Short Term Memory…
Mediaite’s Joe Concha writes about recent issues involving the national Republican and Democrat parties…which doesn’t interest me much. But this part does…
As for Fox, know this: It has absolutely every right to defend Kelly against Trump’s barbs. But this particular and most recent retort went too far, made it way too personal (and arguably proved Trump’s point to his supporters around being treated unfairly by the network). Per a Fox statement Tuesday afternoon:
We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.
Sorry… that’s just not how a news organization should conduct itself regardless of how many times Trump has insulted the network or one of its moderators. Roger Ailes’ statement Tuesday afternoon on the matter was the proper one: “Megyn Kelly is an excellent journalist and the entire network stands behind her — she will absolutely be on the debate stage on Thursday night.” In being stern and professional, that should have been the only statement made by the network. But Fox decided to go another more personal route and got down in the mud with Trump instead. This doesn’t excuse Trump’s petulant antics or bizarre one-way attacks on Kelly (who has stayed above the fray since this began six months ago after the first debate). But two sides can be wrong in any instance, and this is no exception.
I don’t disagree that this is not how a network should respond. But I would point out that this is not exactly out of character for this particular network…if you examine its PR history…albeit not much of its recent history.
If you look at the snark that came out of FNC’s PR going back 10 years you’d see that this statement, while maybe not what we want from a network’s PR operation, is totally in line with how this network reacts when attacked. And sometimes even when it isn’t. This is one of those times I wish I still had access to the old ICN 1.0 site because I could easily pull up a dozen or more quotes that you’d never find emanating from any other news network’s PR operation.
So I don’t react to this statement the same way Concha does. Yes, it’s over the line. But it’s just the latest example in a long rich history of over the line remarks that are beneath a news network.