THE BLOG
10/01/2006 03:43 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

On Clinton vs. Wallace

It's about time we had more honest encounters between reporters and interviewees like the recent dustup between former President Clinton and Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace. I just think Clinton picked the wrong guy to go after. He'd have had a much stronger case if he were being interviewed by a more partisan reporter/commentator like Fred Barnes, Sean Hannity or Tony Snow when he was hosting the show. But to go after a guy like Wallace (the son of 60 Minutes legend Mike Wallace) who doesn't seem to have a partisan bone in his body just made the former president look silly.

But overall, I'd like to see more on-camera questioning of the background of journlists and the link to their prior employment as political operatives. For the life of me, I can't figure out why Republican politicians don't do what Clinton did when they're asked tough questions by former Democratic operatives like George Stephanopoulous who worked for Clinton and Gephardt, Tim Russert who worked for Mario Cuomo and Jake Tapper who once co-hosted Crossfire in the "from the left" chair. The same could be said for Republicans like Tony Snow when he was in the Fox News Sunday anchor chair or even Diane Sawyer, who was once a low-level aide to Richard Nixon.

There's no doubt that the background of a reporter shapes the questions that are asked. Politicians of all stripes should follow Clinton's lead and fight back against journalists with partisan, political employment in their backgrounds, raising the questioners pedigree and background so that viewers have all the information they need to make up their minds.