Herman Cain, Greta Van Susteren, and the Issue of Disclosure…

In a rather slanted piece, the New York Times’ Jeremy W. Peters writes about disclosure controversy swirling around Greta Van Susteren regarding her husband’s connection to Herman Cain.

The friendship between Mr. Cain and Ms. Van Susteren’s husband, John Coale, came to light after NY1 reported that Mr. Coale had called Cindy Adams, The New York Post gossip columnist, to cancel a dinner with Mr. Cain and media luminaries like Barbara Walters and Matt Lauer.

Ms. Van Susteren would not comment on the record on Wednesday about whether she had ever disclosed to Fox executives her husband’s friendship with Mr. Cain. And she did not answer another question, posed to her in an e-mail from The New York Times, about whether anyone at Fox News had pressed her to mention the friendship on her 10 p.m. Fox News Channel program.

“would not comment on the record”…sneaky twisting of her show’s own tagline…and one that probably should have been edited out. And this is the first time I can recall seeing someone from a big MSM paper call Van Susteren a “right leaning host” and lumping her in the same camp as O’Reilly and Hannity.

Ok, let’s cut to the chase…Washington D.C. based talent, be they reporters, anchors, or show hosts, are perpetually faced with disclosure issue scenarios. Anyone there who isn’t is someone who must surely live their life like a hermit. It goes with the territory. My belief is that all personal ties should be disclosed when the person in question is interviewing someone they know personally. Let the viewer decide whether the connections are significant or not. But do I think they’re obligated to disclose all ties? Um, no. It should be up to the host and the network to evaluate these entanglements on a case by case basis. What drives me nuts is networks don’t disclose what those internal metrics are so we never know whether they are being evenly applied.


14 Responses to “Herman Cain, Greta Van Susteren, and the Issue of Disclosure…”

  1. “Right leaning host” is being kind. “Sarah Palin puppet” is more like it. Greta left any trace of “journalist” at the desk at CNN.

  2. Spoken like someone who doesn’t watch the program in the first place.

    In addition to the slanting you noted, Spud, is the author’s reference to Coale’s friends as an example of ‘Republican ties’. He doesn’t bother to point out that Coale has as many friends that are (D)s, including the Clintons and Nancy Pelosi, as he does (R)s.

  3. The hate of Palin clouds the mind, it does. {Yoda voice}

  4. I’ve watched many times. She poses set-up questions to Palin – whom her husband advises – then sits there while Sarah says…whatever the hell it is she’s saying (it’s rarely decipherable).

    Even as a commentator, you have an obligation to be seen as something other than an advertiser for your guests. She was interviewing the frontrunner in a Presidential campaign who also happened to be her husband’s boss. We should have known that.

  5. Tell me what’s different about how she interviews Hillary Clinton vs how she interviews Palin. With examples. Or else stop with the fatuous claim that Greta is ‘right-wing’.

    “the frontrunner in a Presidential campaign who also happened to be her husband’s boss”

    That’s just a lie. Her husband never worked for Palin. Sometimes you are shameless.

  6. Coale helps run SarahPAC. Cain is the ‘frontrunner’ I referred to. Greta is being used as a conduit for both of these people. That goes way beyond “opinion”.

  7. “Cain is the ‘frontrunner’ I referred to.”

    You’re still lying. Coale never worked for Cain either.

    Your outrage seems only to have developed with Greta’s ‘connection’ to Cain and Palin, but not with Greta’s ‘connection’ to Clinton and Pelosi. That would seem to be the key to your shameless dishonesty and selective outrage.

  8. I’m not lying, I misunderstood the connection based on Spud’s initial tweets, then posting here while in a hurry this morning. As they say in the business, I regret the error. “Friendship” is pretty vague; if he never advised, there’s not much to discuss, and it’s impossible to know what was shared at dinner. Coale’s involvement with Palin while she continues to make cozy appaerances on Greta’s show is another matter..

  9. That said, if I were running a network, I would advise my commentators to keep their spouses away from potential and actual candidates during a Presidential race. Being ‘friends’ with a sitting Senator or Sec. of State is one thing. Partying with people possibly vying for an higher office while your spouse is interviewing them is quite another. The appearance of moving from “interview” to “advertising platform” is a big jump.

  10. Explanation accepted.

    “Being ‘friends’ with a sitting Senator or Sec. of State is one thing. Partying with people possibly vying for an higher office while your spouse is interviewing them is quite another.”

    That’s exactly what was going on when Hillary was running for Prez. And yet who raised the issue then about Greta’s husband and her need to ‘disclose’? Nobody, that’s who! But as soon as Coale became friendly with Palin, all of a sudden it became an issue. I’m just sayin’.

  11. I’m just sayin’ I would have liked to have known that. President is the biggest job in the world, and I don’t want my hosts interviewing candidates while their spouses are partying with them. That tells me the host is being socially chummy with them, too. That’s too close to the edge for me.

  12. Greta is nothing but a Tom Cruise bobble head worshiping conflict of interest hack!

  13. ^ silly trash talk. Worthless.

  14. ^^ Actually it’s kind of clever silly trash talk as he managed to work in an oblique reference to the Church of Scientology…

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