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Setting Up the Hostage, Day 2

Reported by Judy - June 17, 2004 -

Fox News tried again on June 17 to prepare the family of hostage Paul Johnson for bad news. For the second day in a row Jon Scott on "Fox News Live" used guests to remind viewers that the U.S. and Saudia Arabia will not negotiate with Johnson's hostage takers.

At 9:41 a.m. EDT, Scott questioned Dr. Harley Stack, a hostage negotiator, and Patrick Clawson, deputy director of the Washinhgton Institute for the Near East, about the wisdom of negotiating with hostages. Stack, the hostage negotiator, said it wold do no good to negotiate, because "theyll just take more hostagesw .... [and that] will lead in the longer run to more deaths."

Clawson added that "rescuing him is not going to be easy." Scott also told the Johnson family (indirectly) that "the best we can do is tough this thing out."

Surprisingly, Stack, who earlier said the U.S. should not negotiate with the hostage takers, added that there "may be some backchannel negotiations going on about a one-on-one release" of a Saudia Arabian prisoner in exchange for Johnson's release.

So, we DO negotiate with hostage takers, but we say we don't so the Bush administration can look tough?