Dan Shelley, executive director of the Radio Television Digital News Association, took to USA Today to call out Fox News Channel for its interviews with President Donald Trump -- conducted by Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson -- following his joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but praised Chris Wallace's one-on-one with Putin.
In an op-ed Wednesday (July 18), Shelley pulled no punches, explaining that "as the leader of the country’s largest association of broadcast and digital journalists," it was his job to "to call out opinion media professionals" like Hannity and arlson.
Fox News signaled there has always been a distinction between its commentators and its news folk.
Shelley called Carlson a sycophant and said Hannity had interviewed the President while wearing rose-colored glasses.
"Following the summit, media professionals from the president's favorite network — Fox News — presented the public with examples of how true journalism differs from opinion media coverage," Shelley said.
But that was because FNC also offered its own "true journalism" in the form of Chris Wallace's interview with Putin, he suggested.
"Wallace was unrelenting, asking the questions many U.S. public officials had been clamoring for Trump to ask," Shelley wrote. "It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t pretty, but it was responsible journalism. Most important, Wallace avoided becoming part of the commentary by following the journalistic process."
A Fox spokesperson responded to the op-ed, saying, "For its entire existence, Fox News has maintained a news division alongside opinion programming units with completely separate parameters – we’re not sure where Mr. Shelley has been for the past 22 years."