QUOTE OF THE DAY…. As part of the opposition to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) union-busting efforts, thousands of Wisconsin school teachers called in “sick” last week, forcing several local districts to close temporarily. A handful of news outlets reported that some local physicians, sympathetic to the teachers’ plight, wrote doctors’ notes for educators who weren’t actually sick.
I haven’t seen independent confirmation of this, and I have no idea how widespread the practice may or may not have been. But as one might imagine, it has Fox News pretty worked up.
In fact, the Republican network is apparently outraged on multiple levels. Not only are they accusing the doctors involved of “fraud,” Fox News personalities are incensed that CNN reported on the story this way: “We have been told that doctors are writing notes for some of those teachers so they won’t be penalized by staying away from school. So, they are helping out the teachers.”
Last night, Bill O’Reilly asked Juan Williams to comment, not just on the physicians’ efforts, but on the two sentences CNN viewers heard.
“Well, let me just say, it’s important I think Bill just to establish: what’s the truth? What’s the fact? The fact is that’s outright fraud. Doctors are not supposed to make up an excuse for someone who is not sick. That’s just fraud. I mean, what’s next? You know, writing prescription drugs for people because you want to support their right to party? It’s just totally wrong when doctors do that. […]
“What it makes me think is that CNN may be reacting to Fox coverage or CNN just pandering and saying, ‘You know what, we think we are going to just side with the unions here.’ I don’t know. It’s puzzling to me. It hurts me to see a news organization get involved in politics to that level.” [emphasis added]
Look, I don’t know what happened with those doctors. If they wrote notes for folks who weren’t sick, claiming they were, it would appear to be unprofessional, at a minimum.
But to hear a Fox News personality complain on the air about a “news organization getting involved in politics” is just remarkable.
Fox News exists to “get involved in politics” at “that level.” That’s the point of the network.