Fox 31 left out key part of Michelle Obama's remarks, called Bill Clinton "world's most famous philanderer"

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

During an August 22 Good Day Colorado segment reporting on a recent comment by the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, KDVR Fox 31 anchors omitted a key part of Michelle Obama's remark to imply that it was directed at presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Anchor Heidi Hemmat suggested that there "could be a bit of a little cat fight goin' on," and during some segments the on-screen text read, "Hillary vs Michelle." Further, anchor Steve Kelley called former President Bill Clinton "the world's most famous philanderer."

On the August 22 broadcast of KDVR Fox 31's Good Day Colorado, anchor Steve Kelley reported that "[t]he wife of [Democratic presidential candidate and Sen.] Barack Obama [D-IL] told an audience in Iowa, quote, If you can't run your own house, you can't run the White House, unquote." Kelley added, "She didn't elaborate, but her husband's chief opponent, of course, [Sen.] Hillary Clinton [D-NY], is married to the world's most famous philanderer, former President Bill Clinton." After repeating Michelle Obama's quote later in the broadcast, Kelley asked, "[W]as she talking about Hillary? You know, or was she -- I guess we can do the math. I mean, it's still a primary and ... they're focusing their targets on each other right now within the party." Anchor Heidi Hemmat similarly suggested that there "could be a bit of a little cat fight goin' on here" between Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Fox 31, however, did not provide the rest of Michelle Obama's quote. In fact, after making the statement that Kelley quoted, she immediately went on to discuss her own family -- not other candidates -- and the efforts she and her husband were making to ensure that their children will continue to "come first," as Media Matters for America has noted.

Indeed, after stating, "Our view is that if you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House," Michelle Obama continued: "[S]o we've adjusted our schedules to make sure that our girls are first, so while he's [Barack Obama] traveling around, I do day trips" in order to be "home before bedtime." As Marc Ambinder, associate editor of The Atlantic, wrote, one "recurring theme of her stump speech" is "the hard choices she and Sen. Obama have had to make about their work/family balance." The Obama campaign has since denied that Michelle Obama was aiming her remarks at Hillary Clinton.

Nevertheless, Kelley, Hemmat, and anchor Shaul Turner repeatedly implied that Michelle Obama's remarks were directed at Hillary Clinton. During several of the segments, the on-screen text read, "Hillary vs Michelle."

Fox 31 also made what it misleadingly called Michelle Obama's "apparent swipe" at Hillary Clinton in its August 22 "Question of the Day." According to Fox 31's website:

Barack Obama's wife, Michelle, took an apparent swipe at the Clintons during a presidential campaign stop in Iowa recently. She was quoted as saying ..."if you can't run your own house, you can't run the White House."

What do you think about this comment?

Kelley's assertion that "they're focusing their targets on each other right now within the party" and Hemmat's "cat fight" remark also echoed statements made on the August 22 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends, which Media Matters pointed out. While teasing a segment on Michelle Obama's comments, co-host Gretchen Carlson asserted that Michelle Obama was "taking off the gloves and letting loose the claws" in making what "some say ... is a personal attack on Hillary Clinton."

From the August 22 broadcast of KDVR Fox 31's Good Day Colorado:

STEVE KELLEY (anchor): It's a war of words, meanwhile, in the Democratic race for president. But this time the words are coming from a nominee's wife. The wife of Barack Obama told an audience in Iowa, quote, If you can't run your own house, you can't run the White House, unquote. She didn't elaborate, but her husband's chief opponent, of course, Hillary Clinton, is married to the world's most famous philanderer, former President Bill Clinton.

But that is our question this morning. As you hear these comments, that quote, what do you think? Was that out of line or right on target?

SHAUL TURNER (anchor): And, and who do you think she really meant it for? I mean, we, we can't say she was talking to Hillary Clinton. But make your own assumptions.

[...]

KELLEY: Meanwhile, it's all smiles here at the convention here in Denver. The race to be Democratic nominee, though, is getting a little ugly. The wife of Barack Obama told an audience in Iowa, quote, If you can't run your own house, you can't run the White House, unquote. She didn't elaborate, but her husband's chief opponent, Hillary Clinton, is married to, as they say, the world's most famous philanderer, former President Bill Clinton.

Which brings us to our web question this morning. Was that comment, you know -- a) was she talking about Hillary? You know, or was she -- I guess we can do the math. I mean, it's still a primary and so they're, they're, they're focusing their targets on each other right now within the party.

TURNER: Right. And I think this year -- don't you think this election year coming up that the wives have been more outspoken than ever before?

KELLEY: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

TURNER: On, you know, really launching some real, some real bullets out there to each other. So let us know what you think.

[...]

HEIDI HEMMAT (anchor): Do you think those comments were out of line or right on target?

KELLEY: Interesting question here. Man, I, you know, you've heard worse, but a pointed -- and Giuliani was talking about, you know, having his 17-year-old daughter be absolutely out of this race. Don't be commenting on my family. What do you think, though, about this comment from Barack Obama, Mrs. Obama? Mama Obama, I've said.

HEMMAT: Yeah. Yeah, could be, could be a bit of a little cat fight goin' on here, I think.

KELLEY: Well.

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