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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 05:15 PM ET, 01/26/2012

Fox News’s Tantaros slams debates

Last time we checked in with Fox News’s Andrea Tantaros, she was taking part in a segment criticizing the mainstream media for failing to report the stuff that mainstream media reporter Jodi Kantor had put in her new book, “The Obamas.”

This morning, the script at Fox apparently called for more vacuous attacks on the mainstream media. Got a sec, Andrea?

In a half-contentious chat with Juan Williams and Steve Doocy, Tantaros pulled out her favorite implement from her toolkit. The broad brush, that is:

The predictions coming out of the media — they’re creating stories that don’t even exist. Now, in all fairness, the RNC did last time around let the GOP run amok with these debates and so the media is given this free-for-all to ask these crazy questions about issues that no one really cares about.

Herewith just a random sampling of 20 questions from recent debates:

1) BRET BAIER: Governor Perry, you have gone so far as to call what Mitt Romney did at Bain vulture capitalism. But you’ve also said regulations in America are killing America. In fact, you said we should repeal the most recent financial regulations law, Dodd-Frank. So what specific regulations would you put in place to curb vulture capitalism? (Jan. 16)
2) From MissinDixie (ph), quote, “I want to support Mitt Romney, but considering his changing views, convince me you won’t change again.” (Twitter question, Jan. 16)
3) ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Cain, a lot of prominent conservatives now are coming forward saying that your 9-9-9 plan would actually raise taxes on middle-class voters, on lower-income voters. (Oct. 18)
4) ANDERSON COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, you said in the last debate that everyone should pay something. Does that mean that you would raise taxes on the 47 percent of Americans who currently don’t pay taxes? (Oct. 18)
5) GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Paul, while — while we’re on the subject, the speaker said that you’ve had a history of inaccurate statements. There has been quite a bit controversy over this newsletter that went out under your name, a number of comments that were perceived as racist, as inaccurate. You’ve said that even though they were written under your name, that you’re not necessarily — that you didn’t necessarily know they were written, you don’t necessarily stand by them. Can you really take the time now and explain to everybody what happened there, how it was possible that those kind of comments went out under your name without you knowing about it? (Jan. 7)
6) DIANE SAWYER: Governor Huntsman, vision for dealing with China, competing around the world? (Jan. 7)
7) MARIA BARTIROMO: Governor Romney, should we allow Italy to fail? Should we have a stake in what’s going on in the eurozone right now? (Nov. 10)
8) JOHN HARWOOD: Governor Romney, when you were at Bain Capital, you purchased a lot of companies. You could fire the CEO and the management team or you could keep them. Would you keep a CEO -- are you persuaded by what Mr. Cain has said? Would you keep him on if you bought his company? (Nov. 10)
9) KAREN TUMULTY: Congresswoman Bachmann, three years after the financial meltdown, Main Street continues to suffer. People have lost their jobs, they’ve lost their homes, they’ve lost their faith in the future. But Wall Street is thriving. The banks not only got bailed out by the government, they have made huge profits, they’ve paid themselves huge bonuses. Do you think it’s right that no Wall Street executives have gone to jail for the damage they did to the economy? (Oct. 11)
10) Scott Pelley: Governor Romney, would it be worth goin’ to war to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon? (Nov. 12)

So there are 10 random questions sprinkled throughout this glorious debate season. Anything “crazy” there? Anything silly or pointless?

How ‘bout this, Tantaros: I’ll concede that the contraception question and the Marianne Gingrich question were a little on the “crazy” side, though not really. Beyond those, the “crazy” content gets a touch thin. The questions throughout the debates have been loaded with substance, though the responses haven’t always met that standard.

And here’s the thing, Tantaros: Your network, Fox News Channel, has done nothing but distinguish itself as a debate mill. The Fox-run polemics have been riveting and hitchless. Bret Baier, Juan Williams, Megyn Kelly, Neil Cavuto — they’ve all directed democracy-bolstering questions at the various Republican candidates. And Tantaros, they’d all appreciate an apology from you after you scorned their contributions with your vicious generality.

Who, Fox News’s Andrea Tantaros, should be posing questions to Republican presidential candidates, if not the media/your colleagues?

And Tantaros, your complaint aligns with a strain of whining about “debate overkill” that has itself reached its overkill phase.

By  |  05:15 PM ET, 01/26/2012

Tags:  fox news, media, andrea tantaros

 
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