Three cheers for Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, and Byron York of Fox News, and for Rachel Maddow of MSNBC

Who would have thought that Fox News and MSNBC could raise us out of our funk over the hyper-partisan media and their destructive influence on political discourse in America?

First, Fox:  As hosts of the Republican Presidential debate Thursday Fox might have been expected to throw fat pitches to the favored candidates. But reporters Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, and Byron York* would have made the legendary Martha Rountree—creator of Meet the Press and no gentle tosser of fat pitches—proud.

Chris Wallace asked Gingrich about his entire campaign staff resigning, then asked Herman Cain about his claim that “communities have the right to ban Muslims from building mosques.” Byron York asked Bachmann to explain her statement that she was following biblical guidance to “Be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.”

And Baier may have settled the 2012 Presidential contest when he asked the candidates to raise their hands if they would walk away from a deal to balance the budget with a ten-to-one ratio of spending cuts to tax increases. I haven’t seen hands shoot up so fast since I asked in a staff meeting who could use my tickets to Sunday’s Redskins game. Every single candidate claimed absolute dedication to not raise ANY taxes, not even on the super rich, not even on Big Oil, not even on tax-exempt GE. And we know it because of Brett Baier.

And MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow turned away from hyper-partisanship to recognize the courage of four prominent Republicans who defied their party orthodoxy:

·       Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), who cast the sole Republican vote to avoid shutting down the Federal Aviation Administration, saying that it “just doesn’t add up” to waste a billion dollars in arguing about a $200-million issue (so-called “essential air service” to small communities)

·       Presidential Candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, Romney for his acknowledgement that “The world is getting warmer and I believe that humans contribute to that”; Huntsman for being the only Republican candidate to say it was right to have raised the debt ceiling and not to have defaulted on the national debt. The only one

·       Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), for labeling attempts to tie a judicial appointee of his to Sharia and terrorism because he’s Muslim “crazy” and crap. (Details here.)

It’s not the first time that these four ethics heroes of the partisan media placed integrity in their work above political leaning. But it’s a refreshing reminder that media values don’t always take a back seat to partisanship.

Hooray.___________

*York represents the co-host Washington Examiner, but often appears on Fox

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