One of the few TV shows that I make an effort to catch is FOX News Sunday. If I'm busy I'll record it and watch it later. The interviews are first-rate but what really makes it great is its roundtable discussion in the second half of the show. It's invariably interesting and thoughtful.
Also entertaining. Witness this exchange between Washington managing editor Brit Hume and National Public Radio's Juan Williams. They were discussing the Nevada Democrat Party's boycott of a candidates' debate sponsored by FOX:
WILLIAMS: Well, you know, there's just no question, we live in an era of niche journalism. And in niche journalism, Fox is more conservative. And so what you have is a situation here where Fox is the new guy on the block. We're 10 years old.
And you have people then coming along saying, "Well, Fox is practicing a kind of journalism that is preferential towards Republicans or the White House." And I think it's more conservative and contrarian than anything. But that's all true.
But then it comes to the point where -- so what are you going to do? You don't like the kind of broadcasting that Fox does, although it's quite successful, has a legitimate audience -- people are listening and being informed on the basis of Fox journalism, and then you're going to say, "We're not going to play ball with them."
To my mind, that is contrary to the principles that should be advocated by anybody who says they're liberal or progressive -- whatever kind of language they want -- in this country. You want open and full- fledged, full-throated debate. That's what you want.
And nobody said that this wasn't going to be a legitimate debate with real questions that would put candidates in a position to offer real answers. They would be given time.
[moderator Chris] WALLACE: You're fired up.
WILLIAMS: Well, I think it's crazy that you tell the people [to] shut up. I mean, I sometimes have this argument with Brit Hume. I think he's trying to shut me up. But I think it should be liberals who are flying the flag for open and full-throated debate, you know?
HUME: Shut up, Juan.
WILLIAMS: Thank you, man.
I don't know if it really comes across in black and white; but let me assure you, it was hilarious enough that I paid the painful price of shooting hot coffee out of my nose.
Hume has impeccable comic timing. Unfortunately nobody -- FOX, YouTube or Google -- seems to have the video up.