Fox News's Chris Wallace may have misunderstood the point of doing PR when he snapped in front of a crowd of reporters at the Television Critics Association in LA moments ago. Our intrepid Buzz was front and center for the giant meltdown and besides sending texts saying "Rove's wearing a green tie! It's too long!" then she says things rapidly got even uglier. Joined on a panel by Howard Wolfson, John Moody, and Karl Rove, here's how the spin hit the fan:
Let's begin at the end, when the explosion happened. The Fox folks were ready to wrap up, and Wallace said basically, "no. I have something else to say."
Wallace then launched into a stern tirade that he thought there was a huge bias in the questions being asked of Karl Rove — especially regarding the controversy about him not testifying in front of Congress. He raged on why that would have any impact on his ability to work for Fox News, which is an independent news organization. Wallace then asked that he'd be curious to know if a conservative Congress had subpoenaed James Carville, if the reporters would be sitting there asking CNN whether it undermined their credibility to have him as a commentator. The general response from the reporters assembled was says Buzz, "uh, YEAH we would." Wallace fired back essentially, "oh, you would? Well, I'd be very curious to see that." The out-of-context blowup was according to Buzz, about a Richter 8 on the tension scale.
To see more questions and answers, including those leading up to the rant and the response to the NY Times photo-doctoring story,
Does having Karl Rove as a commentator, given the whole testifying debacle, undermine the credibility of Fox News?
John Moody: "Mr. Rove is a certified authority on the electoral process, on politics. His track record speaks for itself. His current difference of opinion with Congress is between him and Congress."
A while later, Rove clarified:
"It is not between me and Congress. I have not asserted any personal privilege. It's between the White House and Congress."
Were those NY Times doctored photos justified?
Chris Wallace: "My feeling is that news organizations ought to run regular pictures of people, not doctored."
John Moody: "Fox and Friends is an entertainment show that does some news. . . . It's certainly there for a big bunch of humor."
And what about the other rival, MSNBC?
Chris Wallace: "MSNBC in its coverage of this campaign went so far over the line in terms of being in the tank to Barack Obama that it lost a lot of credibility. There's a reason why Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity don't anchor election night on Fox."
How does Hillary's former adviser Wolfson feel about being on Fox News?
Wolfson: "I want to be in a position to offer analysis from the left, from a progressive perspective. That's how I've lived my whole life. I'm not going to check my politics at the door."
What about Obama's religion?
Does Karl Rove believe Barack Obama is a Muslim: No. Does he believe there's anything un-American about him? No. But he said he did think Obama made a mistake saying what he said about the lapel pin after Sept. 11. "I think it went one step too far to say that wearing a flag lapel pin is not true patriotism."