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Hiding a Few Important Details at FOXNews.com

Reported by Ellen - August 6, 2004 -

I have to admit it has gotten harder to find Fox bias on its website these days. Even the poll stories seem fairer. I suspect this is due to the Outfoxed effect but whatever the reason, I am not going to complain about increased fairness and balance from the network that is anything but.

That is not to say there is no bias there. The old, familiar Fox is on view with Vets Criticize Kerry's War Record.

The title, alone, gives the allegations a certain weight that other news reports don't. For example, CNN.com called its piece, "Anti-Kerry veterans group releases critical ad."

More importantly, the FOXNews.com article devotes three paragraphs to the vets' attack and says only this about Kerry's response:

The Kerry campaign released a substantial pile of documents aimed at discrediting the Swift Boat Veterans, and insists that none of the vets in the ad served directly under Kerry's command.

"Aimed at discrediting?" Implies the documents may have missed their mark. CNN wrote that the material released "noted the group has gotten some financial backing from Bob Perry, a homebuilder in Houston, Texas, who is a contributor to the Republican Party."

"Insists that none of the vets in the ad served directly under Kerry's command?" Implies that may not be the truth. On CNN.com, "Kerry's campaign quickly pointed out that not one of the men featured in the commercial served in the two patrol boats Kerry commanded in Vietnam."

With typical Fox slyness, the innuendo stands with no attempt at verification by Fox.

And even more important than that, you have to go to the video story in order to find out that John McCain called the ad "dishonest" and "dishonorable" and that he asked the White House to condemn it. According to the reporter in that video, Brian Wilson,"A short time later, the White House did just that." Wilson's assertion is followed by a clip of White House spokesperson Scott McClellan saying that "The President has made it very clear we do not question Sen. Kerry's service record in Vietnam. Nor will we. The President deplores all the unregulated soft money activity that has been going on."

That doesn't sound like a condemnation of the ad to me.