Calvin Freiburger

Not Everyone at Fox Agrees with Hannity, So He MUST Be Wrong!

Posted on May 17 2010 9:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.
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The lie that won’t die – even left-wing opinions on Fox are somehow evidence of Fox’s right-wing bias.

The Democrat talking point generators at Media Matters have stumbled upon a novel angle from which to belittle Sean Hannity’s criticism of Obama Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan: She can’t be extreme, because even Hannity’s right-wing colleagues think she’s okay!

What is surprising is that they haven’t been able to get all of Fox News on board either. Fox senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano has said that Kagan’s “credentials are impeccable”; Fox legal analyst Lis Wiehl wrote that Kagan has “excellent qualifications”; Fox News contributor Stephen Hayes said “she treats conservative arguments with respect” and “seems to genuinely be interested in understanding where conservative jurists are coming from”; and Fox News’ Supreme Court reporter Shannon Bream said that “no one would argue that she is anything but a brilliant individual” and that she is seen as a “consensus-builder.”

And now Brit Hume, not known for speaking favorably of the Obama administration, has said “nothing” has come out about Kagan that would threaten her nomination and “there’s no evidence” that she is extreme. This on the same morning when Gingrich said she shouldn’t even be considered.

Actually, all this shows is how much the Left depends upon keeping people ignorant.  Their argument can only be persuasive among those who are so unfamiliar with how Fox News actually operates that they would think it was unusual to hear left-of-center opinions voiced on the channel.  Of course, those who actually watch Fox know that they’re no stranger both to solid reporting that reflects poorly on the Right and left-wing nonsense from their own personalities.

Media Matters also depends on their readers don’t know any better about some of the figures they describe.  Andrew Napolitano, for instance, has become infamous in recent years for his friendship with conspiracy theorist extraordinaire, “the one, the only, the great Alex Jones.”  And Lis Wiehl is no stranger to the occasional left-of-center view, as anyone familiar with her regular appearances on “The O’Reilly Factor” can confirm.  More importantly, they don’t mention what might be coloring Wiehl’s judgment:

On the Kagan nomination, its hard for me to stay fair and balanced. Why? I’ve been a guest in her home many times when teaching and lecturing at Harvard Law School (my alma mater), and I found her to be an absolute gem. The Harvard Law School faculty is a contentious one, filled with large egos. Elena, the first female Dean of the Law School ran it with grace and clarity of judgment, from what I heard and observed.

As for the other remarks, in the clip that’s got Media Matters riled up, Hannity doesn’t say that Kagan isn’t intelligent, or that she doesn’t listen to conservatives; rather, his point that her record shows someone who can be guaranteed to reach radical conclusions anyway (making the point that she listens to conservatives…well, pointless).  No matter how many non-leftists the Left can find who say nice things about Kagan, that doesn’t mean they’re right—look at her record and decide for yourself.

Indeed, as Jim Prevor points out in the Weekly Standard, “there is no heroism” in the likelihood that Republicans will overlook Kagan’s ideological shortcomings just because of her credentials, because:

If the Democrats block nominees on ideological grounds — as they did with Estrada — and the Republicans rely on traditional credentials, eschewing ideology, we will wind up with a court of well-credentialed liberals.

In response to Media Matters’ final point—that Hannity was going to oppose whoever Obama nominated—we explored this point last month: we know Obama’s political leanings. We know his constitutional philosophy.  And we know what he looks for in a judge.  Given that, we could all have reasonably predicted that whoever Obama chose would have been inadequate from a conservative standpoint.  And again, we were right.

The biggest takeaway from Media Matters’ latest missive their tacit admission that Fox News, far from being the right-wing propaganda machine of left-wing mythology, really is fair and balanced.  You think that occurred to them as they put the report together, and that a more definitive admission is forthcoming?  Me neither.


Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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