Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier gave pointed lessons in honest journalism and covering the Trump-Russia investigation in a one-on-one interview Friday with The Atlantic’s Mickay Coppins.
“Do you think that Fox has covered the news aggressively enough? Have you guys broken enough news on that,” Coppins asked Bret Baier about the Russia investigation. “I would like to break more, but I want it to be accurate news” Baier answered.
Media outlets, seduced by the ratings surges the hostility towards the Trump administration generates, has resulted in numerous embarrassing missteps and retractions. “There have been a lot of things that have petered out” Baier said about the Russia investigation. Or “that turned out not to be accurate.”
CNN was forced to retract an article in June tying Trump transition team official Anthony Scaramucci to a Russian Direct Investment Fund. When CNN realized it could not vouch for the claims made based on anonymous sourcing, the three journalists responsible for the article’s release were forced to resign.
The Washington Post corrected a false report in December 2016 claiming Russian hackers penetrated the U.S. electricity grid. Turns out it was just malware on one laptop trigged by an employee opening an email. The New York Times issued a correction for an article published on June 25 that incorrectly stated all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that Russia “orchestrated” cyberattacks in an effort to get Trump elected. The Times correction reduced the number from 17 to only three.
“When [Trump] does things like calling the press ‘enemies of the American people,’ does that concern you?” Coppins asked. “Of course it does” answers Baier. “Now on the flip side, I will tell you that there have been stories by some organizations where they’ve gotten over their skins. I mean, they’re clearly advocating [against Trump] and not covering [him].” Baier points out the media’s complicity in providing “ammunition to the president and the people to say it’s all fake news.”
There isn’t “a lot of love” for journalists right now Baier acknowledges, but said most are “just trying to do their job.”
As for his coverage of the Russia investigation: “We want to make sure we’re on top of it… we haven’t shied away from doing the story. That said, the original charge and some of the really heated rhetoric about it I don’t think has panned out as of yet” Baier said.
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