For the past two days, Fox News has been aghast that someone affiliated with Senate candidate Martha Coakley's campaign, Michael Meehan, allegedly "shoved" Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack to the ground while McCormack was pursuing Coakley for questions.
It's not entirely clear what happened, but shaky video shows McCormack following Coakley, losing his balance after some contact with Meehan, and falling over a metal gate. There's also a photo of McCormack splayed on the ground, with Meehan leaning over to help him up. Meehan issued an apology for the incident, saying he was "a little too aggressive in the confusion of trying to help the Attorney General get to her car," but that he "clearly did not intend to cause John McCormack to trip and fall over that low fence."
No matter. McCormack has since been on at least three Fox News shows -- Your World, Hannity, and Fox & Friends -- to talk about the incident, and a Fox Nation headline -- in all its "fair and balanced" glory -- declared, "Coakley Thug Roughs Up Reporter."
That's three shows McCormack has been invited on to sniff about how he was "roughed up" and "knocked to the ground," even though he admitted on Your World that he thinks Meehan "didn't intend to knock me into a fence and for me to go down."
But you know who else is famous for shoving someone during a campaign event? Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.
In January 2008, O'Reilly and a camera crew went to one of then-Sen. Barack Obama's campaign events to get video and a comment from Obama; at the time, O'Reilly was relentlessly goading Obama to appear on his program. At some point, one of Obama's campaign staffers, Marvin Nicholson, appeared to stand in the way of O'Reilly's "shot." O'Reilly repeatedly told Nicholson to "stop blocking the shot," but when he wouldn't move, O'Reilly reached out and literally pushed and shoved Nicholson. Don't believe it? There's video.
The shove wasn't hard enough to knock Nicholson over, but it was a shove nonetheless. And you better believe no one at Fox News made a big deal the next day about how O'Reilly, the Fox News "thug," "roughed up" an Obama staffer. No one except O'Reilly, that is. He talked about how Nicholson "did it on purpose" and is quoted as saying, "We're sorry we had to have that little confrontation, but no one on this earth is going to block a shot on 'The O'Reilly Factor.' It is not going to happen."
Luckily, there's been nary a word from him so far about the Meehan-McCormack incident. But maybe he should inform his colleagues that things like this can happen, especially when reporters are pursuing a candidate, and that they shouldn't spend all day quacking about it. You know, especially when there are large-scale humanitarian disasters going on.