Topic: Media Research Center
The June 2 edition of "Fox & Friends," the following exchange occurred between the MRC's Brent Bozell and radio host Mike Papantonio:
PAPANTONIO: It's impossible to believe that when McCain went begging to Hagee for his endorsement and for cash, that he didn't know that Hagee had insulted millions of Catholics by saying that the Catholic Church was the great world whore. So there's no difference here. If you're going to treat Obama one way, you're going have to treat Obama exactly the same way.
BOZELL: Mike, there's a huge difference. You're talking to a Catholic here. Hagee did make those statements. Hagee subsequently apologized -- apologized unequivocably for those statements. It's -- the apology is something Jeremiah Wright would never understand, and Catholics accepted that apology.
This is, as far as we know, the very first time that Bozell has directly commented on the Hagee's claims. As we detailed, Bozell could not be bothered to even mention Hagee's comments at the time they were first made public, let alone denounce them, even though he had denounced statements by others he deemed anti-Catholic. Indeed, Bozell makes no effort to denounce Hagee here.
Further, Bozell's claim that Hagee "apologized unequivocably for those statements" ignores the fact that the apology came only after more than two months of criticism by the Catholic League and others -- criticism that Bozell and the MRC essentially ignored in order to protect McCain.
NewsBusters posted a truncated version of Bozell's appearance, so it's difficult to discern whether Fox News hewed to the template by not identifying Bozell as a conservative. As we've noted, in at least one previous joint appearance, Fox identified Papantonio as a "Barack Obama supporter" but not Bozell as a (de facto, at least) McCain supporter.