Politico's Smith: Fox News' coverage of Hillary Clinton "has been largely respectful"

››› ››› SARAH PAVLUS

In an April 10 Politico article on the decisions by Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama to not participate in a debate co-sponsored by Fox News, Politico senior political writer Ben Smith wrote: "Each of the leading Democrats has handled the situation differently, reflecting different relationships with Fox." Smith went on to claim: "Fox's coverage of the Clintons, too, while rarely warm, has been largely respectful, and appears to have retreated from the stridently anti-Clinton line of the 1990s."

In fact, in 2007 alone, Media Matters for America has documented many examples of Fox News personalities and their guests making false, misleading, or offensive claims about Hillary Clinton:

From Smith's April 10 article:

Each of the leading Democrats has handled the situation differently, reflecting different relationships with Fox. While Edwards has responded swiftly to calls from the liberal, activist, online wing of his party, Obama might have had more personal motives. His campaign has been openly hostile at times to Fox since the network aired an Insight Magazine report suggesting he'd had an extremist Muslim education in Indonesia. Fox later corrected the report.

Obama exited the Fox/CBC debate Monday with a low-key statement from his spokesman, Bill Burton, that CNN would be a "more appropriate venue" for a debate. And Clinton appeared content to be the last one off the debate roster, putting out a statement that didn't even mention Fox by name and seemed calculated to preserve the carefully nurtured relationship between the Clintons and Fox News' leaders.

Bill Clinton and News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch have emerged as allies at times in recent years, with Murdoch appearing at Clinton's annual New York conference, and Clinton even employing Murdoch's daughter-in-law at his foundation.

Fox's coverage of the Clintons, too, while rarely warm, has been largely respectful, and appears to have retreated from the stridently anti-Clinton line of the 1990s. Last year, Murdoch's New York Post even endorsed Hillary Clinton for reelection to the Senate. In 2005, Bill Clinton recorded a message of praise for Ailes for a gala at which the former Republican political operative was honored.

If Clinton's careful courtship is driven by a respect for the power of Murdoch's media properties -- which, in England, are often credited with having made Tony Blair the prime minister -- Edwards' campaign hardly cloaks its disdain.

Network/Outlet
The Politico
Person
Ben Smith
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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