Fox News video bio on Edwards noted criticism of haircuts, legal career -- but Huckabee bio featured no criticism

››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

On the January 3 edition of Fox News Live, host Shepard Smith aired two reports as part of his "Before They Were Candidates" series: one on former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) and one on former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR). Smith -- who narrated both reports -- began the Edwards piece by saying "John Edwards took a lot of heat for his $400 haircut" and airing a brief clip from a YouTube video showing Edwards adjusting his hair while the song "I Feel Pretty" from the musical West Side Story played. Later in the piece, Smith said that "[c]ritics have called him an ambulance chaser." By contrast, the Huckabee piece included no mention of any criticism directed at him.

The video of Edwards grooming has been repeatedly shown on Fox News, as Media Matters noted.

From the 2 p.m. ET hour of the January 3 edition of Fox News Live:

SMITH: John Edwards, you know, likes to talk about the "two Americas." In fact, Juan Williams was telling me last night that of all the political speeches that he's seen of this entire election season, the one that raised the roof the most, that really brought people up was that speech by John Edwards. "Two Americas," one for the rich, one for the poor. He's lived both of them. He's also endured his share of tragedy and a lot of heartache along the way, even on the campaign trail. As a part of our series, let's take a look back before they were candidates.

[begin video clip]

SMITH: John Edwards took a lot of heat for his $400 haircut.

FEMALE VOICE [singing]: I feel pretty. Oh, so pretty.

SMITH: But, as you may have heard him mention, he comes from more humble roots.

EDWARDS: And it was a two-room house in a mill village in South Carolina.

SMITH: Seneca, South Carolina --

VIDEO CLIP: I was born in a small town.

SMITH: -- where Edwards was born on June 10, 1953.

EDWARDS: My father had to borrow $50 to get me and my mother out of the hospital.

SMITH: Edwards lived in five different towns before he was 12 years old. His family would move every time his dad was transferred to a new mill. They finally settled in Robbins, North Carolina, when Edwards was in the seventh grade. He was the first in his family to go to college , graduating from NC State. Then UNC law school where he met his wife, Elizabeth. They married in 1977, the Saturday after they took the bar exam. His wedding ring cost $22. Hers, $11. But they were soon living, as Edwards would put it, in "the other America."

They had two children, Wade and Cate. And Edwards made millions as a trial lawyer. Critics have called him an ambulance chaser, but he doesn't apologize for his success, saying he's always fought for the little guy. In 1995, to get over his fear of heights, Edwards climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with his son, Wade. Less than a year later, Wade was killed in a car crash. He was but 16 years old. Within four years, John and Elizabeth had two more children.

EDWARDS: This is Emma Claire and this is Jack.

SMITH: And in 2004, Edwards made his first run for the White House before becoming John Kerry' s running mate. Then the same day they conceded the election, Elizabeth was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Three years later, Edwards was back on the campaign trail when his wife's cancer came back. This time, it was treatable but incurable. John and Elizabeth Edwards, though, refused to let the disease derail their dreams.

ELIZABETH EDWARDS: It's unbelievably important that we get this election right.

JOHN EDWARDS: Both of us are committed to the cause. We're committed to changing this country that we love so much.

[end video clip]

SMITH: We'll have much more on all the front-runners before they were candidates later in this hour and tonight on the Fox Report, 6 o'clock Central time.


SMITH: The Huckabee campaign's hoping for some of those undecided voters to give him a chance tonight. There's a lot that you may not know about Mike Huckabee. He's been a guitar player. He's been a preacher and a marathon man. And today as a part of our series, we're checking out how it all began for Mike Huckabee. A look back before they were candidates.

[begin video clip]

SMITH: Call him "the other man from Hope." Michael Dale Huckabee, born here in Hope, Arkansas, 1955 -- nine years after another pretty well-known politician.

Huckabee's father, Dorsey, a fireman and a mechanic. His mother, Mae, an office assistant at the local gas company. Huckabee found music here in Hope. He says on Christmas 1966, his gift was an electric guitar straight from the J.C. Penney catalog. He says he played the thing until his fingers bled. Huckabee never really left behind his love for music. Even today, he still plays bass in his band, Capitol Offense. He's opened for Willie Nelson and the Charlie Daniels Band, played at two presidential inauguration balls. Huckabee graduated from Hope High School, the first man in his family to get a diploma. And he went to Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, where he married Janet, his high school sweetheart, and majored in biblical studies. He would go on to become the youngest-ever president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.

HUCKABEE: The joys of knowing Jesus Christ. The joy of knowing what it means to follow him.

SMITH: And you know if Mike Huckabee were to be elected to the White House, he wouldn't be the first preacher to make it there. James Garfield blazed that trail. Big-time politics began for Huckabee in 1993, elected Arkansas' lieutenant governor and a year later, governor for a four-year term, only the third Republican governor there since Reconstruction. He served until 2007, and Time magazine honored him as one of the five best governors in all the land, but along the way, Huckabee faced serious health issues. In March of 2003, a doctor diagnosed him with Type 2 diabetes and warned if he didn't change his life, he'd be dead within a decade. Huckabee took that warning seriously. He dropped more than a hundred pounds and within two years had completed four marathons. Today, Mike Huckabee tries to teach other Americans his lessons. He wrote a book called Quit Digging your Grave with a Knife and Fork. It aims to show folks how to live healthier lives. Just a little extra help, courtesy of a man from Hope.

[end video clip]

SMITH: A man from Hope is live with us right now. Sir, great to see you. How's it going?

HUCKABEE: It's going great, Shep. That was a nice piece. I appreciate you doing that.

SMITH: Well, we appreciate your campaign giving us some nice pictures.

Fox News Channel
Shepard Smith
FOX News Live
John Edwards, 2008 Elections
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