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Swift Boats Still Anchored on Fox

Reported by Ellen - August 21, 2004 -

Friday's Fox News live with Alan Colmes (8/20-8/21) ditched one of its planned topics about food addiction in order to spend another hour talking about the swift boat vets. The next hour was supposed to be a discussion about media coverage of the issue but it seemed to be more swift boat than media talk. Even the "Friday night free-for-all" open phone segment was about the swift boat issue. Of course, we heard the latest swift boat vet ad played, too.

Comment: Alan Colmes did an excellent job of critiquing the vets, their ads and putting forth all the historic and present information behind it all. He lamented again the diversion away from issues of terrorism, health care, education, etc. but added that he had to cover it because it's what everyone is talking about.

This is a perfect example of how the media falls into the hands of the conservative spin machine. First, a group like the Swift Boat Vets comes up with a well-funded PR campaign. They go on TV and radio talk shows, especially the right-leaning ones and despite the fact that a lot of facts are not on their side, voila, they have a bona fide issue and a conversation. Then Kerry responds and now it's a full-blown controversy. Then the media says, "We have to cover it." Is there not a way around this or is the media admitting that it is inevitably a puppet of any clever PR scheme?