RealClearPolitics Media Watch

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FOX's Hume Sticks to His Guns on Woods, Religion

Brit Hume was given the chance on Monday night's Fox's O'Reilly Factor show to grab his escape club and attempt to get out of any trouble he might have gotten into over the controversial comments he made concerning Tiger Woods' faith a day earlier on the network.

But like Woods on the golf course, Hume continued his go-for-broke approach, and showed little back-off.

In Sunday's Fox News Sunday program, Hume opined that Woods' faith had everything to do with his recovery as a person:

"He's said to be a Buddhist," Hume said. "I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So my message to Tiger would be, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.' "

When asked on Monday by Factor host Bill O'Reilly if this was proselytizing, Hume said, "I don't think so."

Later in the segment, during a choppy exchange with the show's host, Hume attempted to make it clear his intent was not to denigrate the Buddhist religion as a whole.

"I mentioned the Buddhism only because his mother is a Buddhist and he has apparently said that he is a Buddhist (though) I am not sure how seriously he practices that."

Hume went on to say, "I think that Jesus Christ offers Tiger Woods something that Tiger Woods badly needs."

Hume, who up until a year ago was Fox News' managing editor, is now called a 'senior political analyst' on the network's web site. He is also a regular panelist on Fox News Sunday.

As an analyst and panelist, Hume is paid for and entitled to his opinion. Had he made these comments in his capacity as managing editor, he would have been completely out of bounds.

It is curious why Hume chose to plow through the rocky tundra which is religion in such a heavy-handed manner, though. For better or worse, Hume's religious leanings are no longer ambiguous and could potentially color any future opinion he has on any number of subjects.

As of yet, the network has not commented on the remarks Hume made on either of its shows.

How Tweet it is
A story in The Huffington Post Monday reported that ESPN.com writer Bill Simmons was not happy that his Dec. 10, tweets about Tom Brady's ribs being broken were not being taken seriously by the network, or apparently, by anybody else in the business.

This past Sunday, both ESPN reporter Adam Schefter and CBS analyst Charley Casserly reported on air that the New England Patriots' quarterback has been playing with three broken ribs for the past few weeks. Simmons was never credited as a source.

So how did Simmons vent his ire at being ignored? Why he tweeted, of course.

Hey, Bill, just a suggestion: Pick up the phone.

Worth Repeating:
"One of the problems is newspapers fired so many journalists and turned them loose to start so many blogs. They should have executed them. They wouldn't have had competition. But they foolishly let them out alive."

- Alan D. Mutter, a media consultant and blogger quoted in an excellent piece in the N.Y. Times looking at the dilemma being faced by many major news web sites of charging readers for their content.