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What Planet is FNL On?

Reported by Nancy - August 24, 2004 -

FNL this morning (8/24) was the entirely predictable compendium -- bits & pieces of gossip masquerading as "news". But two segments stood out for their utter lack of consciousness.

Major Garrett opened the 11:00am (EDT) hour with a report alleging to be about an upcoming Kerry speech in which Kerry is expected to criticize Bush. In effect, Garrett's report turned into another plug for the Smear Boat Liars for Bush, repeating the right-wing mantra that their ad "has raised serious questions" about Kerry's service in Vietnam. Garrett said he had spoken with Howard Dean, who is in DC to speak to a union group, about this, & played a brief (approx 30-sec) clip of Dean saying that Bush had broken the law by letting his campaign coordinate with the Smear Boat Liars.

Immediately following Garrett's report, at 11:04am (EDT) Brigitte Quinn interviewed Bill Kristol so that he could respond to Dean's remark.

Hello? Earth to Brigitte! What's "fair & balanced" about that? You gave Kristol 4 minutes to make whatever remarks he wanted, & gave Dean no time whatsoever to respond to Kristol.

At 11:29am (EDT), Rick Folbaum interviewed Paul Manafort (GOP) & Richard Goodstein (Dem). The topic was ostensibly 527s (the current bugaboo of the radical right, simply because they didn't foresee that the left would also be able to use the same loopholes). But Folbaum allowed Manafort to get away unchallenged with some blatantly false statements, as when Manafort claimed that 527s supporting Bush have spent $500,000-$1,000,000 (FACT: Smear Boat Liars for Bush has spent more than $1,000,000 all by itself, as was mentioned earlier in the same broadcast) while 527s supporting Kerry have spent over $100 million (FACT: even the Washington Times will only go as far as $60 million, http://washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20040823-084201-1294r.htm). Manafort, of course, offered no hard data to support those claims.

Manafort subsequently called the Smear Boar Liars "true American heroes" which is laughable at best, but Folbaum didn't call him on that either.

Goldstein made an admirable attempt to point out that, when the media (in general & Fox in particular) treat lies & truth as equal & give them equal ink or airtime, it is neither fair nor balanced, to which Folbaum replied that, speaking for Fox only, he knows that they try to have both sides on.

Hello? Earth to Rick! That's exactly the point. Both sides are NOT equal. Goebbels would be proud of you.

Folbaum allowed Manafort to end the segment with the assertion that Kerry called soldiers in Vietnam "rapists & murderers" (FACT: this is the same lie that the radical right has been repeating for 35+ years about anyone who opposed the war in Vietnam; if you watch or listen to the ENTIRE clip of Kerry's testimony from way back when, you will understand that he is reading reports by others that document such atrocities).