liberals for miles and miles.
Sammon asserts that George Bush would never have allowed a right-wing partisan into the press room. Someone should introduce Sammon to Jeff Gannon, who was given press credentials by Bush despite being a radical rightist who wasn’t even a reporter. And if Sammon had bothered to peruse the room yesterday, he would have seen John Gizzi of the uber-conservative Human Events. And had he done some research, he would have learned that there was a seat reserved for a reporter from conservative Salem Radio – right in the front row – who never even bothered to show up.
But seriously, what should we expect from this hack? Before his stint with Fox, he was the White House correspondent for the Moonie Washington Times. And he is the author of these brazenly partisan books:
- At Any Cost: How Al Gore Tried to Steal the Election
- Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism from Inside the White House
- Misunderestimated: The President Battles Terrorism, Media Bias and the Bush Haters
- Strategery: How George W. Bush Is Defeating Terrorists, Outwitting Democrats, and Confounding the Mainstream Media.
- The Evangelical President: George Bush’s Struggle to Spread a Moral Democracy Throughout the World
That’s a pretty one-sided collection of prose. And now he is one of the top editorial decision makers for a so-called news network. His position is not one of commentary, like Sean Hannity. He is supposedly a journalist and a practitioner of hard news. Fox CEO, Roger Ailes, often insists that…
“…it’s a mistake to look at Fox News Channel’s primetime opinion shows and say they represent the channel’s journalism.”
Mr Ailes is partly correct. He just needs to expand this comment to say that it’s a mistake to look at anything on Fox News and say it represents journalism. The fact that Sammon holds a senior position as an editor shows that Fox has dropped all pretense of being a news provider. They can no longer claim that it’s just the night time guys who dabble in opinion. Sammon’s hackery is just as biased as anything that Hannity spits out.