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Dems Getting Bold on Fox

Reported by Judy - July 21, 2004 -

Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo is one of several Democrats and liberals who are refusing to take Fox News Channel's partisan brow-beating of guests any longer. In an appearance on Fox and Friends today (July 21) Cuomo confronted the three co-hosts when they tried to stop him from criticizing George Bush.

Cuomo was on the show (8:25 a.m. EDT) to discuss his new book, Why Lincoln Matters. In his book, Cuomo tries to interpret Lincoln's speeches and writings for their relevance to contemporary problems, such as the war with Iraq, gay rights, abortion, and race.

On the matter of pre-emptive war, Cuomo noted that Lincoln rejected pre-emptive war on the grounds that a cynical president might get the nation into a "phony war" or that a president might be mistaken about the reasons for going to war. Cuomo immediately made the analogy to Bush and the Iraq war, causing E.D. Hill to interrupt that Lincoln would have wanted to bring democracy to Iraq and so would have supported the Iraq war. Cuomo agreed Lincoln would have wanted to bring democracy to Iraq but "it's how you do it" that he would have disagreed on. He went on to say that if the reason for the war was to topple a dictator, then the U.S. policy could reasonably extend to other countries such as North Korea (which, as Bush has noted, has nukular weapons).

Brian Kilmeade then had to take his turn at interrupting (guess he wanted to get his daily "atta boy" from Rupert). But Cuomo confronted the hosts saying, "You're so sensitive about Bush." Hill and Kilmeade complained that they thought he was going to talk about Lincoln, and, as Hill said, "You changed to Bush." Obviously, the hosts failed to read the book, because Cuomo said the whole premise was about the relevance of Lincoln to today's problems. "I'm just taken by your sensitivity" about Bush, Cuomo told the two hosts.

Doocy tried to get away from the topic, asking Cuomo, "Did it kill you to put a Republican on the coverage of your book?" Cuomo said no.

Then Fox and Friends quickly went to a commercial (well, actually two minutes of commercials). After the break, Doocy made the point that "that was one of those times when we had to take a computer-generated hard break" and that's why the segment ended, not because Fox wanted to get rid of Cuomo.

Of course, Fox could have skipped the in-depth interview with Ronald McDonald later in the show and kept Cuomo on after the "hard break." But Doocy and Hill probably didn't want to waste all the time they spent briefing themselves for Ronald's appearance.

Nevertheless, Cuomo is not the first Democrat since the airing of Outfoxed to begin to talk back to Fox hosts. Previous posts have noted the new fire in the belly of Fox liberal personality Alan Colmes. If the trend continues, Fox News hosts are going to find their jobs a lot tougher.