If you’ve been a viewer of the Fox News Channel over the past week and a half and have paid attention to its coverage of the standoff between Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic members of the state Senate, you may have noticed the protest that has ensued in Madison, Wisc. has been less than hospitable to the cable news channel’s reporters.
On Saturday night’s broadcast of “Geraldo at Large,” Fox News correspondent Mike Tobin took some critical shots at protesters attempting to shout down and disrupt his broadcast. He told host Geraldo Rivera he has observed hate and an effort to shut out other viewpoints.
“One thing I think should make clear – the people coming after us from every live shot here, these people hate,” Tobin said. “These are people who don’t respect diverse viewpoints. In fact, they’re so afraid I’ll present a diverse viewpoint, that’s why they try to heckle me and shut down every live shot. They’ve made it clear, that what they want to make it harder for me to do my job. They are proud of that when they disrupt a live shot, when they really trample over the First Amendment rights or the First Amendment’s obligations of a reporter. Now, I am not saying that’s all of the people. Those are the people that come here and heckle and try to disrupt things. I look in their eyes – there is hate in their eyes. They don’t want to hear any kind of viewpoint that is different from their own. That’s why they do what they do.”
Rivera explained Tobin’s report was troubling, especially since Madison is the home of the University of Wisconsin, where one might think that in a university setting people would be more receptive to other points of view.
“And the sickest thing is many go to the University of Wisconsin there or are affiliated as teachers or some other positions with the university, supposedly a liberal bastion committed to the Bill of Rights and the United States,” Rivera said. “And yet, they are using bullying tactics on the one hand and then this gross interruptions of a reporter trying to do his job.”