It’s been coming down the tracks for a while now, this business of Fox News trying to become just one of the big boys. Conscientious observers have noticed this desperate need for acceptance in large and small ways by Fox. But yesterday in the White House Briefing Room, a clear picture emerged of Fox kissing up to its competitors when correspondent Kevin Corke yielded his time to an NBC reporter.
Having an opportunity to question the Press Secretary is coveted and highly sought after by White House Correspondents. But when Sarah Huckabee Sanders called on the Fox newsman he yielded to Kristen Welker of NBC, who had already asked her question.
Of course, Welker wasn’t interested in the latest unemployment numbers – no, no – she wanted to nail Sanders to the wall with the latest leftist narrative about the president using a racial slur:
“Can you stand at the podium and guarantee the American people they’ll never hear Donald Trump utter the “n-word” on a recording in any context?” Welker said.
After Sanders answered Welker’s question, she called on Corke from Fox – but he ceded his time to NBC for a follow-up question. This is a highly unusual move by a reporter and can only be construed as either one – an attempt to try and ambush Sanders, or two – a way to ingratiate himself with either Welker, her network, or both.
Kevin Corke’s obsequious behavior is not new for some on the Fox News team, but his actions this week do stand out and are noteworthy. Fox still has some stalwart conservatives on their network in high profile time slots. However, it’s clear that Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity aren’t journalists as much as they are part of the analysis and commentary class.
The news division, on the other hand, has been desperately seeking acceptance among its peers – especially since the advent of Donald Trump. We saw it early in the 2016 election with Megyn Kelly’s atrocious question and then with Chris Wallace, who made it his job to interrupt Trump at every turn during the presidential primary debates.
Fox News anchor Bret Baier has his moments as well, like when he took on Kellyanne Conway last evening. It would be nice to say Baier was simply a tough anchor-guy, but considering Corke, former Fox news-babe Kelly, and Wallace, there is enough reason to believe Baier is a bit insecure as well.
Brit Hume, he’s not.
Even though Fox News has outstanding ratings, there remains underlying insecurity within its ranks. There is a fear that if they don’t cozy up to the other networks, they’ll be seen as Trump’s toadies. As any psychologist can tell you, insecurity can metastasize into self-destructive behavior. Thus, Corke yielding his time to NBC is akin to taking out a .357 and pointing it directly at his foot.
But he and his compatriots over at Fox News better be careful. First, they only have two feet to shoot and second, trying to become “one of the boys” may just mean giving up their premier position with conservatives.
And that would be more than self-destructive to Fox News; it just may signal the beginning of the end for them.