On Aug. 17, PBS’s Bill Moyers criticized Karl Rove for cynically invoking Christianity for political purposes while telling others that he is an agnostic. Moyers called Rove “a skeptic, a secular manipulator.”
Two days later, Rove appeared on Fox News Sunday and took on Moyers’s criticism. “I’m a Christian. I go to church. I’m an Episcopalian,” responded Rove. “You know, Mr. Moyers ought to do a little bit better research before he does another drive-by slander.”
Then on Aug. 26, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace criticized Moyers, stating that he needs to do “reporting 101“:
If you want to find out about someone’s religious beliefs, a good first step might be to ask him. … Of course, you never called Rove. That’s reporting 101, but it would have gotten in the way of a tasty story line about a non-believer flimflamming the Christian right. I guess, Bill, reporting is easier when you don’t worry about the facts.
But on Thursday, Rick Byrne, Director of Communications for Bill Moyers Journal, wrote that the show repeatedly tried to contact Rove. It never received a response:
For the record, Bill Moyers did ask Karl Rove to come on BILL MOYERS JOURNAL, by fax and by mail. These requests were made before Chris Wallace responded on-air on Fox News Sunday to Bill Moyers’ letter, and we still haven’t heard from Karl Rove.
Wallace should have spoken to Moyers and asked him if he tried to contact Rove, before baselessly accusing him of sloppy journalism. “That’s reporting 101.”