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Empty Chair Debate

Reported by Judy - August 23, 2004 -

What if Fox and Friends invited a Republican to a debate and they didn't show up? What does that tell you? Fox and Friends today (August 23) invited the Bush campaign to appear alongside a Kerry campaign official to discuss the swift boat controversy, but the Bush campaign declined to participate.

Fox and Friends co-hosts interviewed Debra Deshong from the Kerry campaign alone. Hill asked Deshong if the campaign had any proof that directly links anyone from the Bush camp to the SBVT campaign. DeSong mentioned the campaign volunteer who appeared in one of the ads, the Bush campaign in Florida handing out flyers promoting the SBVT picnic, andthe financial links related in last week's New York Times.

Second string co-host Mike Jerrick asked Deshong if Kerry should go on live TV and answer the accusations. When Deshong said he already had addressed them, Jerrick objected that that was before a "friendly audience" and "how about a tough interview?" A "tough interview," like the kind of tough interview Fox puts Republicans through on a regular basis? Or the kind of tough interview they always put Democrats through?

Why wouldn't the Bush people show up? They know Fox and Friends will not subject them to any tough interview. Are they unable to explain away the connections between the campaign and SBVT?

The interview with Deshong did not deal with the powerful account of the day John Kerry won his Silver Star which appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday. Earlier in the show, E.D. Hill claimed that the nation would never know the answers to "questions" about Kerry's service because "so many people have died."

Fox wants to pretend that questions about Kerry's service cannot be answered, when the facts actually are clear. Fox wants its audience to believe that there is something fishy about Navy records, that there must be secret records somewhere that prove Kerry lied about his accomplishments, that the "evidence" of the SBVT is equal to the testimony who were closest to Kerry and eyewitnesses to his acts. Nothing could be further to the truth.

Think of it as a jury trial. One side presents testimony of eyewitnesses who have nothing to gain (in fact some are Republican), who have consistently told the same story, whose version is backed up by official government documentation.

The other side presents witnesses who have changed their stories recently, who were not close to the action (or not even there), who are funded by enemies of the "defendant," whose evidence consists of saying that there is something wrong with the records but can't prove it.

Now who would you believe?