On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume derided The New York Times' justification for revealing a Bush administration program that monitors international financial transactions. Responding to the notion that it is "a matter of public interest," Hume said: "Well, that can apply to almost anything. ... That applies to ball scores. And you know, I mean, women with their breasts exposed are a matter of public interest to some people."
On the June 25 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, Fox News Washington managing editor Brit Hume mocked The New York Times' justification for publishing information about a secret Bush administration program designed to monitor international financial transactions. Referring to New York Times executive editor Bill Keller's statement that "[w]e remain convinced that the administration's extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data, however carefully targeted use of it may be, is a matter of public interest," Hume declared: "Well, that can apply to almost anything. ... That applies to ball scores. And you know, I mean, women with their breasts exposed are a matter of public interest to some people."
Later in the program, Hume described Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) as not "serious" and "one ... of the adolescent members" of Congress who have complained about the newly disclosed program. Markey was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1976 and is the third-ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Homeland Security. At the conclusion of the segment, host Chris Wallace stated: "I just want to point out, Congressman Markey, the preceding comments were solely those of Brit Hume."
From the June 25 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:
WALLACE: Brit, what do you think of the program and what do you think of the Times' decision to reveal it?
HUME: I would say about the program that it's probably less important in some ways than the wiretapping or the phone intercept program. But I have to say that the case for revealing it seems even worse, even weaker.
The editor of The New York Times said something to the effect, it's a matter of public interest. Well, that can apply to almost anything. [National Public Radio correspondent and Fox News analyst] Juan [Williams] and I were talking about this earlier. That applies to ball scores. And you know, I mean, women with their breasts exposed are a matter of public interest to some people.
What kind of an argument is that for the revelation of a classified program? Look, we live in a country that has made a decision that there's going to be enough freedom so that editors get to make these decisions. One would certainly hope that the editor of The New York Times would have something more interesting and more compelling to say about why they chose to reveal this program and make its existence therefore known to the enemy, than what he said. And you know, you listen for reaction to it. Senator [Arlen] Specter [R-PA], who gets worked up over almost anything, he doesn't seem particularly bothered by it. He's going to look into it.
WILLIAM KRISTOL (Weekly Standard editor): Bill Keller, the editor of The New York Times, is not a member of Congress. He is not a judge. There is not a single judge or member of Congress, the two other branches of our elected -- our democratically elected government, who has complained about this program.
HUME: Yeah, there is. One or a couple of the adolescent members -- I think Ed Markey or somebody piped up about it, which is a wonderful example of, you know, nobody serious.
WALLACE: We have to take a break here. And I just want to point out, Congressman Markey, the preceding comments were solely those of Brit Hume.