Standard operating procedure

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE…. We talked the other day about Fox News’ Chris Wallace defending Bush’s presidency, insisting Nixon’s was worse because his crimes “were committed purely in the interest of his own political gain,” while Bush mean well. It was, to put it mildly, a wildly unpersuasive argument.

As it turns, however, Dick Cheney thought Wallace’s defense was, wouldn’t you know it, impressive. Matt Corley notes that Wallace appeared on Mike Gallagher’s radio show today, and talked about the personal appreciation Cheney extended to the Fox News personality at a holiday party at the V.P. residence last night.

In the context of the discussion, Wallace was bragging about how his appearance at Cheney’s home was more impressive than Gallagher’s, because Cheney didn’t offer Gallagher an exclusive.

WALLACE: Let me ask you this, did the Vice President say to you, “Thank you so much for defending the president and yes I’m going to be giving you a special exit interview in a couple of weeks?”

GALLAGHER: Did he say all that to you?

WALLACE: Yes…. Cheney was genuinely grateful for what I had done, and Ed Gillespie, the senior counselor to the president, was there and genuinely grateful.

So, here’s my question: wouldn’t Fox News have gotten an exclusive, “special” exit interview anyway? What Wallace did at the Frost/Nixon premier is what Fox News personalities have been doing on the air for eight years.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.