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Unabashedly Unbalanced

Reported by Nancy - July 21, 2004 -

This morning's FNL made no attempt to be either fair or balanced. For anchor Jane Skinner, later joined by David Asman, it was simply GOP, GOP, GOP.

Following a report at 10:53am EDT by Greg Kelly on GOP strategies to counter the coverage of the upcoming DNC, Skinner "interviewed" Marc Racicot (former GOP national chair) on the same "topic" for 11 minutes, uninterrupted, providing him with a podium to drive home the official GOP line. [Comment: how come GOPs don't mock Racicot for having a "Frenchy" name?] [ADDENDUM, 7/24/04: one commenter has challenged the "11 minutes" statement; my handwritten notes confirm that time length, but since I do not have tape to back it up, I am posting this notice that it *may* have been "only" 7 minutes, still an inordinately long segment for FNL, which typically treats major stories in 2 minutes or less].

This was followed by teasers (Iran, Scott Peterson, missing jogger in UT), an ad break, & brief headline blurbs on the finding of Paul Johnson's severed head, the "final" 9/11 report & wildfires in CA.

Back on topic (GOP, GOP, GOP) at 11:12am EDT, Skinner interviewed John Loftus -- see my separate entry ["Blatant Bias"] about that interview.

This was followed by teasers (Peterson, UT jogger, weather), an ad break, the obligatory daily report from Stan Goldman (11:20am EDT) about the latest minutiae in the Peterson case, & what is turning into a regular segment on the show -- the post-Peterson-report interview to further dissect that fluff. Today it was Skinner interviewing Pat Woodward (former federal prosecutor) & Jonna Spilbor (defense attorney), 11:22-11:26am EDT. This was followed by still more teasers (UT jogger, Hispanic vote, weather), an ad break, & headlines with Kiran Chetry (Bush signs BioShield bill; Iraq group threatens to behead 6 hostages; released Filipino hostage on his way home; wicked weather in South Asia has killed >540; wildfires in CA). David Asman joined the show at 11:36am EDT.

Immediately getting back to GOP, GOP, GOP, Asman at 11:37am EDT interviewed Jorge Ramos, author of "The Latino Wave", a new book that explores the monumental effect Hispanics will have on all areas of American culture, especially politics. Asman, of course was interested only in how GOPs can appeal to Latino voters & kept trying to spin the course of the interview to the issue of bilingual education [Comment: must be a hot topic for the GOP base]. When Ramos, a very articulate man, tried to steer back to political issues, Asman simply talked over him, noting how Cubans in Florida tend to vote GOP & that will help Bush win Florida.

Following a brief weather report & an ad break, Skinner gave us the mandatory daily dose of violence/fear at 11:45am EDT by interviewing Tony Fisher (public safety director, Spartanburg, SC) about a hostage situation. The whole incident happened on Monday, 7/19, & was apparently resolved with only minor injuries to the hostage-taker (according to Skinner), but the 4-minute interview today gave FNL the chance to air some video of SWAT teams running around & a bulldozer breaking down a wall of a gas station/convenience store.

After teasers (Linda Ronstadt in Las Vegas, Kerry bobblehead dolls), Asman at 11:53am EDT interviewed Jon Topper (of Sportsworld) who is selling John Kerry bobblehead dolls as commemoratives for the upcoming DNC. [Comment: has anyone seen a story on Fox about Bush bobbleheads?]

Skinner interrupted this vital interview at 11:56am EDT to announce that FNL had video of Bush paying a "surprise visit" to his campaign HQ. Asman eagerly wondered if FNL possibly had audio too -- & sure enough, viewers were treated to 2 minutes of Bush walking around, shaking some hands, & saying "Thank you for all your hard work" 3 or 4 times. [Comment: it's just amazing how both audio & video of that "surprise visit" were immediately available, live, to FNL, isn't it?]