Watch this clip from Fox News morning show “Fox and Friends.” In it, the hosts of the show invite commentators Glenn Beck and Judge Andrew Napolitano to discuss whether Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad should have been read his Miranda rights.
Notice that both of them agreed that as an American citizen, Shahzad is guaranteed rights. Beck even states that this is a basic Constitutional principle, and while it’s not the popular answer, it’s the right one.
Now watch how the hosts, expecting Beck to give the opposing view, try to coax him into folding.
It starts to get uncomfortable to watch… Here you have professional journalists berating and practically insulting someone because they didn’t provide the segment with conflict. You can hear the same tired lines of “If thing’s start blowing up downtown, how are you going to feel?” What relevence does that have? What, you’re going to guilt him into agreeing with you or your editors?
Beck agreed with the liberal, and it’s clear we can’t have that on this news program.
Obviously, Fox News is not the only news outlet guilty of this. But this is just a recent example of how far journalism has fallen off track on the cable networks. The answers our interviewees give should mold debate and not the other way around. If their answers don’t fit our pre-conceived narrative, then maybe it’s because we were wrong. To try to coerce a subject into parroting what you want them to say isn’t journalism, nor should it be accepted as that. Too often we get away with it, and it needs to stop if we ever as professionals wish to be taken seriously by the public.
I think it’s sad to watch “Fox and Friends” try to twist their so-called “guest” into saying what they want him to say. I may not agree with Glenn Beck or Andrew Napolitano on every issue, but just because we disagree doesn’t mean I must force them to accept my view. I’m the journalist, after all. We should be dealing in truth, not my opinion.