What happens when news anchors, or reporters for that matter, find themselves in the midst of a panel of opinionizers? That used to be verboten in The Cable Game but now it’s everywhere. CNN’s New Day anchors turn up in primetime pontificating on the topics of the day. On MSNBC the anchors spout opinion at the drop of a hat, so it’s hardly surprising when we see reporters like Luke Russert sitting in one of the liberal chairs on The Cycle. And Fox has Red Eye, The Five, and Outnumbered, all of which have seen reporters or anchors filling one of the chairs from time to time.
Of course some people are more circumspect in what they say when away from their regular post, and make a reasonable attempt to preserve their “impartiality” no matter the situation. Others are more fulsome. And some decline the opportunity altogether. Apparently FNC’s Heather Childers falls into that last category. When a fan suggested on twitter that she should appear on Outnumbered, Heather tweeted back:
Thanks! I’m more of a news anchor not opinion talker.
Ouch. One of Outnumbered‘s two permanent panelists is Harris Faulkner, who anchors the Sunday Fox Report, though on Outnumbered her role is to guide the discussion rather than take political positions. I doubt Heather was dissing Harris, whose journalistic bona fides are well established. But today’s panel also included Ainsley Earhardt, “anchor and correspondent” on the Fox News Channel. She has appeared in opinion roles on other programs, yet still functions as a fill-in news anchor on Fox & Friends. Was Heather Childers sending a little snark Ainsley’s way with this tweet, issued while Outnumbered, and Ms. Earhardt, were live and on the air?