Author and media observer Michael Wolff appeared on HuffPost Live on the Huffington Post to discuss Roger Ailes and Fox News. The moderator of the discussion was Alicia Menendez, daughter of embattled Senator Bob Menendez who has had quite a bit of air time on Fox News lately. Other panelists included Mao-loving Anita Dunn who as Communications Director for the Obama White House waged a war against Fox News that drew criticism even from the likes of Howie Kurtz, and Eliza Grey from left-wing The New Republic.
As you can already guess, Mr Wolff had his hands full. Considering the make up of the panel it was ironic that Ms. Menendez attempted to lecture Wolff on "journalistic integrity" and criticized Fox News for not living up to her standards in that department. Let me repeat: Ms. Menendez, the journalist chosen to lead this discussion of Fox News, is the daughter of Sen. Bob Menendez. Yes Ms. Menendez, you and HuffPost are all about "journalistic integrity." I submit that perhaps Paul Bunyon would be jealous of the size of the axe Ms. Menendez has to grind.
That said, if you watch the entire 28 minute segment you will see that Wolff does a masterful job controlling the narrative and swatting back at any straw man or cliche' ridden argument the women of the panel attempted to raise. Unfortunately, the editors at HuffPost recognize what a masterful job he did as well. So they did what agenda-driven liberals do: they drastically edited down the full segment to an embarrassing one and a half minute mash-up designed to make Wolff look unhinged, sexist and bullying. The YouTube mash-up created by Huffington Post staff is not-so-subtly titled: Michael Wolff Loves Fox. Hates Everybody Else.
In a follow-up post, HuffPost bragged about how they've been able to affect the number of Twitter followers Wolff enjoys because the close-minded and hyper-ventilating viewers of the segment can't stand the idea that someone calling himself Roger Ailes' friend might appear in their timeline. Is this how Huffington Post is planning on making news with HuffPost Live? Severely edit segments in an attempt to demonize their guests and then do an endzone dance when they get trolled on social media? When did such a large organization like HuffPost get so small?
A few more points about the interviewing acumen of Alicia "Journalistic Integrity" Menendez:
- When interviewing a person who, as Communications Director for the White House, decided to single out a news outlet for a vicious and vindictive war designed to marginalize and usurp their right to report the news, opinionated or not, perhaps you should challenge the propriety of that act rather than ask her "At what point do you make that decision, to fight back?" (1:10) Perhaps, Ms. Menendez, a journalistworried about a free press would ask "How is it the role of the White House to use their power to intimidate a news organization because they don't like their reporting?" (Journalistic integrity)
- When Ms. Dunn said in your interview that Fox News "had become the not-so-loyal opposition" (1:15) you might have stopped her and challenged such an inflammatory comment. You do realize, Ms. Menendez, that Ms. Dunn had just accused Fox News of disloyalty to the United States of America, right? (Journalistic integrity)
- When Ms. Dunn praised the efforts of Media Matters for America, (13:00) an organization who has used its tax-exempt status to attempt to have Fox News taken off the air completely because it is just too dangerous to have a news outlet that doesn't walk in lock-step with John Podesta's world view, it might serve your audience for you to point out that Media Matters has regular weekly strategy calls with the White House and they are hardly an example of pure and unbiased journalism. In fact, you might have made some real news by probing Ms. Dunn by asking if she, as Communications Director, had any direct contact with them while she worked for the President. (Journalistic integrity)
- At 26:18 of the interview, you probably shouldn't have praised Ms. Dunn for going on Fox News and "going up against Bill O'Reilly and going up against Sean Hannity (and) steer(ing) the conversation." Comments like that might make people question your obvious JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY.
Mr. Wolff seems like an interesting and smart guy. It seems like he has an educated and enlightened view of the inner-workings of America's number one news network. Hopefully, he's learned a valuable lesson here. A guest with actual knowledge of a subject that doesn't fit into the agenda at Huffington Post should expect to be personally attacked, ridiculed and mischaracterized lest people actually learn something from their appearance.
on Feb. 27, 2013 at 3:36 AM