On Fox and Friends yesterday, the hosts spoke with Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace about the tone in Washington following shocking violence against public officials in Arizona, and President Obama’s plea to “use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.” Wallace said that, indeed, he was hoping for a more constructive dialogue: “You don’t have to call the other side socialists, or fascists, or whatever. And maybe the tone — maybe we can agree, or disagree, more agreeably.”
Perhaps Fox News will listen to one of its most prominent and popular hosts. But there’s a lot of work to do. Here is just a small sampling of Fox News hosts and guests freely tossing the slings and arrows of “socialist” and “fascist” at Democrats and other liberal targets:
A debate over tone, though a small-scale one, does seem to be emerging on the right. Wallace, in pleading for a more agreeable tone, may have been responding to Rush Limbaugh — who attacked Wallace and Charles Krauthammer this week for praising Obama’s speech in Tuscon. “They were slobbering over it for the predictable reasons,” Limbaugh said. “It was smart, it was articulate, it was oratorical. It was, it was all the things the educated, ruling class wants their members to be and sound like.”
Fox News actually played the clip for Krauthammer yesterday, and Krauthammer joined Wallace in gently pushing back against Limbaugh’s vitriol: “As one of the three slobberers…I find it interesting that only the ruling class wants a president who is smart articulate and oratorical in delivering a funeral oration,” he said.