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Utterly Predictable

Reported by Nancy - August 16, 2004 -

FNL spent the morning (Aug 16) "awaiting" Bush, who was scheduled to give a talk at a VFW convention in Ohio, & his expected announcement of US troop redeployment.

In addition to endlessly repeated teasers to ALERT viewers that FNL would be bringing us live coverage of Bush's speech & "troops are coming home", there were:
*Wendell Goler reporting from the White House at 9:33am (EDT), in a segment introduced as SWING STATES which focused on the expected announcement by Bush of US troop redeployment, complete with video of Bush walking & Rumsfeld talking on a plane;
*Kelly Wright reporting from Washington at 10:08am (EDT), in a segment bannered WAR ON TERROR that focused on the troop redeployment, complete with repeat Rumsfeld footage & a throw-away line near the end that said Kerry says he would increase the military by 40,000;
*An ALERT from James Rosen at 10:29am (EDT) to announce that Bush had arrived in Ohio, with Rosen giving a "preview" of what Bush was expected to say *Immediately followed at 10:30am (EDT) by Brigitte Quinn repeating much of what Rosen had just said;
*An update from James Rosen at 10:57am (EDT), with the requisite video of Bush walking & waving, as well as video of the empty podium "awaiting" him & mention of the fact that Kerry will address the same VFW convention on Wednesday [comment: anyone wanna bet whether FNL will carry that live?]; &
*A report from Major Garrett at 11:00am (EDT), again previewing Bush's expected speech, with a twist: Garrett said that Kerry would withdraw troops from Iraq & this means his goal is stability, not democracy, which is not as ambitious a goal as Bush's. Garrett also mentioned that Kerry said he'd fight a more "sensitive" war & alluded to Cheney's ridiculing of that word [comment: Garrett did read nearly the whole Kerry quote but the sneering emphasis was on "sensitive"]. Garrett then mentioned that Kerry is on vacation with his wife in Idaho.

When they weren't hyping Bush in OH, they were salivating over the destruction caused by Hurricane Charley in Florida. There were reports about the hurricane & its aftermath, with obligatory references to or video of Bush "touring" the devastated areas & emphasis on help being delivered from both federal & state agencies [comment: funny how some govt handouts aren't considered "welfare"], at 9:29, 9:35, 9:43, 9:56, 10:02, 10:06, 10:13, 10:36, & 11:03 (all times AM & EDT). The 4th report from Jamie Colby was interrupted at 11:04am (EDT) in mid-sentence so FNL could go to live coverage of Bush at the VFW.

There were, of course, endless teasers about Scott Peterson, Michael Jackson, Mark Hacking & Kobe Bryant, as well as brief [comment: & uninformative] reports on each of those topics.

In 2.5 hours of consecutive viewing, the only other story that was emphasized was one calculated to titillate FNL's "base": Olympic athletes posing for Playboy! There were repeated teasers for this "shocking" story, complete with tastefully censored photos from the magazine, & eventually, at 10:50am (EDT) Quinn interviewed Christopher Napolitano, managing editor of Playboy. A banner during part of this segment read: "Aren't you shocked by American athletes posing for Playboy?" [Comment: Fox must really be ticked that NBC has the Olympics; if you watch Fox, you'd hardly know they're going on.]

Oh, by the way: there's still fighting in Najaf. Jon Cookson's report from Iraq at 11:35am (EDT) included a clip from a US soldier saying how the "security situation" was preventing them from handing out reconstruction money in Sadr City [comment: the "good guys" scenario] & at one point a banner announced that Iraqi National Convention "delegates call on al-Sadr to stop fighting" [comment: in fact, according to other sources, there were near-riots at that meeting with delegates calling for US troops to withdraw].

And Hugo Chavez -- decribed by Orlando Salinas in a report at 10:31am (EDT) as a "friend of Castro" who "hates George W Bush" -- won the referendum in Venezuela (but the opposition wants a recount).