Though I live in the Washington, D.C., metro area, I must confess I seldom watch local television news.
So I was not familiar with WJLA (Channel 7) reporter Doug McKelway until learning in a Washington Post report by Paul Farhi that he had been hired by Fox News Channel.
Upon reading this report, I got the impression McKelway was fired from the station last July for expressing editorial opinions on the air for, as the Washington Post reported, “criticizing Democrats and President Obama in a live report.”
Well, it’s not every day you see a TV newsman do that, so, curiosity got the best of me. I decided to search out the “controversial” report that got this guy dumped.
Tell me, do you see any editorializing? Do you see any criticism? Or do you see straightforward, factual reporting?
I’ve been in the news business for more than 30 years. I have quite literally done just about everything one can do in this business – from reporting to running daily newspapers to launching the very first independent online news organization in the world. I have to tell you, this is a straight news report. The only thing unusual about it is that the reporter accurately labels some far-left environmental groups for what they are and then points out the fact that Barack Obama accepted more oil money for his campaign than any other politician in America.
I had expected to see a wild man on camera. After all, this was a firing offense. And that’s the way it was portrayed by another newsman in the Washington Post, who reported McKelway was fired for gross insubordination and misconduct. Interestingly, if the Washington Post made any attempt to speak to McKelway, the reporter sure didn’t suggest it in his story.
It would have been simple enough for the Washington Post report to have provided some actual quotes from the “controversial” report that got McKelway fired. They, too, were conspicuously absent from the reporting. And I see no reason why the WashingtonPost.com, the only place I read the paper, could have provided the entire two-minute video clip for the edification of readers and viewers. But the paper didn’t do that, either.
So what I’m getting at here is this: Which news report was handled more professionally – the one by McKelway or the one by Paul Farhi in the Washington Post?
I would have to say it was the one by McKelway that got him fired.
This is a pretty good illustration of just how biased the news media in the U.S. are. Even when a reporter plays it straight, as McKelway did, he risks getting fired if the facts he presents make Democrats, left-wing environmental groups and Barack Obama uncomfortable.
Congratulations to Roger Ailes for having the good sense to hire McKelway. I would have hired him first had I ever heard of him before.
But notice the understated outrage in the Washington Post story about the hiring.
Fox isn’t just hiring controversial newsmen to boost ratings. After all, how many people ever heard of McKelway before Fox hired him?
What Fox is doing is more akin to what I have been doing at WND for the past 14 years – picking up the courageous, fallen news warriors off the media battlefield and restoring them to a place of honor, a place where they can practice their craft, a place where they can do their job.
Notice, also, that Fox is not just picking up so-called “conservatives,” as is implied by the Washington Post. Fox picked up Don Imus. Fox picked up Juan Williams. And, after watching more clips of McKelway’s reporting and interviewing, I have no reason to believe he is a conservative – which the Post states as fact.
There’s more about this Post report that bears mentioning.
- While the reporter apparently made no attempt to get McKelway’s side of the story (a cardinal sin of journalism), he did solicit the opinion of a left-wing activist from a website called Newshounds.org, whose slogan is, “We watch Fox so you don’t have to.” Newshounds was started with the help of Moveon.org – one of the far-left groups protesting the day of McKelway’s “controversial” report.
- Farhi mentions Fox’s decision to hire Lou Dobbs, a star anchor at CNN for a generation, but described by Farhi as “a liberal bête noir for his nightly criticism of federal immigration policy and illegal immigrants on his CNN show; he also kept alive questions about President Obama’s birth certificate long after the issue had been discredited.” Discredited? By whom? According to the latest CNN poll, 58 percent of Americans don’t believe Obama’s birth story. How have those questions been discredited? Has Paul Farhi seen the birth certificate? If so, that would be a bigger story than this one about McKelway.
Congratulations to Fox on what looks like a tremendous hire. And congratulations to Doug McKelway on the promotion he deserves for a job well done.