Time for Bill Sammon to write another memo

Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

Politico's Michael Calderone noted yesterday Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon's broadside against the media, in which he told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace: "I'll tell you, Chris, the mainstream media hates the Tea Party movement almost as much as it hates Sarah Palin. And the reason is simple. That's because both are a threat. Palin is a threat down the road, whether it be in 2012 or beyond. The Tea Party is a threat because it is galvanizing Republicans."

As Calderone noted, Sammon conspicuously neglected to offer any proof that the mainstream media "hate" Palin and the tea partiers, beyond the implication that they must hate them because the mainstream media are hateful liberals. Calderone also noted that Sammon was given a thorough Twitter-lashing by NBC's Chuck Todd, who expected something better from his Fox News friend.

But let's take a quick trip down memory lane, back to when a Fox News producer got a little too wrapped up in the network's embarrassingly over-the-top rah-rah coverage of the tea parties and openly whipped up a 9/12 crowd before a live report. Sammon responded by releasing a perfunctory staff memo on "standards," gently reminding his employees that they're supposed to at least pretend to act like journalists sometimes.

In that memo, Sammon told his staff not to become "part of the story;" to look at things in a "fair, impartial manner;" not to "cheerlead for one cause or another;" and to preserve their "legitimate journalistic role as detached eyewitnesses." I'd be comfortable saying that Sammon - in his own Tea Party-promoting, Palin-boosting, conservative-leaning, Obama-bashing, Bush-lionizing way -- has failed to adhere to each and every one of those precepts.

But let's be honest - Sammon never intended that he or his staff adhere to those high-minded journalistic standards, because that's simply not how the collection of political activists posing as journalists at Fox News operate.

Bill Sammon
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