“Fair and balanced” reporting

Justin Yost, Staff Writer

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I saw something on Monday night that I am having trouble to comprehend as a future journalist. First, off we are taught to be completely without bias early on in our schooling. We should cover the facts of what happened, and leave it at that. That’s why on Monday during President Donald Trump’s last day of campaigning before the midterm elections; I was shocked to see Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro of Fox News join him onstage and campaign for republicans.

I guess shocked is a strong word, as I could completely see these two “journalists” doing just that. In fact Hannity was advertised by the Trump campaign to be going on with Trump earlier in the day. Hannity released a statement and tweeted that he was only at the rally to do an interview of Trump afterwards and not there to campaign with the president.

Even if he was there only to do an interview as he is saying, and only going on stage after he was invited by the president, this is still extremely inappropriate for a journalist to do. Then for the first thing out of your mouth, once you are on stage, is to call all of the other networks there to cover the rally fake news. How do we know he was talking to the other networks and not Fox News? He tweeted that he was not talking about his colleagues at Fox, because they do their work in a fair and balanced way. Think about this for a moment. A man who did something, as a journalist, that is not fair and not balanced by calling out all of the other networks for being fake and not fair. Then leading the crowd in Trump’s campaign slogan. Hannity, who again was advertised to be going on stage earlier in the day, tweeted after the rally, saying going up was a complete spontaneous invitation from the president but he had no regrets about going up. Can you imagine if someone from CNN or MSNBC was onstage campaigning with Nancy Pelosi for the democrats. Both Hannity and Pirro would go on their shows freaking out about the fake news organizations trying to steal this election from Trump and the republicans. This is something that happens on a state-ran news organization. Which I guess we could say is what at least in part, Fox News has become.

Executives of the network released a statement saying they do not condone the behavior, and the incident has been addressed. How? How has the incident been addressed? Neither one was was suspended and neither one was fined. Were they even actually talked too?

Other Fox News journalists were outraged at what they saw. One senior Fox News employee told CNN, “People throughout the company think a new line was crossed.” A new line was crossed here, but it was definitely not the first. Hannity and Pirro as well as another Fox News personality Lou Dobbs, have acted as unofficial advisers to Trump. Trump admitted he calls all three, but mainly Hannity almost everyday after their show.

This was completely inappropriate and should be punished. If the executives or even the other on-air talent at Fox News do not speak up and do more than just issuing one statement with no public punishment we will be in an extremely dark place for the journalism field.

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