Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Reporting 101 for Chris Wallace

It must hurt to get posterized that badly. Chris Wallace of FOX News was carrying water for Karl Rove after Bill Moyers called him a hypocrite for being an agnostic yet using the hard-right Christians as his base. After Rove appeared on Wallace's show and protested his faith, Wallace took a swipe at Moyers for not contacting Rove before running with the story. Contacting the source before running a story is, as Wallace said, "reporting 101."

And, of course, he's right. Which is why Moyers did, in fact, contact Rove before the story ran, and received no response. But did Wallace contact Moyers before he engaged in his "drive by slander" of Moyers' journalistic integrity?

(Never mind the inherent ridiculousness of a FOX News hack attacking the journalistic integrity of Bill Moyers. Sounds a bit like a prostitute attacking a nun's promiscuity, to me.)

Thanks to Amanda Terkel, posted on AlterNet (http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/61483/)


This post, written by Amanda Terkel, originally appeared on Think Progress

On Aug. 17, PBS's Bill Moyers criticized Karl Rove for cynically invoking Christianity for political purposes while telling others that he is an agnostic. Moyers called Rove "a skeptic, a secular manipulator."

Two days later, Rove appeared on Fox News Sunday and took on Moyers's criticism. "I'm a Christian. I go to church. I'm an Episcopalian," responded Rove. "You know, Mr. Moyers ought to do a little bit better research before he does another drive-by slander."

Then on Aug. 26, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace criticized Moyers, stating that he needs to do "reporting 101":

If you want to find out about someone's religious beliefs, a good first step might be to ask him. ... Of course, you never called Rove. That's reporting 101, but it would have gotten in the way of a tasty story line about a non-believer flimflamming the Christian right. I guess, Bill, reporting is easier when you don't worry about the facts.

But on Thursday, Rick Byrne, Director of Communications for Bill Moyers Journal, wrote that the show repeatedly tried to contact Rove. It never received a response:

For the record, Bill Moyers did ask Karl Rove to come on BILL MOYERS JOURNAL, by fax and by mail. These requests were made before Chris Wallace responded on-air on Fox News Sunday to Bill Moyers' letter, and we still haven't heard from Karl Rove.

Wallace should have spoken to Moyers and asked him if he tried to contact Rove, before baselessly accusing him of sloppy journalism. "That's reporting 101."

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