The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

09 February 2006

Malkin Appearance On Hannity & Colmes Sparks Continuing Controversy


Flap Over Malkin Cutaway Heats Up Blogosphere

Were it to happen on any other network, say CNN, CBS, MSNBC, or PBS, it would surprise almost no one. Nor would it generate much subsequent attention.

It's a whole different ballgame, however, when a FOX News Channel contributor, seemingly in the name of political correctness, appears to face on-air censorship.

After Michelle Malkin's Tuesday Hannity & Colmes visit, where the camera cut away just as she attempted to show a series of controversial Danish cartoons related to Islam, the blogosphere has become hopping mad. Expose The Left has video here.

From the right, it's rare (or perhaps almost unknown) to see a significant amount of criticism levelled at FOX News, widely hailed as a refreshing alternative to the heavily left-leaning output of other news networks.

That's what made the incident such a slap in the face to its many fans: they expect more from FOX.

With Malkin's own account, the flap kicked off late Tuesday:

I appeared tonight on Fox News Channel's Hannity and Colmes for an all too brief segment on the Mohammed Cartoons.

Before I drove to the Washington, D.C., studio, I stopped by a Kinko's store, printed out the cartoons, and pasted them onto a piece of poster board. I then used my short time on the airwaves to do what no one wants to do on American TV:

I tried to show viewers all 12 cartoons to give viewers the full context of the Jyllands-Posten's decision to publish the artwork.

Unfortunately, as I tried to walk through the content of the cartoons, the camera cut from my display to video of the Islamists' crazed, violent protests. As if we hadn't seen enough of that already.

Why do they persist in leaving viewers in a cloud of ignorance about this international controversy? Cherry-picking the most arguably inflammatory cartoon--the one of Muhammad and the bomb turban--and implying that it is representative of the rest of the artwork is not journalism.

That's journalistic malpractice.

And it's exactly what the radical Islamists are counting on the cowering MSM to do.

I had a nice chat with another FOX News personality before my segment. This person hadn't seen all the cartoons--but had already formed a firm opinion that the Jyllands-Posten was being unnecessarily provocative and insensitive.

Is it any wonder that millions of people are turning to the Internet to get to the truth?

Why did this hit a raw nerve? Because so many have been baffled by the unwillingness of newspapers and television networks to show the cartoons, which would put the matter in its proper context.

As the American Thinker pegs it:

With the sole exceptions of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Riverside Press-Enterprise, and New York Sun, no significant American newspaper has dared to publish the 12 cartoons at the root of the protests, embassy burnings and deaths roiling the Islamic world. Despite intense public interest in this major story, Americans who do not view their news on the internet have almost no chance to actually see these key images. Such remarkable restraint is a rather new phenomenon in American journalism.

The new standard has been set and is already being observed with a remarkable degree of unanimity. None of the broadcast television network news have shown the cartoons, with the exception of ABC’s Nightline*. CNN did televise them but obscured the images with dancing pixels. Fox News Channel has shied away, even when commentator Michelle Malkin brought along her own visual aid to the Hannity & Colmes broadcast on Tuesday, February 7.

As Malkin herself points out, CNN has a typically lame excuse for not showing the cartoons. What, however, is the policy at FOX News?

Was this incident specific to Hannity & Colmes, or were they under a corporate edict to censor them? So far, the Radio Equalizer has seen nothing that clears up the confusion.

Blogger Noisy Room let 'er rip:

I watched this segment last night and it was disgraceful - Fox gave full floor to the liberal wimp supporting Islam and basically cut Michelle off as soon as possible and did not ‘allow’ for a clear view of the cartoons. Obviously backbone is in short supply out there - better listen to your public and not your Islamic investors or there won’t be a network to invest in… As Bill Cosby says, “I brought you into this world, I can take you out…” - substitute ‘conservative base’ for ‘I’ and there you have it…

Bizblogger, Civil Commotion, Sierra Faith, Reformed Liberal and others also jumped on board with criticism.

Meanwhile, the left-leaning TVNewser added context:

On ABC, Thursday's Nightline showed a cartoon in its entirety. Fox News Sunday also showed one of them. But most other networks shied away."On Friday CNN ran a disguised version of a cartoon, and on an NBC News program on Thursday, the camera shot depicted only a fragment of the full cartoon. CBS banned the broadcast of the cartoons across the network," Dick Prince says.

Tuesday night on FNC, Michelle Malkin tried to "break the taboo."

Then on CNN's American Morning today, "you could almost see the beads of sweat on the director and producers as the Danish editor raised some cartoons" during an interview, an e-mailer says. "First he showed a drawing showing the star of david. Then he said the same cartoonist 'drew this' -- the picture was quickly switched to a scared Zain Verjee. CNN is so afraid that it is even censoring its own guests."

In my own dealings
with FOX, I've found them to be exceptionally fair. I've been given wide leeway in what I say. In addition, the network deserves praise for its willingness to cover so many issues that CNN and MSNBC won't touch, such as the Air America scandal.

So what went wrong on the Hannity & Colmes show Tuesday? It would be nice to have some answers.

We expect censorship, slanted reporting and questionable ethics from CNN, but our friends at FOX are supposed to be different. We hold them to a higher standard.

If that wasn't clear before, it should be now.

Thanks for your continued support for the Radio Equalizer's efforts, via Amazon orders that begin with clicks here. In the spotlight: Robert Ferrigno's new Prayers For The Assassin.


  • Why is it so important to disrespect the sacred beliefs of others? I thought you wingnuts were all for strong religious values?

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 09 February, 2006 10:22  

  • To argue in FOX's favor, I would have to bring up the fact that they are covering these idiots rioting more than the rest of the MSM combined. The other day, I watched for about a half hour where it was continuous coverage and commentary on the riots. As a lark, in the middle of that, I switched over to CNN to (after looking up what channel is was on my system) just to see what their coverage was like. Instead, they were doing a puff piece on the Grammys, focussing on why Kanye West deserves to win many and how great he was.

    And CNN has no agenda? No surprise they've been getting creamed for years.

    By Blogger Dr. T, at 09 February, 2006 12:06  

  • So, Mr. Radio any radio stories?

    By Blogger TJ, at 09 February, 2006 13:19  

  • Have to wonder how much of MSM's 'restraint' is attributable to lefty political correctness and how much to apprehension over jihadist retalliation.

    Like you, I'm reserving opinion on FNC until I hear their rationale.

    By Blogger Pete, at 09 February, 2006 14:40  

  • Hey, DICK:

    Since you don't respect anything, shut the fuck up and crawl back under Clinton's desk. You're too chickenshit to offend a Muslim, because they're so peaceful and whatnot.


    By Blogger Elnish Arundel, at 09 February, 2006 16:40  

  • Dick Tuck said...
    Why is it so important to disrespect the sacred beliefs of others? I thought you wingnuts were all for strong religious values?

    Fact is that the wingnuts are very selective as to what they want broadcast. They screamed when Ted Koppel read the names of the Iraq war dead. The fact is that the freedom of the press is more of a liberal idea than a conservative one.

    BTW, Big Ed is back on live in Fargo on a different station.

    By Blogger pbrauer, at 09 February, 2006 18:42  

  • Or as an email pal of mine calls him Darth Fargo! Was he ever on WDAY? Just curious.

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 09 February, 2006 20:49  

  • By Blogger Rose Austin, at 07 March, 2006 20:16  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Page Rank Checker

Powered by Blogger