Fox News has promoted Greg Kelly to be its new White House correspondent. Kelly, by the way, is the son of the NYPD commissioner.
And, unlike his colleague Major Garrett, Kelly is an actual major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. This, to us, raises an interesting question: Can someone in the military objectively cover his Commander-in-Chief?
In addition to his three years at Fox News, Kelly is a veteran reporter and airman. During nine years as a fighter pilot in the Marines, Kelly racked up 158 aircraft carrier landings and even flew over missions over Iraq enforcing the “No Fly Zone.” He currently holds the rank of Major in the Marine Corp Reserves.
And while that military experience certainly came in handy during the Iraq War–Kelly was embedded with the 3rd Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade and was the first report to broadcast pictures of Baghdad’s fall–it seems a rather glaring conflict on the White House beat.
How objectively can he do his job when the White House will be constantly making decisions that could bear on whether Kelly is called up for active duty and sent to war? Then there’s that little question of since the President is Kelly’s supreme commander, will Kelly have to salute the President in certain situations?
Will Kelly offer an on-air disclosure when he covers military matters? Should he? Has Fox discussed this potential conflict with him?
For the historians out there, has an active reservist ever covered the presidency before for a major outlet?
> An emailer adds, how will Kelly handle the next time Bush meets with the reporter’s own father? Will he have to say, “Today President Bush met with Mayor Bloomberg and my dad”?
> Another White House scribe chimes in: “Par for the course from Fox. What do you expect? No presumption of objectivity there. At least the conflict of interest is obvious in this case.”