It isn’t often that a TV host gets caught making a major fact-checking mistake about a presidential candidate’s son. Andrea Tantaros made that mistake. It started with Ms. Tantaros saying “Curious, will your son George P. be joining the fight embedded in Iraq, Jeb? Oh wait, that’s right, he’s also planning to run for President.” That’s sloppy because George P. Bush served in Afghanistan in 2010. How sloppy was Ms. Tantaros’ statement? Exceptionally sloppy considering the fact that “it’s on Bush’s campaign website.” It’s sloppy it’s on his Wikipedia page, too.
When confronted with this information, thoughtful people, even journalists, would be expected to issue an apology. Ms. Tantaros apparently isn’t a thoughtful person. Rather than apologizing, Ms. Tantaros said “George P.’s service falls into realm of textbook special treatment for children of political dynasties.” That’s stunning. Ms. Tantaros is belittling George P. Bush’s military service as though there are token military assignments in war zones. Ms. Tantaros didn’t stop there. She posted a fuller statement on her Facebook page. Here’s part of Ms. Tantaros’ statement:
The men and women who choose to serve our great Republic are to be commended, but George P. Bush’s service falls into the realm of textbook special treatment for children of ‘political dynasties’ with direct commission and online classes, not exactly standard fare in the US military. His three weeks of direct commission training is far less than a Plebe receives prior to entering the U.S. Naval Academy.
I appreciate George P’s service – regardless of how outside the norm it is – but it most certainly offers no inoculation against political critique.
Saying that she appreciates “George P’s service” after she’s characterized George P’s military service as “textbook special treatment for children of ‘political dynasties'” won’t let her off the hook for judging anyone’s military service. It’s especially galling considering the fact that she’s never served in the military.That’s her right, of course, but it hardly provides her with political cover when she tarnishes the record of a man who served in combat.
It’s apparent that Ms. Tantaros won’t apologize for her flippant and disgusting statement. The next question is quite simple. Will her boss suspend her for her sloppy journalistic practices? Fox has worked hard to become a credible news organization. Ms. Tantaros’ statement is a hit against their record.
Ms. Tantaros has a history of cheerleading for Mr. Trump. At one point, a commentator asked if The Donald paid her salary as co-host of Outnumbered. It’s apparent that Ms. Tantaros sees her job to criticize candidates not named Trump or to constantly praise Mr. Trump. That isn’t how a professional journalist should act.
It’s just how Ms. Tantaros has acted, especially recently.