The Five has never featured the sharpest analysis, but watching yesterday's segment discussing several gun-related stories it was hard to tell if the hosts had a firm grasp of the clips they themselves were playing for their audience.
Kicking off the show, Eric Bolling showed a clip of Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano testifying during Wednesday's House Judiciary committee hearing. Bolling showed a clip of Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) questioning Napolitano, then clearly suggested her answer shows she couldn't answer questions about Fast and Furious.
BOLLING: You look at that and there she is, the Secretary of Homeland. We didn't time lag, we didn't draw that out, that was her trying to figure out if she ever heard of it, ever talked about it, ever signed anything about it. I'm not sure what I'm more worried about, that she knew about or that she didn't know about it.
In fact Gowdy's question wasn't about Fast and Furious at all. As the clip Bolling aired indicated, Gowdy asked about whether she had ever approved "walking" guns generally in her time as a state and federal prosecutor, and then asked about the reasons prosecutors shouldn't approve of walking guns, drugs, money or any contraband items. Napolitano was understandably reluctant to make sweeping statements in response to the extremely broad questioning. Gowdy's question would potentially touch on decisions Napolitano made 22 years ago and basically a limitless universe of decisions made by prosecutors in numerous types of cases. This isn't at all the same as not being able to answer questions about Fast and Furious.
The error by Bolling was pointed out later in the segment by Bob Beckel, who accused Bolling of participating in a "witch hunt." Bolling then suggested he was talking about earlier testimony by Napolitano where she said she did not know about Fast and Furious when it was in operation. This doesn't get Bolling off the hook at all. If Bolling wanted to show a different section of her testimony he should have done that. Bolling clearly suggested the clip showed her unable to quickly and clearly answer questions about Fast and Furious when it didn't.
At no point did Bolling explain if he had any reason to believe that Napolitano would have been aware of Fast and Furious. DHS has over 200,000 employees, only one of whom is currently known to have been involved in the operation.
A similar episode occurred during the same segment when Andrea Tantaros implied emerging evidence suggests possible State Department involvement in Fast and Furious.
TANTAROS: We learned today that this possibly touches the State Department. Hillary Clinton was testifying. And it shows that under the arms export control act the DOJ was required to get a waiver from her department, the State Department and that didn't happen. This not only touching every agency in the administration, just about. I mean big agencies, State Department, ATF.
Immediately following that suggestion they play a clip of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifying that the State Department was not contacted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to coordinate actions in connection with Fast and Furious. Hillary Clinton's testimony indicating that they weren't contacted by ATF is somehow used to suggest a State Department role in the ATF run Fast and Furious operation.