Let the name-calling begin: Fox News fires back at MSNBC

Phil Griffin
MSNBC President Phil Griffin – Photo Credit HollywoodReporter.com

In the aftermath of the failed attempt to expand background checks on gun sales in the U.S. Senate, President Obama held a late-afternoon press conference Wednesday to express his dissatisfaction.

Broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC interrupted their regular programming to carry the press conference, as did MSNBC and CNN. Fox News did not, the Huffington Post reported.

MSNBC President Phil Griffin wasted little time in criticizing Fox News over that decision. It was “a disgrace,” Griffin said, for Fox to skip it.

Fox News replied, in effect, by calling MSNBC a disgrace.

As reported on TV Newser, Fox News responds: “Phil’s network of partisan pundits have to rely on the talents of Brian Williams and NBC News to cover basic news events. So him calling anything a disgrace in regards to news coverage is ironic considering he oversees one daily.”

Fox News did cut into its regular programming, “The Five,” to air a portion of Obama’s comments, but returned to the show shortly thereafter, prompting co-host Greg Gutfeld to ask, “That’s all we are doing?”

Gutfeld commented on that decision at the end of the hour, saying: “I want to apologize, I think that should have been handled better.”

Fox News Executive VP of news, Michael Clemente, released a statement of his own, as reported by Mediaite, explaining the network’s decision to run very little of the speech:

“Fox News has reported all sides of the gun debate — at length since well before the tragedy in Newtown, and we will continue to do so. Yesterday’s decision not carry the president’s statement live, was made when we received the following from the White House press office: ‘THE PRESIDENT delivers a statement on common sense measures to reduce gun violence.’ We’ve carried and reported on numerous Presidential speeches and ideas for reducing gun violence, as well as those from influentials on the other side of the issue.”

Tom Tillison

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