On Wednesday night’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel, conservative blogger Michelle Malkin and Fox News contributor Juan Williams got into something of a nasty debate complete with professional and personal attacks.
Malkin, in discussing the allegations of intelligence leaks coming from the Obama White House to benefit the president politically, took issue with Williams’ defense that these allegations were purely politically motivated.
“Maybe Juan Williams could stick to the year 2012,” Malkin said. “For a second, David Sanger who’s The New York Times’ reporter who reported the story said, he said that the Obama administration explicitly did not stop him from running the story. It was clearly a strategic leak to aggrandize Obama at a time when he has been under fire from both the right, the left, the center. It’s been a very bad week and very bad month for Barack Obama. These articles came out to fluff his feathers and make him look good at the expense of National Security. And all you can do Juan, is say ‘Plame, Plame, Plame and blame, blame, blame, Bush, Bush, Bush.’”
But it was Williams’ response to Malkin’s remarks that stirred the controversy beyond just intelligence leaks in which he seemed to minimalize the role bloggers have played in laying out the narrative:
WILLIAMS: Listen, I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what, Michelle, I’m a real reporter, I am not a blogger. Let me tell you something, the reporters go to officials and — hang on, please. In a free society —
MALKIN: Right, because I’m not a real reporter.
WILLIAMS: And reporters go and talk to officials and that’s not classified. In a free society, we want to know what the government’s doing. We want to make decisions. Now, with regard to the stuff that Sean is talking about, when you look, for example at the cyber warfare effort, that’s a constantly evolving thing. It’s not been the case that nobody knows about it. Everybody has talked about it.
Later, Malkin responded to Williams critique and expressed frustration on behalf of the American people with the journalist class.
“If I could just say something, the American people are sick of the kind of snotty condescension from liberal elite journalists like Juan Williams who tell us that the rest of us are not doing our jobs,” Malkin said. “When the point is, that on February 2, 2009, when Eric Holder was shamefully approved and nominated and approved to be attorney general, he had already had a long record of bastardizing national security and the rule of law. People like — yes, exactly! And people like Joseph Connor whose father was murdered by an FALN terrorists and said at the time, and I quote, “Before this nomination, warning Republicans, that Eric Holder did not have the judgment, value or characters to hold that office.”