MRC’s Houck Sounds Off to FNC on Biden’s Disastrous Interview with ABC’s Stephanopoulos

NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck both began and ended the week on the Fox News Channel’s Fox News @ Night with Friday’s installment featuring a lead-off panel discussion of President Biden’s ABC interview with Good Morning America co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos with the presidency in peril thanks to Biden’s cognitive decline.

Houck told fill-in host Mike Emanuel the answer to Stephanopoulos’s final question about whether he’d feel for democracy if Trump wins was “the answer that really concerns” liberal journalists and leftist allies “even more so than maybe some of the cognitive” answers “about him forgetting whether he watched the debate or not, or where he pauses mid-thought and he moves on.”

Houck also addressed Stephanopoulos questioning with some coming off as tough on paper, but his tone was softer:

You know, George Stephanopoulos teed this up for him. George Stephanopoulos – a lot of these questions, he did ask some of the questions that needed to be asked, but I think some of them came from a place of concern, like he was a concerned son or grandson of Joe Biden, urging him to get out of the race and that was the last question of the interview notably. So, that was how the interview ended on a really bad note, not just from a cognitive standpoint, but from a policy standpoint, because this is the thesis of the Biden campaign.

Physician Dr. Houman Hemmati was also on-set and opined on Biden’s refusals to submit to independent neurological testing (click “expand”):

EMANUEL: [H]ow do you react to that comment?

HEMMATI: Yeah, that’s interesting. You know, look, as a doctor, I’ve learned how to do mental status exams. There is a full steam mini-mental status examination. It takes, like, 10 minutes to do max. You ask simple questions, remember three different words, count down from 100 by seven, subtracting 7, 7, 7, handful of other easy things. Read, a thing – a piece of paper that says, close your eyes and actually perform the task, et cetera. Why doesn’t he do that? I can do it right now for him on television if he wanted to. But he doesn’t, because I think they know what the answer may be. This is time for the person who is the leader of the free world to actually submit openly and transparently to something that is pretty obvious he is in need of.

Later, Hemmati and Houck also discussed the shocking piece published last week in New York magazine by Olivia Nuzzi entitled, “The Conspiracy of Silence to Protect Joe Biden”

Hemmati went first and said this “was obvious to people who have been looking at the President for quite some time” and argued “[e]ven several weeks ago, I tweeted that the President is exhibiting signs of Parkinson Disease, perhaps, or Lewy Body dementia”.

Houck noted Nuzzi spoke “to Fox Digital about why she made this decision to write the story now, when she had this information in January” and he “encourage[d] people to take a look at that, because it would – no matter what you think about it, it’s really disturbing stuff and these are the real anecdotes that really, I think, move the needle, because New York magazine is a really liberal magazine that a lot of power players read.”

In between, Emanuel asked the two about MSNBC host Joy Reid’s deranged Fourth of July TikTok video saying she’d vote for Biden even if he was in a coma.

Houck lampooned Reid for spending her day off worrying about Trump:

Joy Reid? On her TikTok? On the Fourth of July? Mike, I mean, this is what some of these people do with their free time. Where they are sitting around, thinking about Donald Trump. It reminds me a few years ago, Ana Navarro from CNN and The View was skiing, and Utah or Colorado, and something, and she was trying to – saying, I’m trying to have a good time, but I’m too busy thinking about Donald Trump and these Hitler references and talking about voting in a coma. She is fulfilling all these type – stereotypes people have about her and the left.

Houck returned at the end of the hour for The Nightcap segment with the debate being whether Biden can turn his campaign around.

Our managing editor agreed with Republican strategist Matt Gorman’s take that it’s too late.

“It’s going to be hard to turn this boat around. These things should have happened last weekend after the debate. You know, the post-debate – or post interview discussion on ABC, the look of the four panelists, my colleague Jorge Bonilla tweeted that out, they looked like they were out of wake. That said it all,” he argued.

To see the relevant transcript from July 5, click “expand.”

FNC’s Fox News @ Night
July 5, 2024
11:04 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: ABC’s Stephanopoulos Scores Big Biden Interview]

MIKE EMANUEL: Let’s take a deeper dive into all this drama with NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck, and board-certified medical doctor, Houman Hemmati. Gentlemen, welcome.

CURTIS HOUCK: Thanks. Mike.

EMANUEL: George Stephanopoulos asked President Biden if he would be willing to get an independent medical evaluation. Let’s play it.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Biden: “I Have a Cognitive Test Every Single Day”]

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Would you be willing to undergo an independent medical evaluation that included neurological and cognitive tests and release the results to the American people?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Look, I have a cognitive test every single day. Every day, I have that test. Everything I do.

EMANUEL: Let’s start with our doctor, how do you react to that comment?

DR. HOUMAN HEMMATI: Yeah, that’s interesting. You know, look, as a doctor, I’ve learned how to do mental status exams. There is a full steam mini-mental status examination. It takes, like, 10 minutes to do max. You ask simple questions, remember three different words, count down from 100 by seven, subtracting 7, 7, 7, handful of other easy things. Read, a thing – a piece of paper that says, close your eyes and actually perform the task, et cetera. Why doesn’t he do that? I can do it right now for him on television if he wanted to. But he doesn’t, because I think they know what the answer may be. This is time for the person who is the leader of the free world to actually submit openly and transparently to something that is pretty obvious he is in need of.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Biden Asked About His Reaction If Trump Wins Race]

EMANUEL: Stephanopoulos also asked the President, what if he loses in November?

STEPHANOPOULOS: And if you stay in and Trump is elected, and everything you’re warning about comes to pass, how will you feel in January?

BIDEN: I will feel as long as I gave it my all, and I did the goodest job.

EMANUEL: Give my all. Does that show he’s out of touch, Curtis?

HOUCK: Yeah, Mike. I mean, if you’re a liberal partisan, a liberal journalist, this is the question, the answer that really concerns you, even more so than maybe some of the cognitive ones about him forgetting whether he watched the debate or not, or where he pauses mid-thought and he moves on. You know, George Stephanopoulos teed this up for him. George Stephanopoulos – a lot of these questions, he did ask some of the questions that needed to be asked, but I think some of them came from a place of concern, like he was a concerned son or grandson of Joe Biden, urging him to get out of the race and that was the last question of the interview notably. So, that was how the interview ended on a really bad note, not just from a cognitive standpoint, but from a policy standpoint, because this is the thesis of the Biden campaign.

EMANUEL: Then, there is MSNBC’s Joy Reid calling for keeping Hitler out of the White House.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Joy Reid Says She Would Vote for “Biden in a Coma”]

JOY REID: If it’s Biden in the coma, I’m going to vote for Biden in the coma. I don’t even really particularly like the guy. A lot of his policies, I don’t like him. He is not Donald Trump, right? Yeah. Hitler, White House, we keeping them out, keeping Project 2025 out. That’s all I care about. Up and down the ballot from the rooter to the tooter. School board, all the way up to White House and everything in between. Governors, members of Congress, I’m just going to vote all the way down to keep these people out.

EMANUEL: Dr Hemmati, how do you assess that one?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Rpt: “Conspiracy of Silence” to Protect Joe Biden]

HEMMATI: You know, this is a ridiculous set of comments, and I expect it during election season, right? We’re at a pretty crazy time right now where there’s a lot of hysteria and a lot of panic, and when that happens, you’re going to see very big public figures using their platform to spread more hysteria and so, to me, it’s expected, I don’t think it’s going to move the needle for one candidate or the other.

EMANUEL: Pro-tip, Hitler references don’t typically go well. What’s your take, Curtis?

HOUCK: This is the thing. Joy Reid? On her TikTok? On the Fourth of July? Mike, I mean, this is what some of these people do with their free time. Where they are sitting around, thinking about Donald Trump. It reminds me a few years ago, Ana Navarro from CNN and The View was skiing, and Utah or Colorado, and something, and she was trying to – saying, I’m trying to have a good time, but I’m too busy thinking about Donald Trump and these Hitler references and talking about voting in a coma. She is fulfilling all these type – stereotypes people have about her and the left.

EMANUEL: New York magazine, “The Conspiracy of Silence to Protect Joe Biden”. We’re nearly out of time, but this was striking to me. She said she’d been noticing differences going back to January. Doc, why didn’t you report on it six months ago?

HEMMATI: I think it was obvious to people who have been looking at the President for quite some time. Even several weeks ago, I tweeted that the President is exhibiting signs of Parkinson Disease, perhaps, or Lewy Body dementia, and I got attacked for making a partisan statement. I said, this is not a partisan statement. This is a medical statement that just looks at how he is behaving and acting mentally as well as physically, with his rigidity, the way his face looks, how it looks so different than before and now, everyone is finally jumping on this, because they are realizing you can’t hide from absolute fact.

EMANUEL: Quick, final word, Curtis.

HOUCK: Yeah. I mean, this is – it’s interesting, Olivia Nuzzi, came out – this – she spoke to Fox Digital about why she made this decision to write the story now, when she had this information in January, encourage people to take a look at that, because it would – no matter what you think about it, it’s really disturbing stuff. And these are the real anecdotes that really, I think, move the needle, because New York magazine is a really liberal magazine that a lot of power players read.

EMANUEL: Right. Curtis, Houman, thank you so much.

HOUCK: Thanks, Mike.

HEMMATI: Thank you.

(….)

11:53 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Get Up and Joe; Has Biden in the Spotlight This Week Helped or Hurt?]

EMANUEL: We know that Hakeem Jeffries is having a meeting with top House Democrats on Sunday. There’s also been reporting about Senator Mark Warner trying to gather Senate Democrats together to ask the President to step aside. Curtis, what about you?

HOUCK: Yes, I mean, I’m with Matt. It’s going to be hard to turn this boat around. These things should have happened last weekend after the debate. You know, the post-debate – or post interview discussion on ABC, the look of the four panelists, my colleague Jorge Bonilla tweeted that out, they looked like they were out of wake. That said it all.

EMANUEL: [LAUGHS] Alright!

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