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Spinning the Smear

Reported by Judy - August 25, 2004 -

Fox and Friends today (August 25) had more angles to the smear boat story than Carter has pills and it spun them all in the same direction -- in favor of Bush.

Fox and Friends spent almost half (23 minutes) of its show on some aspect of the smear boat, starting with former Sen. Max Cleland's plan to deliver a letter to Bush asking him to stop the ads. "The president did that on Monday," said co-host E.D. Hill, referring to Bush's statement calling for an end to all 527 advertising. Fox and Friends played that Bush sound bite so many times yesterday that I'm surprised Hill still didn't get it right. Well, not really.

Fox and Friends also discussed a documentary film called "Stolen Honor" to be shown on television which features former POWs talking about how Kerry's testimony affected them when they heard it while in the Hanoi Hilton. Hill provided the coup de grace again, saying, "It will be interesting to see what kind of media attention and what kind of play this documentary gets" compared to "Fahrenheit 911." No, it won't be interesting. TV stations will rush to show it, unlike Fahrenheit, which American film companies refused to distrubute. And Fox and Friends will cover "Stolen Honor" ad nauseum, whether it breaks new ground or not.

Co-host Steve Doocy continued with the nonsense in an interview with 9/11 Commission member John Lehman supposedly about reforming the CIA. At the end of the interview. Doocy asked Lehman, a former secretary of the navy, about the smear boaters and wanted to know why he re-issued Kerry's medals. Lehman said it was a routine request after medals are lost. Lehman said the smear boat scam was "a healthy dialogue" and it was in Kerry's interests and the general electorate's interests to see the truth come out.

Fox and Friends then went to interviews of Eleanor Clift from "Newsweek" magazine and Mike Gallagher, syndicated radio host. Gallagher said the smear boaters "have truth on their side." Clift responded,"I love the right wing, totally impervious to any information or facts that come out." She said their story has been "shot full of holes" and it was "a totally ridiculous assertion" to say that truth was on their side.

Gallagher repeatedly tried to interrupt Clift, but she kept talking. She also objected to Gallagher's comments that she thinks all the smear boaters are "liars." "I'm not saying the swift boat veterans are liars. I'm saying this happened 35 years ago and their memories are influenced by, one, the fact that they were not on the same boat as John Kerry, and two, they're influenced by their political biases, and three, what they're really angry about is what John Kerry said when he came home and he protested about the war." While Clift was speaking, Gallagher laughed and again tried to interrupt her five times.

Clift defended Kerry's statements against the war, saying at the time he spoke 41,000 Americans had died in the war and the government still continued it. Gallagher called the war a "noble effort."

Clift argued her points well and was not intimidated by Gallagher. Too bad Newsweek has confined her to the web and keeps her out of the magazine.