Before joining The View, Abby Huntsman spent three years at Fox News as an occasional co-host of Fox & Friends Weekend. Even she thinks the network crossed a red line by reportedly spiking the Stormy Daniels hush-money story before Donald Trump was elected in 2016.
On Monday, The New Yorker published a bombshell report from Jane Mayer that detailed how, among other things, Fox News declined to run a story from reporter Diana Falzone, who had obtained proof that Trump engaged in an extramarital affair with porn star Stormy Daniels shortly after the birth of his youngest son, Barron.
“So much for the free press,” Joy Behar quipped. “Does this prove that Fox News is just a mouthpiece for the Trump administration or what?”
In response, guest co-host Bari Weiss from The New York Times’ opinion page, asked “Didn’t we already know that?”
“It does show that there’s this incredible notion that Fox News has become, I guess, state-run television,” Sunny Hostin added. “I wonder if you can trust the journalism that’s coming out of Fox News now and I think what worries me is that you do have some good journalists there, Chris Wallace being one of them. So what does that do to someone like Chris Wallace, who I think tries really hard to get it right?”
When it was Huntsman’s turn to weigh in, she began by defending her former employer. Explaining that she worked on both the “news” and “opinion” sides of Fox, she said, “You have to separate the two.”
“If you’re going to turn on Sean Hannity at night, you know you’re going to get, probably, stuff supporting Trump. That’s his take,” Huntsman continued. “But the news side of Fox, they take very, very seriously there.” She called Falzone in particular a “wonderful reporter.”
“If this story is true, and there are many reasons to believe it is based off the piece, that is a real, real problem for Fox,” she added. “And it’s a problem for the journalists that work there that want to break these stories. That is why they’re there, to do their job. That is the biggest part of this story, and if it comes out to be true, they’ve got a real problem on their hands.”
Then it was Meghan McCain’s turn. McCain, who also spent time working at Fox News, immediately began to create a false equivalency with CNN.
“I would make the same argument about CNN commentators,” McCain said. “There’s a lot of times that I don’t know the difference between an opinion host and a journalist on CNN as well. So I think this is a systemic problem with journalism in general.”
The difference is that no one is suggesting CNN killed a major scoop about Hillary Clinton to help her win the presidential election.