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Making a Non-Issue an Issue

Reported by Judy - July 28, 2004 -

Fox and Friends today (July 28) was a perfect demonstration of how to make something an issue, while saying it is not an issue. The subject was the photos of John Kerry visiting a NASA lab in a clean suit.

Fox and Friends had fun with the pictures yesterday and brought them up again today. Co-host Steve Doocy (8:09 a.m. EDT) began the discussion by referring to a "leaked photo" of Kerry "in a bunny suit." Fox, of course, showed the photo.

"Yeah, it is goofy looking, but who cares?" asked Hill. She went on to compare the photo to ones of Michael Dukakis in a tank in 1988, thus subtly linking Kerry to Dukakis, even as she said, "Dukakis was goofy but he didn't have to be there (in the tank)" while Kerry had to wear the suit to visit NASA.

Fox returned to the theme in the next hour during Fox News Live. Jon Scott asked a member of the GOP truth squad in Boston if the photo of Kerry was "leaked" as the Kerry campaign complained. The question (one the guest Bernard Kerik would have had no way of knowing the answer to) just gave Fox another excuse to air the photo (9:18 a.m. EDT).

What the Fox guests and co-hosts said was beside the point. Fox wanted to show the pictures for a second day. Although the verbal and visual messages were mixed, pictures are worth a thousand words. Or at least "some people say" they are.