Bill O'Reilly gives his Thursday Talking Points Memo on fairness of news coverage in the presidential race. O'Reilly also addresses Ted Cruz complaining about FOX News' coverage.
BILL O'REILLY: Almost every politician feels that one news operation or another does not give them a fair shake.
I myself have leveled charges of unfairness against some entities, so I can sympathize with the pols.
Yesterday Senator Ted Cruz surprised me by saying this:
TED CRUZ: “I’m looking forward to a wall-to-wall coverage of Fox News of the impressive third-place finish, which Marco Rubio got. So, I’m sure that’s what we’ll see on every show on Fox today, the shockingly impressive third-place finish of Cruz.”
The senator being sarcastic, apparently believing that FNC favors Marco Rubio.
Well I can't speak for Fox News, but I can tell you that Senator Rubio has been much easier to book than Senator Cruz.
In fact, Senator Rubio will be with us in two minutes, and Senator Cruz will not be with us even though we invited him on tonight.
We also invited Ted Cruz on tomorrow night, and we invited him on earlier this week. I don't really know what else to do. I'll even buy him dinner.
We hope to see Mr. Cruz on Friday.
Now earlier in the campaign Ben Carson thought he was being treated unfairly:
BEN CARSON: “I do not remember this level of scrutiny for one President Barack Obama when he was running. In fact, I remember just the opposite. ((EDIT)) My job is to call you out when you’re unfair, and I’m going to continue to do that.”
And that's a good thing. I want the candidates to complain if they feel aggrieved.
But I don't want them to be paranoid.
Here's how the campaign should be covered.
Hard news: Just report the facts, don't need any shading.
Commentators like me are free to give opinions on just about everything.
Morning hosts, they're opinion people, too. Each show has a definition.
So while candidates like Hillary Clinton might feel Fox News is stacked up against them, it's only true in some precincts.
I go out of my way to keep it about issues unless a politician strays into dubious areas like the email deal.
That being said, I have sometimes defended Hillary Clinton from cheap shots and stayed away from any and all personal attacks.
But it's easy for politicians to dodge tough interviews by saying they'll be treated unfairly, and that's what often happens in these cases.
One guy who does not dodge is Donald Trump, although he does hold a grudge if you hit him hard.
Mr. Trump like all the other candidates says he just wants to be treated in a fair manner.
And here's his assessment of the press in general:
TRUMP: “I have to tell you – on the press, 30 percent are good and some are great. Some are really great. Some are honorable and fantastic. But I’ll tell you, you’ve got 50 percent that are the worst people I’ve ever met. (EDIT) They’re scum! They’re horrible people! They are horrible people.”
Hard to argue with that, myself of course excluded.
Summing up, hard news folks just the facts, please.
Commentators free to comment and the candidates should not take it personally unless personal attacks are used.
Those are unacceptable.
And that's the memo.
Brit Hume reports Cruz has also "rebuffed" invitations from FOX & Friends:
Ted Cruz now whining that Fox News not giving him airtime. O'Reilly says his recent invitations rebuffed. @foxandfriends says same thing.— Brit Hume (@brithume) February 12, 2016
FOX News host Martha MacCallum also says Ted Cruz won't come on her show: