Chris Wallace, host of the influential “Fox News Sunday,” carved out a salty slice of his program yesterday to hammer Hillary Clinton for failing to appear on the show. Positioning the Democratic hopeful for maximum burn, Wallace noted that she had recently pledged to bridge America’s divides: “I will go anywhere to meet with anyone at any time to find common ground,” said Clinton.
Then Wallace ripped away: “But, once again this week, Clinton turned down our request for an interview,” said the host. “We reached out to her campaign officials in charge of this sort of thing, communications director Jennifer Palmieri, and press secretary Nick Merrill. Neither of them had the courtesy to even answer our phone calls and emails.”
Speaking of courtesy, it’s safe to say that Fox News’s Andrea Tantaros didn’t exhibit too much when she said the following about Clinton on the the noon show “Outnumbered”: “People are making the comparison that she’s a thoroughbred horse who can’t get over the line. She’s on her way to the glue factory in a real way. It’s true. It’s true,” said Tantaros.
Call that Possible Reason No. 1 that the Clinton camp isn’t returning the messages of “Fox News Sunday.”
For Possible Reason No. 2, let’s go to “Outnumbered” co-host Andrea Tantaros, who last year referred to Clinton as the “most corrupt woman in the history of the world.”
For Possible Reason No. 3, why not try “Outnumbered” co-host Andrea Tantaros? Referencing the Michael Bay-directed film “13 Hours” about the Benghazi attacks of Sept. 11, 2012, she said, “If anyone sees this movie, and everyone should go see it, and goes on to vote for Hillary Clinton they’re a criminal, in my estimation.”
Individuals from the Clinton campaign, accordingly, might just conclude that Fox News isn’t going to give their candidate the fairest hearing.
Nor would it be responsible to leave the impression that Clinton-bashing starts and ends with Tantaros. It actually starts with breakfast. “Fox & Friends,” the network’s morning show, sometimes opines on the former secretary of state — like the time that one of its hosts questioned whether Clinton’s “bra-burning” approach will play with the electorate. “The Five,” a raucous roundtable program, has also delivered an elbow or two.
The point here is that Wallace may run a clean and straight-shooting Sunday program, but a good number of other folks under the Fox News banner play a different game. Any 24-7 news network contains multitudes.
So there isn’t much mystery as to why all those other presidential candidates have accepted the invitations of “Fox News Sunday” and Clinton has not: It’s because Clinton is covered more harshly, more persistently than those other candidates. A fine case in point comes from the tail end of her tenure as secretary of state, when Fox News waxed skeptical about — and even mocked — the concussion that she suffered. Give a Fox News commentator the slightest opening to rip Clinton, and consider it overdone. Late last week, for instance, the network made certain that its viewers didn’t pass unaware of Clinton’s poor response to questions from CBS News’s Scott Pelley about her trustworthiness.
None of this is to suggest that Clinton shouldn’t face off with Wallace. It would be a glorious match between an excellent questioner and a nimble and experienced politician. That’s who Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren faced in June 2014, when Clinton was on tour for her book “Hard Choices.” Though the Fox News duo attempted to corner Clinton on Benghazi and other issues, the verdict among many conservative onlookers veered toward “softball.”