Two questions on fairness in the media have become the focus of much discussion in the last two days. They both relate to Bill Clinton’s explosive interview on 24 Sept. 2006 on “Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace“:
1- Fair Question or “Kill Bill” Job?
Did Wallace ask a fair question “in good faith” or was he out to get Bill Clinton? Should fairness in this interview be also viewed in terms of th host's record and the political agenda of his employer?
Excerpt from the interview:
“WALLACE: I understand that hindsight is always 20/20. ...
CLINTON: No, let's talk about it.
WALLACE: ... but the question is, why didn't you do more, connect the dots and put them [Al Qaeda] out of business?
CLINTON: But at least I tried. That's the difference in me and some, including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now...
So I tried and failed...
So you did Fox's bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me. What I want to know is ...
WALLACE: Well, wait a minute, sir.
CLINTON: No, wait. No, no ...
WALLACE: I want to ask a question. You don't think that's a legitimate question?
CLINTON: It was a perfectly legitimate question, but I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of.
I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked, "Why didn't you do anything about the Cole?"
I want to know how many you asked, "Why did you fire Dick Clarke?"
I want to know how many people you asked …”
Watch video here
Text of interview here
2- Fair Use or Copy Right Abuse?
Searching for a video of the interview I noticed most sites linked to Fox News and very few copies posted independently. Fox’s copy is OK if you can put up with the advertisements. But I was a bit surprised at the lack of other copies given the storm created by the high profile interview (the highest viewership rating since capture of Saddam Hussein). Then I read this on Webloggin.com and the mystery was solved:
“If you haven’t been made aware yet you may notice that all copies of the Fox News Sunday Bill Clinton - Chris Wallace interview on YouTube have been removed …This was done via a DCMA complaint that was filed by Fox News Network, L.L.C. against the YouTube web site…”
Full story here.
Is Fox News justified in its action or is it infringing on the idea of fair use of material relating to political speech and public debate?
As for the first question, I think Bill must have watched George Gallaway's interview on SkyNews during the recent Lebanon war and learned a thing or two from it!
And concerning the second question, we should feel lucky because it is more hypothetical for us here, thanks to Big Brother ETSalad who has blocked YouTube and such similar cyber forums!
Still, worth thinking about it though.