On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Rep. Michele Bachmann an unusual question: "The rap on you in Washington is that you have a history of questionable statements -- some would say gaffes," he said, mentioning her assertion that some members of Congress are anti-American and her claim that NATO airstrikes have killed up to 30,000 civilians. "Are you a flake?"
Certain bloggers took offense. Said William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, "If any of you thought that Fox News was a sufficient counterweight to the liberal mainstream media, think again." The uproar proved intense enough that Wallace posted a video apology online. "She seemed a little perturbed," he said, "but I think gave a good, strong answer. In any case, a lot of you were upset... and thought that I had been rude to her. But since in the end it's really all about the answers and not about the questions, I messed up. I'm sorry. I didn't mean any disrespect."
That ought to suffice for the conservative bloggers. But it seems to me that Wallace owes an apology to a different constituency too: Americans who aren't sure how we'll be voting in the 2012 primaries or the general election, and count on TV journalists to pose tough questions to candidates.