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Spinning Abu Ghraib

Reported by Ellen - August 25, 2004 -

Once again, Fox News did its best for Bush. While other news outlets stressed the criticism of Rumsfeld in the Schlesigner panel's report on Abu Ghraib today, FOXNews.com underplayed it.

While the New York Times headline is A Trail of 'Major Failures' Leads to Defense Secretary's Office, FOXNews.com's headline is, Abuse Report Blames Senior Defense Officials and doesn't mention Rumsfeld until the fifth paragraph:

"(Schlesinger) said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's office could be faulted for inadequate supervision, but he strongly objected to the suggestion that Rumsfeld should step down from his post."

Notice that it's Rumsfeld's office, not Rummy himself that could - not should - be faulted.

Next the FOXNews.com story reports the blame for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers and Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, while noting that they should not resign or be reprimanded either. Those who bear direct responsibility, Fox points out, are the commanders in Iraq, the police and Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, who has already been suspended.

As for Rumsfeld, Fox makes sure to note that "The abuse was not approved, the report concluded, and no evidence suggests a policy of abuse promulgated by senior officials or military authorities, although there is both institutional and personal responsibility at higher levels." And how high were those levels? Fox doesn't say.

Instead, we are reassured that "Rumsfeld issued a statement saying, "we look forward to reviewing their analysis and recommendations in detail" and reiterated the Defense Department's commitment to make "appropriate changes" as necessary."

Comment: How long can it be before Fox figures out a way to blame it on Clinton and/or Kerry? Oh, wait, it might be Teresa's fault.