It's been a while since we've checked in on how that whole White House "War on Fox News" was playing out in the trenches, between Fox News's news-gatherers and the administration's news-dispensers. Apparently, things are a bit chippy! At least that's the state of play between two guys you've never heard of: Fox's Pentagon producer Justin Fishel and Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell.
Over at The Line Of Departure, Jamie McIntyre has documented the blow-by-blow, which goes a little something like this:
Fishel ran afoul of Pentagon flacks after he ran this story about the decision to give Gitmo inmates the H1N1 vaccine, which "seemed to put the Pentagon at odds with the White House" on the matter. Bryan Whitman, a spokesman who was quoted for the story, wasn't happy about the way it played, and made a special point to put Fishel on blast within earshot of the other Pentagon correspondents.
The following day, this mini-skirmish of the thin-skinned was re-enjoined, as Fishel found himself in a spat with Morrell:
The next day, November 4th, Fishel was clearly feeling the chill from Morrell, who when Fishel attempted to ask a question, curtly rebuked him for interrupting, "Excuse -- Justin, I'm addressing this question. You raised your hand. I'm happy to call on you in some point in this engagement," Morrell remonstrated Fishel.
As Fishel patiently held up his hand up, Morrell ignored him, only acknowledged Fishel at the very end of the briefing, after another producer from a competing network, Luis Martinez of ABC, was called on and "deferred" his question to Fishel.
Fishel said, "Thank you. I've had my hand up the whole time," to which Morrell replied, "I didn't see you. I'm sorry. "
"I don't believe that for a second," Fishel retorted before asking and getting an answer to his question.
Here's a video of these ostensible grown-ups litigating their dumb personal grievances with one another in front of the assembled press, a sight that is sure to make you long for the days when people just settled these matters by dueling, with guns.
Is it cold in here? Or is it Fox? [The Line Of Departure]