The New York Times Attacks Fox News for “Making GOP Candidates Squirm”

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The post-debate explosives continue. The New York Times, under attack by the Left for becoming the Fox News of the newspaper industry, apparently feels asking fact-based questions of Republican presidential contenders is beyond the pale.

Jeremy Peters wrote in the Times yesterday that,

The triumvirate of Fox News anchors who ran the two-hour event – Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier – seemed to have one mission above all else in questioning the 10 would-be presidents they faced across the stage at the Quicken Loans Arena: Make them squirm.

On the surface, such an idea is incredible. Certainly there are very good reasons to think Fox News had it in for Donald Trump. It is no surprise that he is not the first choice of the so-called Establishment, the Republican Party powers that be.

However, if you watched any of the debate, you will realize that it was not just Trump who had to face more than softballs. On the other hand, Peters’ claim that “suggesting someone else might let a woman die rather than allow her to have an abortion” is an attempt to make somebody squirm, only goes to show Peters’ unwillingness to face the facts of Republican anti-abortion legislation, which makes exactly that decision: that a fetus has more value than a living, breathing woman.

This is a paradox of the “pro-life” faction that they are not really pro-life at all, and the mother’s life is only part of the equation. There is also the matter of feeding, clothing, educating, and medically providing for those fetuses when they join the post-born.

We can’t know the reason for Fox News actually asking meaningful questions of the Republican candidates. Peters suggests that this was the network’s way of answering critics’ claims that it is not “a blindly loyal propaganda division of the Republican Party” and that “they can eviscerate with equal opportunity if they choose.”

However, Fox News has never cared about these charges before.

More critically, “eviscerate”? Asking questions based on established, demonstrable facts is evisceration now in The New York Times‘ eyes? Well, perhaps so, considering their own inability to stick to the facts. But such hostility! Peters sounds here more like Sean Hannity than a journalist.

Peters claims that “From the opening moments of the debate, the moderators knew where to turn the screws.” How about the responsibility of the candidates not to say catastrophically stupid things?

Remember, these are 10 men who have built their campaigns around Republican talking points, most of which have barely a passing resemblance to reality.

Granted, Fox News is responsible for this state of affairs, in whole or in part, which created the bizarre circumstance of the moderators asking the candidates questions those talking points could not adequately answer.

Perhaps that is why is seemed harsh to some, including Peters, but objectively, there was nothing untoward about those questions. They were perfectly legitimate, many of them, and if that is unusual for Fox News, that did not make them less legitimate.

To cite just one example, Chris Wallace sounded more like a Democrat when he asked Donald Trump about his latest corporate bankruptcy, which laid off 1100 people and lost $1 billion. But it was a question that mattered, and Trump’s answer says more about himself and his fitness to govern than it does about Fox News.

He was proud, he said, of using bankruptcy to save himself money. Screw the investors, he said, and never even mentioned those 1100 people who suddenly found themselves without work – a rather odd attitude for a guy who is pretending to care about people without jobs.

I will cite just one other example here, and this addresses an issue very much of concern to Democrats, and that is Republicans saying absolutely appalling things and never being called out. Perhaps because they are so used to their free passes by the mainstream media – including The New York Times – Chris Christie was shocked to be put on the spot by Megyn Kelly.

This is how Peters describes it:

In the most overheated confrontations of the evening, Ms. Kelly teed up Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey with a question about whether he really meant it when he said that Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, because of his opposition to the U.S.A. Patriot Act, should shoulder some of the blame in the event of another terrorist attack on the United States. When Mr. Christie responded that, yes, he meant it, Mr. Paul opened up on him while Ms. Kelly sat back with a look of contentment.

So here we are facing this bizarre new reality of the allegedly liberal New York Times attacking Fox News for being too hard on Republicans. Did we all just wake up in an alternate reality?

No, of course not. In 2012, the mainstream media, faced at last with the appalling toll of completely deluded Republican misstatements and contradictions and outright lies, finally began to report on some of them – barely skimming the surface of their totality even then.

The Republican response to even that much actual journalism has been to claim that the mainstream media deliberately “threw the election” for the Democrats. Their own responsibility in creating their untenable situation goes completely unmentioned.

We will likely hear this line again in 2016 and after, if Fox News ever even comes close again to asking the Republican Party’s candidates actual questions, rather than setting them up for their favorite talking points like usual.

No doubt, as Megyn Kelly said at closing, they were “like ‘Get me out of here,'” because they had not expected genuine questions any more than they had expected to be able to get off with their usual talking point non-answers.

The New York Times may feel that asking questions is no longer part of a journalist’s purpose in life, but that is much more an indictment of The New York Times than it is Megyn Kelly or her fellow moderators at Fox News.

Image: Screen capture

24 Replies to “The New York Times Attacks Fox News for “Making GOP Candidates Squirm””

  1. …I dream of all Teahadist/NeoConArtist/Teatard candidates strapped into electric chairs for a debate…every lie they tell gets ’em a jolt, scaling up for each successive lie…how many would survive such a debate???
    …after all, inquiring minds wanna know…

  2. It is amusing that every once in awhile Fox will commit a random act of journalism. Suffice it to say, journalism is dead.

  3. The fake news network is trying to be a kingmaker, and controls the GOP.

    Fox News has no one else to blame but itself for the monster they helped to create – not Trump, but a paranoid and hateful group of Americans Fox News is largely responsible for. And Trump is tapping into that hate and paranoia.

    Republican Primary Voters Continue to Confuse Arrogance with Competence

  4. Lessee.. Fux creates a chaotic alternate universe and then throws in the chaotic set of questions aimed at the clown car candidates. Instead of clarity, we are greeted with more chaos.

    It just might be that Fux really doesn’t give a damn one way or the other, that what it is really selling is chaos. It’s doing a great job if that’s the case.

    To all the Chicken Littles: Yes! The sky is falling!

  5. One candidate was made to squirm a lot more than the others. Face it.Establishment GOP has lots of time to bring the straying sheep back to the herd. The Donald is not the right nominee.Since there is only one news (loosely) source for most primary voters, a methodical exit will be made for Trump.

  6. The GOP is crying over tough questions?

    Well, what do they think it’s going to be like as President? Think you only get served soft questions once you’ve got the job? Nope. Then there’s the international media; they can tear apart a politician like nobody’s business.


  7. So the NYT says, the GOP debate was too hard on them? REALLY? that’s interesting because if this fake A$S softball event was too rough for the NYT, I can only imagine what they’d say if PBS or a REAL network world have held the debate? My question is, WHY wasn’t scott walker asked to explain the radio station that blew the doors off about his connections with the koch brothers!? or WHY did jebby bush pick james polk as his favorite president?!! Maybe it’s because polk wanted to keep slavery alive?! Maybe because his wanting war with Mexico to expand the SOUTHERN boarder to create MORE pro slave states!? because Lincoln wanted polk removed from office??!! or how about this question? WHY would YOU want to be known as JEB? Maybe because YOU admire J.E.B. Stuart?? worthless POS confederate civil war A$SHOLE?? Trust me! I myself know enough DIRT about these republicans to get the ALL disqualified! so SCREW YOU NYT!

  8. The gop claims the Fox team asked tough questions. Oh, yeah? How tough could they be if I still don’t know what Cruz’s favorite movie is? Do we know what Trump’s favorite color is? No! Rand Paul’s mother’s recipe for brownies is still a mystery. How tough could the questions be when we still don’t know how Jeb Bush conquered his athlete’s foot problem. Come on Fox, get to the nitty-gritty with these people. These people all want to be president. The inquiring minds want to know.

  9. The dilemma of Trump is that you can’t ‘make him go away.’ People have been trying for decades.

    Koch Bros can’t buy him off. Because he’s not running for President. He’s destroying their machine,tearing the heads off their dolls and shredding out the base into a thousand fragments.

    Because he can. What do you think rich guys do for fun?

  10. This is a prime wxample of why I cancelled my digital NYT subscription this week…. this, and the glowing article that attempted to redeem the Koch brothers. NYT is apparently trying to be to the right of the Wall Street journal now.

  11. A broken clock is right twice a day- whereas Fox stumbles upon such about twice a year.

    Cause being President means doing as you’re told to do by your Corporate Masters- thus no need for any squirmy moments.

  12. The moderators weren’t tough enough. Yes, they asked the questions – but seldom challenged the answers. They let the candidates for the most part ride with non-answers & grandstand on their supposed bona fides.

  13. the trepidation the neo-con candidates suffered at the questioning of faux newts pales in comparison to the reality that the POTUS faces every moment of every day ….if the grilling?? by faux newts causes them to ‘squirm’ then perhaps they are unsuited for the office they covet

  14. Let’s see …A fake debate with fake journalists from a fake news/media outlet asking fake candidates from a fake political party about their fake issues.

    Sounds like a recipe for a supreme fiction, and the NYT doesn’t know that it’s a charade and farce intended to entertain and waste time ?

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