Fox & Friends' Selective Editing Misrepresents Stewart/O'Reilly Interview

Blog ››› ››› MELODY JOHNSON

In the wake of Jon Stewart's debate on Monday with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly about rapper Common's recent appearance at the White House, Fox & Friends this morning aired a portion of the interview that had been selectively edited to omit all of Stewart's criticism of Fox for its selective outrage over the contrived controversy.

The co-hosts reverted back to the network's general consensus about the Common controversy -- that the rapper's supposed record as someone who "has openly sympathized with convicted cop killers" should have kept him from accepting Michelle Obama's invitation to participate in a White House poetry event. Co-host Steve Doocy then asked viewers "who won" the debate without having accurately represented the interview.

However, had the hosts bothered to cover some of Stewart's other arguments from his debate with O'Reilly, they might have discussed the following instead of beating their dead horse:

  • Stewart "can't speak for [Common], because I'm not him."
  • Common is "not defined as an artist by this Assata Shakur case."
  • "That is exactly the same" as other artists who have visited the White House. "Why are you drawing the line at Common?"
  • "G. Gordon Liddy" -- who has appeared on Fox News regularly in the past -- said of the ATF: "shoot for the head."
  • "Let's do something nice for police" by reinstating "the ban on assault weapons ... it tries to get weapons that kill cops literally off the streets" and get the "infection machine" at Fox to back that up.
  • "People on your network" are saying Common is "promoting cop killing."

Let's take a moment to focus on that last point. "People on your network are" saying that Common is "celebrating a cop-killer or promoting cop killing." Stewart was absolutely correct about that, as Media Matters has previously documented. O'Reilly takes the pressure off of the network briefly, saying, "Let's just speak to me." Stewart complies, but the subject comes up again:

STEWART: There is a selective outrage machine here at Fox that pettifogs only when it suits the narrative that suits them. This guy is in the crosshairs in a way that he shouldn't be, whether you agree with him or not over -- you may think he is ignorant in believing that Assata Shakur is innocent. You may think he is ignorant in believing that Mumia is. But then guess what? Bono can't go to the White House. Springsteen can't go to the White House. Bob Dylan can't go to the White House. You have got a lot of people that aren't allowed to sit in the White House because they have written songs about people convicted of murder.

[...]

O'REILLY: You say that because Bono, Springsteen, and Bob Dylan wrote songs defending people who were accused of heinous things that I have to give Common a pass because he did the same thing.

STEWART: No. You have to be consistent with your outrage.

O'REILLY: All right. Let me give you -

STEWART: Be consistent.

O'REILLY: I will. Common visited, went to see.

STEWART: So what if Bono went to see Leonard Peltier?

O'REILLY: All right? In Cuba, and said - and said, quote --

STEWART: So now that's your line? You are putting yourself in a smaller and smaller box.

O'REILLY: No, I'm not. I'm not.

STEWART: So this guy is worthy of it because he actually visited. And, by the way, I don't agree with you that that's what puts it over the top. I completely disagree with you.

O'REILLY: This makes it beyond a reasonable doubt.

STEWART: Oh, please.

O'REILLY: Oh, come on. You know this guy is sympathizing with two cop killers. You know that.

STEWART: I don't know him. He believes they were unjustly convicted. That's what I imagine this is.

There you have it. "Selective outrage machine." Of course, none of this was covered on Fox & Friends.

There's a second half of the Stewart/O'Reilly interview scheduled to air tonight, although it will focus on the 2012 Republican presidential candidates, so Fox & Friends might not air portions of the segment at all. Selective outrage, indeed.

See the whole Stewart/O'Reilly debate here.

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