If Fox News didn’t want to have a “political” conversation about former Vice President Joe Biden’s speech about the coronavirus response Thursday afternoon, they probably should not have invited two ideologically opposed pundits to debate it.
After showing viewers Biden’s address in full, Fox News host Harris Faulkner welcomed her “power panel” with a warning. “Politics aside, and we’re going to have to do that with COVID-19, we just are,” she began, “what would you say is the main takeaway from what the administration that Joe Biden says he would do?”
Without missing a beat, conservative talk radio host Chris Plante started attacking Biden for what he called “throwing money at the problem,” He called Biden’s address an “extremely political speech, a very polarizing speech” before proceeding to criticize the Obama administration’s response to the H1N1 swine flu outbreak. “And Joe Biden lecturing people about the use of the word China, the use of the word Wuhan is laughable also,” he added.
From there, Plante and his left-leaning counterpart Ethan Bearman started shouting over each other, accusing each other of telling lies and generally devolving into a typical cable news food fight argument.
But this time was different. “Gentlemen, please!” Faulkner exclaimed. “You know what, I don’t find this helpful right now,” she said calmly and the two men continued to spiral out of control.
“COVID-19 on the horizon, that’s what we’re focused on right now,” Faulkner said. “And I want both of you to focus in.” As they both chuckled uncomfortably, she continued, “I understand that politics are the game, but the bigger umbrella here is that people are watching for answers.”
Faulkner tried once more to give her guests a chance to discuss the differences in approach by Trump and Biden in a reasonable manner, saying that the American people will have to decide for themselves “what is best when they go to the polls in November.” But they just couldn’t do it.
“I’m going to step in,” she said. “I think you gentlemen got about equal time, we’ve had a lot of breaking news this hour so I’ve got to scoot.”