Like his colleague Karl Rove, Bret Baier is a master of the half-lie, or half-truth, depending on what you want to call it. He will carefully edit and parse his facts to leave a false impression, without flat out lying. A classic case, right out of the Karl Rove playbook, was Baier's defamatory smear against Howard Dean last night:
<blockquote>BAIER: Howard Dean made a definitive statement about this network's coverage of the Shirley Sherrod story in the initial hours of the controversy. Here is what Dean said Monday after his weekend appearance on FOX News Sunday.
HOWARD DEAN: I happen to like Chris Wallace, but he was really not being exactly accurate when he talked about we didn't say one word about this before the secretary of agriculture fired her. The fact of the matter is they were pushing had story very, very hard all day. It may be true that they didn't mention her name, but they sure did run the tape without mentioning her name.
BAIER: Well, Mr. Dean, let's take a look. Andrew Breitbart posted the Sherrod clip on his website at 8:18 that morning. Here's a look at programming on FOX News Channel that day, Monday, July 19, in fast forward.
Beginning at 7:00 a.m. on "Fox and Friends," there's no mention of Shirley Sherrod, no playing of the clip, not a single mention, not a single frame of that video hit the air all day.
By mid-afternoon, Sherrod herself said an Agriculture Department official demanded the resignation, telling her to pull over to the side of the road and submit it on the order from the White House because Sherrod said the White House feared she would be on "Glenn Beck" that night.
However, at 5:00 p.m., Beck did not run the story or the video, and neither did this show, nor did "The FOX Report." It wasn't until 8:49 p.m. eastern time when Bill O'Reilly ran that clip for which he later apologized.
But, again, that airing of the clip was two hours after the official announcement of Sherrod's resignation and at least five hours after Sherrod said she was forced to step down.</blockquote>
FoxNews.com and FoxNation.com began pushing Brietbart's video and impugning Sherrod Brown, within minutes after Breitbart first released his deceptively edited tape. Fox News, had been put on notice that Brietbart is a dishonest source who promoted the deceitfully edited ACORN tape. But neither FoxNews.com nor FoxNation.com ever questioned the veracity of the source, because Fox News does no fact checking. Dean's statement was factually correct. Baier's outfit was doing everything it could to make to Breitbart's video go viral online. He, like most busy people, check things online instead of sitting in front of a television.
Baier excluded the critical piece of information to impugn Dean to give Fox News viewers, who tend to be older and less reliant on the internet, a false impression of what was going on. Though he may avoid the flat out lies favored by Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity, he's no less dishonest, just more slick.
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