The 2012 election is a new experience for veteran journalist Ed Henry: it’s his first as a reporter for Fox News.
For starters, the former CNN’er says he’s speaking to a larger audience. It’s “gratifying how many Americans are watching. Fox has connected.”
TVNewser caught up with FNC’s Chief White House correspondent today in Chicago, where he is preparing for the final night of a long campaign.
Henry joined Fox News during the summer of 2011, but says his journalistic perspective has remained the same. Reporters “should be tough but fair” to all public officials, “and that’s what I try to do.”
He says that while at CNN, his questioning drew criticism from Bush administration officials, and that he never got a sit-down interview with the President as a result. More recently, his queries have drawn ire from White House press secretary Jay Carney and from President Obama himself.
“I do not take it personally,” he says of the slings and arrows, “because I realize it’s just part of the job. An occupational hazard, I guess. You ask a tough question of the president, you throw him a hardball, you might get one back. I’m fine with that.”
He draws a distinction between the news side and the opinion side of FNC programming. Henry tells of bumping into Sean Hannity at a news event and joking with him to “‘stay away from me! I’m not taking a picture with you!’
- Bonus video: Henry talks about how he uses Twitter on the campaign trail
“I like him personally,” says Henry. “But he’s got his thing at night. I’ve got my thing during the day.”
The Fox News brand often is unfairly judged, he believes. “So many people who criticize Fox News don’t watch Fox News.”
That sentiment applies, he says, to some at his former network. “It’s been a crutch [for CNN staffers] to say that Fox has done well due to the ideology. It’s an easy out to say, ‘Oh, we’re not picking sides and that’s why we don’t have an audience.'”
Henry’s wife Shirley Hung is a CNN senior producer. Now that they’re at separate networks, Henry says they actually talk less about work, and focus more on one another.
Henry will get even more free time soon, with campaign 2012 drawing to a close. “It’s been a grind, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”