Traditionally, many political news personalities who start out with sincere and righteous mindsets and intentions succumb to ego. Once a political talk show host realizes he or she has a great influence in what the public knows and how they view a politician or leader, the draw of manipulating the message to his or her belief system becomes irresistible.
In what might be a sad turn of events if it persists, that appears to be the case with FOX News heavyweight Chris Wallace. On this week’s FOX News Sunday, Wallace, couching the question against the resignation of two Trump Hispanic advisers, asked Trump supporter and former GOP rival Dr. Ben Carson about being a “prop” to lure in the Black vote for Donald Trump.
While FOX News is the preferred channel to all others when it comes to a more legitimate record of the news, as well as a more balanced argument on talking head shows, it is not without its need for sensationalist content. FOX, just like every other news outlet, is a for-profit enterprise, and it has to sell ad time.
Wallace began the accusatory piece of the segment by playing a clip of Jacob Monty, one of the Hispanic Trump advisers who resigned after Trump’s very well received immigration and border security speech. Listening to Monty’s words, it was hard to imagine he was ever fully on-board with the Trump immigration and border security platform. In fact, it was hard to believe he wasn’t a plant simply to affect the appearance of defection on the issue.
After the clip, Wallace asked, “Do you worry that you’re being used as a prop for black voters and that supporting Donald Trump will end up hurting your credibility in the black community?”
To Carson’s great credit and because he has fielded like-minded questions the entire 2016 general election cycle, he immediately deflected the question from a point of having to defend himself to a point of advancing the issue to a strength.
He did this by pointing to what We the People have been saying all along… it is not about one person, it is about this country, OUR count.
Wallace’s question wasn’t a question of substance. We learned nothing about the candidate or the candidate’s policies, agenda, or platform. It was a sensationalist question based in a personal aspect of Ben Carson, not Donald Trump. Wallace hadn’t invited Carson on the show to talk about Ben Carson the person—he invited him on to talk to Ben Carson the Trump surrogate and former GOP presidential candidate.
What difference would it make if Carson’s reputation in the black community was tarnished because of his political leanings? Were dyed-in-the-wool Democrats in the black community mobbing Carson with support when he was still a GOP presidential contender? No. So why would it matter at this stage of the game?
What difference does Carson’s politics make in the long run? If an inner city child is shot in the head during one of the many drive-by shootings in black urban neighborhoods every day, would that child’s parents care that Carson was a conservative or a Trump supporter or that Carson was the neurosurgeon working on their child?
Yes, FOX News has to dabble in sensationalist garbage in order to feed the appetites of those who confuse bubblegum for the mind as serious substance, but it has a chance to drag those people into an intellectual oasis as it does so.
Wallace’s simplistic pandering was an insult to our intelligence. It’s sad to see the degradation of a once formidable news journalist.