Ex-Fox News contributor Jedediah Bila found herself the lone defender of Sean Hannity Monday morning on ABC’s “The View.”
“I actually do think he’s good for America in the same way that I think Rachel Maddow is good for America, Bill Maher is good for America… The more opinions the better,” she said during a panel discussion about this weekend’s “CBS Sunday Morning” segment, in which Ted Koppel told Hannity that he’s “bad for America.” And as the conversation turned from Hannity to Fox News overall, Bila defended her former employer.
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg asked, “Does it not bother you that he has not really used very many facts when he’s sort of reporting?” Meanwhile, co-host Sunny Hostin said that most people don’t know the difference between journalists and pundits who simply offer opinion.
“Every news network within their division has opinion and then has news,” Bila said. “So you can’t equate Bret Baier on Fox News with Sean Hannity. Bret Baier is a hard-news guy. He does the debates. He’s not biased. Watch his reporting, it is not biased. However if you watch Sean Hannity, you’re getting a bias and he admits that.”
“Facts are hard to find on Fox,” Goldberg said as Bila responded, “That’s not true.”
Fox News defenders typically dispute assertions by critics that the network is right-leaning, often stating that aside from high-profile primetime programs such as “Hannity” and “The O’Reilly Factor,” the network airs mainly straight news. Bila made the same point after “The View” panel framed Fox as short on facts.
“You have Bret Baier, you have Shepard Smith, you had news people at Fox News saying, ‘That’s not representative of what Fox News stands for,'” she said. “I’m not here to defend Fox News as an entity. I’m here to defend news in general. There are objective people, there are opinion people, and in my opinion that makes for a better America.”
However, Bila defended the opinion programming as well, saying that it provides a forum for a widely held point of view.
Goldberg and Joy Behar repeatedly bashed Fox News during the segment, with Behar saying, Fox is “on [Trump’s] level.”
“Do you know how many people watch Fox News in this country?” Bila said after Joy Behar said that Fox News is on President Trump’s “Level.” “There’s a lot of people who watch that and there’s a lot of people who voted for Donald Trump that feel that represents their view and they’re happy that’s represented in news somewhere even if it’s in the opinion section.”
Fox News is the most-watched network among all of basic cable and regularly beats CNN and MSNBC combined among total viewers.
Check out the video above.