Things I’ll Never Understand

Not much that Fox does really shocks me, but I am always sort of bemused at the way they let their hosts interact with sitting members of the United States Congress. Here’s Bill O’Reilly and Barney Frank.

Barney Frank has been in Congress for 28 years. He’s the chairman of the House Financial Services committee. Generally speaking, media outlets would expected to respect such a person for status and decorum. They’d be expected to be “tough” on them, of course, but that has usually been taken to mean asking them questions that need to be asked, following up, investigating their statements, fact checking, and so on. You’d almost certainly never see anyone get away with screaming at a member of Congress the way O’Reilly does, particularly not one in Frank’s position. But this isn’t even a first for O’Reilly, or Fox. Here’s O’Reilly screaming over Senator Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and, at the time, a candidate for President of the United States.

And last night, following the debate, it was Sean Hannity and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida, the House Democrats’ chief deputy whip (I can’t find video).

Now I guess it’s not the biggest deal, and I’m sure it plays to Fox’s audience, but you’d think an outlet as sensitive to their perception of seriousness as Fox would want to clamp down very hard on stuff like this.