Mike Huckabee, who decided against running for president to stick with hosting his Fox News weekend show Huckabee, is going to bat for the credibility of the cable channel’s reporters by challenging the bias of those on other networks, like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough.
Huckabee, a 2008 GOP primary candidate and former Arkansas governor, said he is angered with suggestions that Fox News is biased and said that the charges come from news snobs who are partisans. He specifically named Matthews, Scarborough, and George Stephanopoulos, of ABC’s Good Morning America.
Asked by our Suzi Parker about reports his employer is biased, Huckabee said, “I get really riled when reporters ask about Fox News and the perception that it’s biased.” [Poll: Fox, O'Reilly Most Trusted News Sources.]
During a trip home to Arkansas for a book signing, some local reporters asked him about the cable network’s perceived GOP slant. He has high praise for Fox’s journalists, like Brett Baier, Shepard Smith, Bill Hemmer, and Chris Wallace.
“Those and other Fox journalists have a lot more credibility as actual journalists than do Chris Matthews, George Stephanopoulos, Joe Scarborough, etc., who either were politicians or worked for one or more, yet other networks snobbishly act if they are ‘pure’ and ‘journalism’ and Fox isn’t.” [Check out a roundup of Whispers political cartoons.]
Matthews was an aide to former House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, Stephanopoulos worked for Bill Clinton, and Scarborough was a Florida Republican congressman.
What’s more, he says that the Fox journalists are different from what he does on his show and don’t purport to be straight journalists like those he criticized.
“The news division of Fox I’d put against anyone—those guys operate on the other side of a concrete wall between ‘news’ and ‘programming,’ which is where shows like mine, O’Reilly, Hannity, etc., reside. None of our shows purport to be hard news, but clearly declare them to be opinion shows,” he said.
Huckabee has a reason to like Fox: His show leads the ratings for its weekend time slot, and associates say that he is a favorite of Fox boss Rupert Murdoch.