Thomas claimed Dems held back on discussing attorney firings during '06 campaign, when most had not yet happened

››› ››› ANDREW IRONSIDE

On Fox News Watch, Cal Thomas asserted that questions surrounding the Bush administration's firing of eight U.S. attorneys "didn't surface in October [2006]" because "the left in the media -- but I repeat myself -- had enough scandal going with Mark Foley and a bunch of other stuff, they didn't need this." In fact, by October 2006, only one of the U.S. attorneys had been dismissed; the other seven were not dismissed until December 7, 2006, a month after the November midterm elections.

On the March 17 edition of Fox News Watch, syndicated columnist Cal Thomas asserted that questions surrounding the Bush administration's firing of eight U.S. attorneys "didn't surface in October [2006]" because "the left in the media -- but I repeat myself -- had enough scandal going with [former Rep.] Mark Foley [R-FL] and a bunch of other stuff, they didn't need this." Asked by host Eric Burns if he was "suggesting the media have all these scandals that they can throw in against the right, and they're just timing them," Thomas responded: "Absolutely. Just like those pills you take for sinuses. They go on a 24-hour period. Whenever you need it, it's there." In fact, contrary to Thomas's suggestion that the "left in the media" chose not to pursue the U.S. attorney story before the election -- because, Thomas said, they didn't "need this" scandal -- by October 2006, only one of the U.S. attorneys had been dismissed; the other seven dismissals did not occur until December 7, 2006, a month after the November midterm elections.

According to a March 6 Washington Post article, the head of the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys, Michael A. Battle, "called seven U.S. attorneys on Dec. 7 and notified them that they were being asked to leave. He notified then-Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins of his dismissal in June." Cummins ultimately resigned in October 2006.

Thomas also maintained that "the media are dominated by left-wing pinkos."

From the March 17 edition of Fox News Watch, which also featured regular panelists Jane Hall, an American University professor, and media critic Neal Gabler:

THOMAS: To stick with the media angle that you brought up, the reason it didn't surface in October is that the left in the media -- but I repeat myself -- had enough scandal going with Mark Foley and a bunch of other stuff, they didn't need this.

Now that we're into the 2008 election cycle, you have Tim Russert on the Today show on Friday morning virtually saying, "Yes, this is illegal, this is -- needs to be investigated." The investigation machine has been turned up. You're going to have a situation similar to the veterans and Walter Reed that we've discussed in previous weeks on the show.

It's not going to be the infraction. It's going to be the cover-up and who knew about it and didn't do anything. And that'll be the media story.

BURNS: But aren't you being a little overly conspiratorial? You're suggesting the media have all these scandals that they can throw in against the right, and they're just timing them?

THOMAS: Absolutely. Just like those pills you take for sinuses. They go on a 24-hour period. Whenever you need it, it's there.

HALL: How about an administration that provides this?

GABLER: How about an administration that provides one scandal after another?

THOMAS: That's true. That's another issue, yes.

[...]

BURNS: OK. The larger point: the Democrats pulling out because of their perception of this network's conservative bias. Cal.

THOMAS: Yeah.

BURNS: Good move for them?

THOMAS: Well, sure. I mean, look, the left has been looking for a media bogeyman for years. The right has had the corner on this: The media are dominated by left-wing pinkos, which I happen to agree with. Nevertheless, it made its case. So now the Democrats have figured they're going to get beat up on Fox.

It started in earnest with Bill Clinton's interview on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. And the Democrats had a meeting after that and said, "Hey, this is a pretty good tactic." And now they use this joke as an excuse to get out of a debate.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
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Cal Thomas
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FOX News Watch
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