Commentary too hot for Fox News
The cable news giant Fox News Channel has issued an on-air apology for a guest's comment on Hillary Rodham Clinton.
I suppose it was necessary, given the need to be able to interview the once (and future?) presidential candidate, and the need to avoid being tarred as abusive. Even if the comment was pretty funny.
First, the segment that caused offense, in which Turning Point USA's Director of Hispanic Engagement, Anna Paulina, likened Hillary to herpes, in that she won't go away.
Transcript via Grabien:
LEVENTHAL: "The President's lawyer Rudy Giuliani taking aim at Hillary Clinton, saying that she needs to be investigated again over her e-mail scandal and the 30,000 messages deleted. He tells 'The Hill,' quote, 'Of course she should be investigated. There is plenty of evidence that Hillary obstructed justice by destroying evidence in a gross and massive way.' This comes on the heels of a 'New York Times' report that the President wanted to order the DoJ to prosecute Clinton and former FBI director James Comey. Joining us now, Anna Paula, director of Hispanic engagement at Turning Point USA, and Doug Schoen, Fox News contributor and former pollster for President Bill Clinton. Good morning to you both. Happy Thanksgiving."
PAULINA: "How are you?"
LEVENTHAL: "I am good, Anna. Where is this all going?"
PAULINA: "I would have to say, with everything that happened with President Trump and the border, the Dick Act of 1903 established the ability for the President to federalize a National Guard and basically call forth the National Guard in times of crisis and national emergency —"
LEVENTHAL: "I thought we were talking about Hillary's e-mails, but we can get to the border."
PAULINA: "Oh, I'm sorry."
SCHOEN: "I will give you a reaction to that."
PAULINA: "Yes, I totally —"
SCHOEN: "I think it's only fair that there be a look at Secretary Clinton. I'm one of those who thought from the start we needed a second special prosecutor given what was alleged and what I think she's acknowledged she did. Let's give her the same sort of scrutiny that we have given President Trump. I'm all for finishing the Mueller investigation. I am all for starting a Clinton investigation."
LEVENTHAL: "I am just amazed that with everything going on in the world, we still have Hillary Clinton in the headlines."
PAULINA: "She won't go away. She is like herpes."
LEVENTHAL: "Okay, that is news that we are breaking here. Not appropriate. Can we talk about the border then?"
And here is the on-air apology:
Transcript via Grabien:
LEVENTHAL: "We are going to wrap this segment a little bit early because of some of the language that was used in the segment, and we apologize to our viewers to for that. I have one last question for you, Doug. Where are you going to be spending this Thanksgiving?"
SCHOEN: "I'm going to be with my sainted 92-year-old mother and family. And Rick, I wish to all viewers, certainly to you and to Anna, a very good holiday. And I hope for bipartisanship and amity going forward. We're all Americans after all. We want to protect our country."
LEVENTHAL: "Sounds good to me. Doug, thank you very much."
NEVILLE: "We are all Americans, and that is the focus and we want to reiterate that. We do not condone the language that Anna Paulina just displayed here and we apologize to Secretary Clinton for that. Fox News does not condone her sentiments. And we will be back. It's Thanksgiving, guys. Lighten up."
Turning Point USA is a youth-oriented organization, and the yong are sometimes less than fully immersed in the norms of their elders. I hope Ms. Paulina will not end her public career on this note, but will return to the public stage, a little older and wiser about the limits of cable news.