In the past, Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith were often described as voices of reason and sanity at Fox News. But both of them are gone — Wallace is now with CNN, Smith is with CNBC — and these days, the person who often finds herself being described as Fox News’ “adult in the room” is Jennifer Griffin. During the Ukraine crisis, Griffin hasn’t hesitated to push back when someone at Fox News pushes pro-Vladimir Putin talking points or makes the absurd claim that President Joe Biden is responsible for Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
Biden, in fact, has maintained an aggressive tone with the Russian government, warning President Putin that the United States and its NATO allies would respond to an invasion of Ukraine with tough economic sanctions. In contrast, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson has defended Putin.
Journalist Justin Baragona, reporting on Griffin’s activity at Fox News in the Daily Beast, explains, “Throughout Russia’s transparent and brazen march to war in Ukraine, Fox News hosts and commentators have unleashed a flurry of deeply cynical, hyper-partisan rhetoric aimed at attacking Biden for the invasion or even deflecting blame from Russian President Vladimir Putin. While much of this unhinged commentary has gone unchallenged on Fox airwaves, in recent days one of the network’s last remaining well-respected journalists has taken on the role of schooling some of her colleagues on-air for pushing misleading or downright false claims about the unfolding crisis.”
Griffin has been with Fox News since the late 1990s, and she spent three years in Moscow as a correspondent for the right-wing cable news channel. Unlike Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro and many other colleagues at Fox News, Griffin doesn’t spend her time mindlessly parroting MAGA talking points.
Griffin, Baragona observes, has “delivered well-sourced and timely reporting on the likelihood of Russia invading Ukraine amid an increasingly fraught situation in Europe and beyond.”
Faulkner: People told us sanctions wouldn't work, why was that the only strategy deployed? [Goes to dismiss Griffin]\n\nGriffin: I need to follow up on that ... \n\nFaulkner: We had options around in our NATO countries\n...\n\nGriffin: That would have given Putin the pretext he wantedpic.twitter.com/fQwcmaNB0v— Lis Power (@Lis Power) 1645722271
“Considering that Griffin has had to deliver some of these on-air reports during the network’s opinion programming, however, has resulted in situations where she has had to pierce the Fox News bubble of preconceived right-wing narratives,” Baragona observes.
When “Fox and Friends” co-host Steve Doocy claimed that the Biden/NATO sanctions against Russia aren’t working, Griffin responded, “Overnight, the stock market in Russia fell by half, 50%. This is just the beginning of what is being described as a ‘shock and awe,’ if you will, of rolling sanctions that have not even begun to be felt yet by Putin, by his oligarchs and cronies there.”
And when Hannity claimed that Biden was to blame for the Ukraine crisis, Griffin schooled the pro-Trump talking head, saying, “Sean, how we got to this point is a long story, and it predates the Biden Administration. It includes mistakes made by every United States president since the Soviet Union fell apart. Putin has been laying the groundwork to retake Ukraine for years.”
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