NEW YORK (AP) – Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith apologized for a “lack of balance” following a political report where the Republican candidate for New Jersey governor was interviewed and the Democratic incumbent wasn’t.
Fox correspondent Shannon Bream had wrapped up a live interview with GOP candidate Chris Christie on Smith’s afternoon news show yesterday when the anchor asked, “When will you be interviewing Jon Corzine?”
Bream replied that despite “multiple requests,” Corzine hadn’t made himself available for an interview.
“I didn’t know that was about to happen,” Smith then said. “My apologies for the lack of balance there. If I had control, it wouldn’t have happened.”
Fox has been enmeshed in a battle with the Obama administration, which contends the network operates more like a wing of the Republican Party than a balanced news organization. Smith has a reputation for being one of Fox News’ least partisan hosts and he’s angered Fox viewers with some of his stories, including expressions of anger at the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
During Smith’s second newscast on last night, a New Jersey report included a Corzine sound bite given to the Fox broadcast network’s New York affiliate.
The race in New Jersey is one of two marquee contests in 2009, along with the gubernatorial campaign in Virginia. Corzine trailed Christie in the early stages of the campaign, but recent polls show the governor has closed the gap.
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