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Chris Wallace interrogates and lectures Santorum on DADT

I was originally going to use the word “debate,” but when one party gets to ask all of the questions and has the advantage of throwing in “gotcha questions” it’s no longer really a debate. On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace decided the most pressing issue facing the country must surely be the repeal of the military’s policy on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT), which allows gay soldiers to serve openly in the military. Because everybody almost nobody is talking about it. I say this because in a 13-minute segment with presidential candidate Rick Santorum, Wallace spent over a third of the time asking interrogating Santorum about DADT.

Clearly, Wallace is passionate about this issue and wasn’t happy with Santorum’s answers.

Before you watch the video, read the following question/comments and heavy duty opinionating by Wallace, from the transcript:

WALLACE: Senator, you say sexual activity has no place in the military. Heterosexuals have been open heterosexual for centuries in the military without any problems. And you talk about gays not being given, that they shouldn’t be given special privilege. All of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the repeal of it does is say that they are given the same rights as everybody else has had forever.

WALLACE: No, wait a minute. Are you saying, you think that homosexual gay soldiers are going to sit there and go after the male counterparts in the barracks?

Wallace then reads a quote to Santorum and ask if that “sounds right” to him.

Santorum, smelling a rat, says, “Roughly, yes.”

Wallace, thinking he’s the most brilliant journalist since Dan Rather, hones in on his prey. (Santorum, like everyone in the viewing audience, knows exactly what’s coming.):

WALLACE: Senator, Colonel Householder’s[who is in the Army Adjutant General's Office in 1941, arguing against racial integration in the military]  and I read — Senator, I read Colonel Householder’s comments yesterday. Everything that you said, living in close proximity, sharing bunks and showers, being in close proximity, what — he used exactly the same arguments you use to argue against racial integration in the military in the 1940s.

WALLACE: I mean, it is a fact that your biology — obviously, it’s one thing if somebody is coming on to somebody in a room, but the sheer fact that somebody is a homosexual, are you saying — I mean, these are all volunteers. They are all defending to protect our country, sir.

************************

Great job, Chris. Did you miss any talking points from the HuffPo? Everyone who watches Fox News knows Rick Santorum is the social conservative. And that he’s against DADT.  THIS IS NOT NEWS. Setting it up with the gay soldier question from the [ancient news] Fox News debate doesn’t make it any more relevant.  We expect this from MSNBC and the ever passionate Anderson Cooper. We expect better from the Fair and Balanced channel.

It’s one thing (an appropriate thing) for a news anchor (or whatever Chris Wallace calls himself) to conduct an interview with a candidate and ask questions related to the candidate’s positions, votes, and statements he has made. It’s another thing entirely to turn the “interview” into an interrogation and condescending lecture designed to put the candidate in his place and explain to him (and the viewers) how backward – and practically racist – his views are.

That’s just lazy, lousy journalism and I’m getting awfully tired of certain Fox personalities treating social conservatives this way. When they treat Rick Santorum this way, they’re by proxy, looking down their noses at every SoCon in the viewing audience.

Meh. I can still turn the TV off and listen to Levin. Ratings are the only things these people understand.

(Fox wouldn’t let me copy the embed code so I had to grab it from another site)

Crosspost: What to Read Today

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