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Reported by Nancy - August 4, 2004 -

FNL this morning (8/4) was booooring, the usual mix of fear-mongering, political spin, the inconsequential, & the slightly salacious, all the better to give viewers some chills & thrills.

In the first category, fear-mongering, were multiple teasers for various terror threats & possibilities; a Brigitte Quinn interview at 11:13am (EDT) with Bob Livingston (former Rep, R-TN) & James Sasser (former US Ambassador to China), during which Quinn allowed Livingston to rant while talking over Sasser [Comment: Sasser tried repeatedly to make some common-sense observations, while Livingston was almost a caricature of a foaming-at-the-mouth psycho]; a replay of a segment of Ridge's terror warning announcement yesterday; reports on Hurricane Alex & storms in the Chicago area causing power outages; multiple teasers for the Lori Hacking case as well as a report from Alicia Acuna at 11:00am (EDT) followed by Quinn interviewing two attorneys on the same topic at 11:02am (EDT), with a banner saying WHY ARE POLICE WAITING TO CHARGE MARK HACKING; an ALERT that a homemade bomb had exploded in Athens; multiple teasers about Scott Peterson, with a report from Stan Goldman at 11:08am (EDT).

As for political spin, there was a report by Brigitte Quinn at 10:40am (EDT) that Andrea Barthwell or Alan Keyes might replace Jack Ryan as the GOP candidate in the Senate race in IL (typically, Quinn did not mention that the Dem candidate in that race is Barack Obama, who will probably wipe the floor with any opponent; she did say that Ryan had withdrawn because of "sordid details" revealed in his divorce proceedings). [Comment: imagine how Fox would have gone into those "sordid details" had Ryan been a Dem]. Steve Brown also filed a 2-min report at 10:43am (EDT) on yesterday's vote in MO to ban same-sex marriage. Brown made sure to spin the story appropriately, first asking if this could help Bush's election effort, then showed a full-screen map of states where there will be referenda on this in the future, then asking "how does this benefit the President?", then answering his own question by saying that conservative voters are likely to be in favor of such referenda & are overwhelmingly pro-Bush. At 10:56am (EDT) Quinn replayed part of an interview Laura Bush apparently did with Bill O'Reilly last night, then plugged the O'Reilly Factor.

The inconsequential was fully covered, with Quinn interviewing Stacy London (host of TLC's What Not To Wear) for 4 minutes about fashion dos & don'ts. [Comment: London was perky & charming, but this was eye candy, not news]

And finally, in the slightly salacious department, there were multiple teasers about Mary Kay Letourneau getting out of prison [Comment: one banner read CHILD RAPIST, not "sordid details"], as well as a report about it from Anita Vogel at 11:05am (EDT) & Quinn interviewing a reporter from CourtTV on the same topic at 11:19am (EDT); a brief update by Quinn on the Kobe Bryant case at 11:08am (EDT); & a teaser for an upcoming interview with the actor who plays Michael Jackson in a made-for-TV movie about him, in which we were promised juicy details.

The one guest of the morning who actually was interesting & informative -- as well as fair & balanced -- was David Yepsen, political columnist for the Des Moines Register, interviewed by Quinn at 10:35am (EDT) for nearly 5 minutes. Yepsen obviously knows his "stuff" & had a lot of factual info to back up his analysis of both presidential campaigns in Iowa. [Comment: I think Quinn does a better job interviewing a single guest, like Yepsen, than when she is forced to make judgement calls about which guest should be given free rein to rant.]

Tally for today, in 70 minutes of consecutive viewing: waste of time: 65 mins; worth it: 5 mins.