Fox & Friends criticized the White House for releasing an online video featuring Elena Kagan “in her own words,” claiming that the interview should have been conducted “with a journalist” and that the White House is using the Internet “to avoid traditional interviews.” In doing so, Fox completely obscured the fact that it is reportedly “standard practice” for a Supreme Court nominee to deny interviews to journalists before the confirmation hearings.
Fox on Kagan video: "[T]hey're kind of fooling people into thinking this is her first interview"; “Make it with a journalist”
Briggs criticizes WH for not asking “hard-hitting” questions in “first interview” with Kagan. On the May 12 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, guest co-host Dave Briggs reported that the White House was “releasing their own video -- what they call the first interview with Elena Kagan” and added: “So if you're looking for hard-hitting questions, if you're looking for her stance on issues -- how about why she banned the military from Harvard? -- don't look for this blog, because there is really nothing hard hitting about it, as you might expect.” Briggs also said there was “no precedent” for the video.
Kilmeade says WH should have made Kagan's “first interview” “with a journalist.” Co-host Brian Kilmeade later added, “In a way, I feel as though they're kind of fooling people into thinking this is her first interview,” and suggested the White House should "[m]ake it with a journalist." Briggs then asked whether Kagan will “do any other interviews.”
During the segment, on-screen graphics stated, " 'Interview' riles reporters," and, “Controlling the message? WH using web to avoid traditional interviews.” From Fox & Friends:
But it is reportedly “standard practice” for nominees not to talk to press before confirmation hearings
Washington Examiner: “Standard practice” for White House to shield nominees before confirmation. The Washington Examiner reported on the video and noted that "[i]t's standard practice around the White House (going back administrations) for any big nominee pending confirmation to stay away from interviews and unscripted public utterances until the voting is over. It keeps things tidy and minimizes variables. No biggie."
CBS News: "[I]t seems to be unprecedented for the nominee to be heard from at all before the confirmation hearings." A CBS News article on how the video “rile[d] reporters” stated that, "[s]till, it's worth noting that it seems to be unprecedented for the nominee to be heard from at all before the confirmation hearings, other than in the initial introduction and in brief photo ops with senators."
Briggs' “hard-hitting” question on military recruiters is based on a falsehood
Briggs said that a “hard-hitting” question would be “why she banned the military from Harvard.” During the segment, Briggs said: “So if you're looking for hard-hitting questions, if you're looking for her stance on issues -- how about why she banned the military from Harvard? -- don't look for this blog, because there is really nothing hard hitting about it, as you might expect.”
In fact, Harvard law students had access to military recruiters throughout Kagan's tenure as dean. Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted that Harvard students had access to military recruiters during her entire tenure as dean and that Kagan consistently followed the law. Moreover, Harvard's data show that her actions did not adversely affect military recruitment.