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Schieffer Says He “Would Have Asked” Holder About Black Panther Case If He Knew About It

This morning on Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz asked Face The Nation anchor Bob Schieffer the question Megyn Kelly wanted the answer to – why didn’t he ask Attorney General Eric Holder about the New Black Panther/DOJ story in his exclusive last week?

His answer: he would have asked it had he known about the case.

First, he told Kurtz that it is “certainly a question that is a legitimate question to ask.”

And here was the full explanation (our emphasis added):

This all really became a story when the whistle-blower came out and testified that he had to leave the justice department and so on, and frankly had I known about that, I would have asked the question. I was on vacation that week this happened, apparently and got very little publicity, and you know, I just didn’t know about it.

This explanation disproves the theory held by some outlets on the left, like Media Matters, that there is zero legitimacy to the story, and that Schieffer avoided the issue on merit alone. Instead, a respected, fair anchor’s belief that the story is both legitimate and worth asking about gives it more credence. And it only proves Kelly’s point about the mainstream media for Schieffer to admit he didn’t know about it because it got “very little publicity” – clearly, he didn’t look at outlets like Fox News or right-wing websites in his preparation for the Holder interview. (Update: Tommy Christopher brings up a great point – Schieffer could have just read Mediaite for our thorough and fair coverage of the issue all month.)

As for Kelly’s question over whether there were any pre-interview deals to avoid the topic, Schieffer disputed that notion. “That’s not true,” he said. “We never ever make deals with anybody.”

There is something else to note – that in the six days since Kelly and I first discussed this issue, the story as well as Fox News’ coverage has changed. First, the bipartisan panel has yet to make any recommendations for further action by the Justice Department – in fact, one conservative panel member thinks the GOP is “using” the case to gain political points. Meanwhile, FNC’s coverage has morphed from a story about a legal matter into one based more on race and racism. The focus on race over law only feeds into FNC critics’ beliefs, like you’ll see below, who have legitimate concerns about the potentially dangerous message being fed to Fox News viewers.

Here’s the Schieffer interview, and below, Kurtz asks about why Megyn Kelly is covering the story so much:

Here’s the segment, featuring Roland Martin, that touches on the Kirsten Powers argument and more:

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