Fox News reporter challenges Ukrainian on-air comments

NEW YORK – FoxNews national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin couldn’t hold back when she recently followed a retired US Army colonel on the airwaves, saying she barely had time to correct all his “distortions”.

She tried, however. And it wasn’t the first or the last time.

Griffin, who has reported for Fox News Channel since 1996, has drawn attention over the past two weeks by publicly correcting or contradicting several Fox analysts and hosts about the Ukraine crisis. When Tucker Carlson suggested this week that some reporters are acting like flacks for the Pentagon, some interpreted that as criticism of his colleague.

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Meanwhile, former Fox host Bill O’Reilly singled out Griffin as a bold reporter who isn’t afraid to challenge others.

Griffin says her efforts are consistent with what she has always tried to do for 25 years, both on the air and behind the scenes at Fox News.

“I think you want your experts, in today’s media environment, to be passionate about what they know and feel about the facts,” said Steve Krakauer, author of The Fourth. Watch, a media newsletter with a conservative view. “I want them to be in history.”

Griffin knows her beat as much as anyone in journalism, and her real-time fact checks are a valuable public service, as long as she doesn’t get caught up in the mud of partisan debate, he said. Thursday.

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Griffin pushed back on comments from Sean Hannity, Steve Doocy, Harris Faulkner and Greg Gutfeld during appearances on their own shows. After Hannity criticized President Joe Biden on Ukraine policy, Griffin noted that every president since the fall of the Soviet Union has made mistakes there. Doocy argued on “Fox & Friends” that sanctions haven’t worked against Russia; Griffin said it was too early to tell.

When Faulkner also asked if sanctions were enough of a step, Griffin said sending troops to the area would have given Putin an excuse to invade. She said it was “not a fuss situation” when Gutfeld suggested on “The Five” that the Ukraine crisis was fabricated.

On Sunday, she clashed with retired US Army Brigadier General Don Bolduc after he said it “amazes me” that the US hasn’t already done “everything” on the ‘Ukraine. Griffin said Bolduc was a politician, not a history student.

“To suggest that the United States would launch indirect fire or special ops or the CIA on the ground to give Putin any excuse to expand this conflict is extremely dangerous talk at a time like this,” Griffin said.

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Earlier today, she was interviewed by Trey Gowdy after an appearance by retired US Army Col. Doug Macgregor, who urged the US to stay out of Ukraine and not ship to her. of weapons. He said the Russians should be allowed to annex the part of Ukraine that interests them the most.

When Griffin followed up, she said she needed to correct some of what Macgregor said, “and I’m not sure 10 minutes is enough because there’s so much distortion.” She said Macgregor sounded like a Putin apologist. “That kind of projection of withdrawal and weakness is what made Putin believe he could settle in a sovereign country,” she said.

Macgregor, in a later radio appearance, criticized Griffin for offering a “standard neo-con narrative” drawing a comparison to the 1930s appeasement of Adolf Hitler. He called it a “tired trope” that had nothing to do with today’s people and events.

Two days after appearing on Gowdy’s show, Macgregor was guest starred by Tucker Carlson in prime time. Carlson’s show is usually the most-watched show on Fox.

“Unlike so many so-called reporters you see on TV, he’s not secretly acting as a flack for (Defense Secretary) Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon,” Carlson said in his introduction. “No, Doug Macgregor is an honest man.”

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Was that a hit on Griffin? Carlson did not specify which reporters he was referring to, and Fox News did not provide clarification. He hasn’t been afraid to confront colleagues in the past; Carlson and Shepard Smith had a memorable tiff before Smith left the network in 2019.

Griffin, who is based at the Pentagon and has worked in Moscow and Jerusalem for Fox, has a reputation for being knowledgeable and a straight shooter, said David Lapan, a former Pentagon spokesman who has dealt with her professional in several national security functions.

Much of her reporting for her employer is done behind the scenes, Lapan said. He thinks her recent live patches indicate how much she cares about the issues at hand.

“I hope there will be no retaliation because she is doing the right thing,” Lapan said. “The stakes are too high.”

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Fox News Media, in a statement, said “we are incredibly proud of Jennifer Griffin and her excellent reporting, and all of our reporters and talent covering this story on our platforms.”

O’Reilly, on his webcast, praised Griffin and said newscast “propagandists” aren’t challenged often enough, according to The Wrap.

Fox would not make Griffin available for an interview. She appeared on Fox’s “Media Buzz” on Sunday, where she told host Howard Kurtz she didn’t believe her role at Fox News had changed.

“I’m here to check the facts, because,” she said. “My job is to try to find out the truth as best I know it. I share this information internally, so our network can be more accurate. That’s what I’ve always done.”

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