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Don't Expect a Saudi Probe

Reported by Ellen - June 18, 2004 -

As reports of the beheading of American hostage Paul Johnson in Saudi Arabia hit the airwaves, Fox's Dayside shows plenty of dramatic shock and horror: Audience members hold hands for comfort, host Linda Vester looks stricken and speaks haltingly as if she can hardly put words to the atrocity. What you don't see, and probably never will on Fox, is any substantive questioning of the US (and particularly the Bush family) connection to the Saudis.

As George Bush stubbornly reasserts allegations of an Iraqi/Al Qaeda connection, neither he nor Fox ever seems to consider the unquestionable Saudi Arabia/Al Qaeda connection. Nobody refutes that 12 of the 13 September 11 hijackers were Saudi. Nobody refutes that the kidnappers in Saudia Arabia are members of Al Qaeda. Yet, while Bush and Cheney cling to their "evidence" (that Fox dutifully echoes and echoes and echoes) of a few tenuous meetings between that even they admit do not amount to a collaboration between Iraq and Al Qaeda on the 9/11 attacks, the Saudis are unceasingly protrayed as sympathetic victims of terrorism, just like us.

What you can expect: Detailed coverage on the Saudi efforts to find Johnson before he was killed, the elaborate steps taken to prevent terrorism, outrage and condemnation by the Saudi royal family and other citizens, etc. In fact, as I write this (12:13 pm MDT), these measures are already underway on Fox.

Would this same attitude be adopted if the killing had occurred in Iran or Syria? Unlikely. They don't have the close, cozy ties to the Bush family and the White House that the Saudi Royal family has. While Bush touts freedom and democracy for the middle east, he never seems to object to the lack of same in the Saudi Kingdom (by definition, not a democracy).

Yet "fair and balanced" Fox, never seems to consider this elephant in the living room, much less report on it.