On Fox & Friends yesterday morning, co-host Brian Kilmeade said that “most say serving your country and putting in over 20 years of service in the U.S. Army is honorable, it is heroic. But not to one Democratic congressman named Jim Moran.” Kilmeade then aired an edited clip of Moran saying:
MORAN: What they do is they find candidates -- usually stealth candidates that haven't been in office, haven't served or performed in any kind of public service. My opponent is typical, frankly.
Since this is Fox & Friends, where GOP candidates can always count on a friendly interview, Kilmeade then hosted Moran's opponent, Patrick Murray, a retired Army colonel, and asked if he found Moran's comments “insulting.” Naturally, Kilmeade allowed Murray to promote his campaign and attack Moran over his comments.
But a look at the context of Moran's comments shows that Moran was not criticizing or, as Kilmeade put it, “insulting” Murray's military service. Rather, Moran seemed to be making the point that because Murray only recently moved to the district and has never held public office, voters in a general election are less likely to know exactly where Murray stands on the issues. The Washington Post reported on October 17 that “Murray moved back to the district a year and a half ago, but also lived there for eight years earlier in his career.” And, Moran has clarified his remarks to explain exactly that; yet this information certainly wasn't mentioned on Fox & Friends.
Here's what Moran said during an October 6 Democratic forum:
MORAN: What they do is they find candidates -- usually stealth candidates that haven't been in office, haven't served or performed in any kind of public service. My opponent is typical, frankly. I mean, he moves here a year-and-a-half ago, he has a Republican primary against a pretty thoughtful guy, you know, very much more conservative than I am. But, you know, he had been clerk to Clarence Thomas and so on. But in the 11th hour, and, of course, is this any surprise that Mr. Murray's campaign manager is Mike Lane, not an unfamiliar name to us. But, you know, at the 11th hour he sends this thing out that his primary -- Republican primary opponent supports “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” supports gay marriage -- Patrick believes marriage is -- Pat Murray believes marriage is between one man and one woman and so on. Abortion - Patrick would overturn Roe v. Wade, ban government funding for abortions, ban partial-birth abortion, prior parental notification for minors and so on. And then criticizes his opponent, Matthew Berry.
Anyway, he sends this out at the 11th hour. This is typical. You go far to the right in a Republican primary, you win the Republican primary, nobody really knows much about you, and then you pivot to the middle. So now you look at his material and he says he's an independent. He criticizes both parties. It's hard to figure for him -- to pin him down on any of the social issues. And of course for 24 years he's taken a government check, because, frankly, the military still is part of the federal government, and yet his principle platform is to cut government spending. Now, government spending is one of the principle components of the strength of our economy. We're proud of our federal employees, and we support our federal government, and it is one of the reasons why this country is as strong as it is.
At no point during the interview did Kilmeade note that Moran has since clarified his remarks. As WTOP reported on October 25, Moran “says he was specifically citing local service aimed at Virginian communities, which Murray lacks.” From WTOP:
But Moran says he was specifically citing local service aimed at Virginian communities, which Murray lacks, he says.
“Whether it be a civic association or a (parent-teacher association) or a non-profit charitable group, nothing,” Moran says.
“This gentleman has not even voted in Virginia until last year when he decided to run for congress.”
Civic engagement is something voters should consider in addition to military service, Moran adds.
Kilmeade also conveniently ignored a statement from Moran commending Murray's military service.
Kilmeade's “interview” with Murray is yet another example of Fox & Friends' long history of hosting GOP candidates for softball interviews. And as we've noted, Fox & Friends has ramped up its campaigning for Republicans as Election Day nears.