I’ve received a couple of e-mails on this clip, which brings up many issues at once. A Fox News co-host begins to cry when one of the mothers from the FLDS compound describes how federal agents removed her handicapped 5-year-old son from the El Dorado site and refused to release him back to her, even after explaining the necessary care he needs. Take a look for yourself:

This reminds me a little of a critical subplot in Broadcast News, the 1980s movie about telejournalism and the slipping standards of reporting. William Hurt’s character cries during a broadcast, and later we find out that it wasn’t exactly an honest response. Even if this was entirely authentic, and there isn’t any reason to suspect it isn’t, is it really appropriate for a news presenter to weep on camera when hosting an interview?It isn’t just an academic question. The FLDS sect stands accused of some pretty heinous child-abuse crimes. If those charges are substantiated, then the women Fox interviewed are either complicit in those crimes or brainwashed by sect leaders. A little emotional distance would seem more appropriate than to act out in the manner shown here, which biases the presentation rather strongly in favor of the women. The show’s producers brief their hosts on the subjects that will arise in the interview, and someone at Fox should have determined whether the host should have been reassigned.

Tags: Fox News