Pushback Rebuttal?

Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher tries to push back on the push back to Gabriel Sherman’s FNC piece on Monday…

New York Magazine‘s Gabriel Sherman is under fire from the conservative media, and from Fox News’s Brit Hume, over his reporting on internal emails regarding Fox News’ weekend coverage of gun control in the wake of Friday’s horrific mass shooting. Much of that criticism is based on a story, from The Hollywood Reporter‘s Paul Bond, that purports to debunk Sherman’s reporting, but a review of what Sherman actually wrote, and how Fox News actually covered the issue of gun control this past weekend, reveals that THR didn’t check their facts, or didn’t care.

Christopher then goes on to argue that the type of discussion regarding “gun control” on FNC was weak…

The “both sides represented” by Fox News over the weekend, then, were:

Gun control is not the issue
Gun control is not the only issue
Let’s talk about something else

As supporting evidence, Christopher linked to a video, source unknown, of selectively edited clips from various FNC shows on Saturday and Sunday. Selectively edited clips are always a red flag for me. You can’t evaluate a segment or a series of segments fairly if you only have snippets of the segments to go on.

Notice the shift in narrative though? It’s no longer “FNC didn’t talk about Gun Control”. It’s now “FNC didn’t talk about Gun Control in a way I feel was meaningful.” It’s not a yes/no proposition anymore but a subjective in the eye of the beholder proposition. I consider that too slippery a slope to venture down. If you have to resort to subjectivism to frame your argument, you are going to be hard pressed to convince anyone whose ideological world view isn’t the same as yours.

On the other hand there is this…

Bond took what was spoon-fed to him by “Fox News insiders,” didn’t insist that they provide him with a full accounting of the emails that Sherman reported on, then closed the loop with an on-the-record source.

To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a network making a public relations effort to rebut negative press, and Fox News has no duty to tell Gabe Sherman’s side of the story, or provide evidence to contradict their own. That’s the reporter’s job, and THR‘s failed at it.

On this point, Christopher and I are in agreement. The Hollywood Reporter story had all the markings of a classic story plant.

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9 Responses to “Pushback Rebuttal?”

  1. In other words, my first instinct was more-or-less correct. Unless you;re clearly advocating for, then “discussions” of gun control don’t really count. They should be happy with CNN. They sacrificed any notion of “balance” days ago.

  2. lonestar77 Says:

    Tommy is a crank obsessed with the “conservative media” and finding ways to call everybody racist. I appreciate the effort, Spud, but I don’t think he warrants having his column scrutinized. He’s nothing more than a daily kos diarist.

  3. I watched a lot of FNC over the weekend. If gun control was debated AT ALL, it’s news to me.

  4. FOX wasted no time defending Romney for criticizing President Obama during an international emergency. I was watching FOX on 9/12 and, after Romney’s premature, hyperpartisan speech lying about Obama “apologizing for America”, FOX went to bat for him and continued to claim Obama apologized for America and Romney was right to say it.

    If they weren’t talking about gun control by 8pm Friday, they have every right to be criticized even if they did run two segments on it over the weekend. If it was possible to criticize Obama for the shooting, they would’ve been doing so from 4pm-11pm.

  5. “It’s not about gun control” and “It’s not just about control” is not “talking about gun control”. It’s trying to stop the topic. They avoided it like the plague during all the coverage I saw, and I saw a lot.

  6. You’re forgetting that Tommy is a shrill over the top kook who is obsessed with going after all things “the right” and doesn’t have anything to do now that the election is over.Even Mediaite itself has become an “us versus them” shoutfest.And finally,how much difference does it make what does or does not get talked about on FNC?It’s viewers have their opinions and viewpoints that won’t be changed by what FNC does or does not talk about.

    I’ve always wondered why Tommy works for Mediaite.He should be writing for a left web site like HuffPo or similar.I guess none of them would hire him,they don’t want to look but so whackadoodle I suppose.

  7. lonestar77 Says:

    Those are neat rants by Joe & Andy but it doesn’t change the fact Tommy lied as he does in virtually every column. And, why is Fox obligated to scream about gun control? Every other lefty media outlet already was. Maybe the people at FNC realize that screaming about gun control accomplishes nothing other than making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. FNC isn’t going to be a liberal network like all the others. Get over it. Put your big boy pants on and take your thumbs out of your mouths.

  8. FNC ignores the issue for the same reason the GOP does: They don’t want any controls whatsoever because they’re sick.

  9. lonestar77 Says:

    Yep, that’s why I think gun laws are stupid. Cuz, I’m sick. Great diagnosis, Doc. And you want a bunch of laws because you have a false sense of security that a bunch of idiots in Washington can do everything from protecting you from deranged psychos to wiping your butt.

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