In a Nov. 21 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard touts how Newt Gingrich said he would not participate in a debate that had MSNBC's Chris Matthews or Keith Olbermann moderating, claiming they would be "relentlessly hostile." But Sheppard conveniently omitted a statement by Olbermann in the Mediaite article he links to as a source for the Gingrich comment that he has never moderated a GOP debate.
Sheppard updated his post to link to a NewsBusters post about a May 2007 GOP presidential debate in which Matthews served as a moderator, claiming that he "asking really silly questions." Asking silly questions, however, is not the same as asking "relentlessly hostile" questions, which Gingrich seemed to accuse Matthews of doing. Even Brent Baker, who wrote the 2007 post, couldn't come up with any genuinely hostile questions from Matthews, instead complaining that he was "bizarrely attacking White House aide Karl Rove and favorite target Scooter Libby."
Indeed, as Media Matters' Jamison Foser points out (and Baker doesn't), Matthews did lob the softball questions Gingrich seems to prefer during that 2007 debate.
But where's the hypocrisy, you ask? Well, back in 2007, Sheppard was uncritically repeating how Bill O'Reilly "was none too pleased" about how Democratic presidentical candidates pulled out of a planned presidential debate sponsored by Fox News, an action that came after Fox News chief Roger Ailes (supposedly jokingly) compared Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden. Sheppard asserted that "Democrats succumbing to this pressure does not serve their interests of taking over the White House in 2008."
So, according to Sheppard, Democratic presidential candidates avoiding an allegedly biased news outlet is the result of succumbing to pressure, while a Republican avoiding an allegedly biased news outlet is a principled stand. Got that?