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Fox's "In-depth" Coverage

Reported by Judy - September 9, 2004 -

Fox News Live today (Sept. 9) dug a little deeper into the stories about Bush's Air National Guard "service" than Fox and Friends did the previous hour, but it was still skimpy compared to smear boat coverage.

Fox News Live replayed part of the Ben Barnes interview from 60 Minutes II and Jon Scott summarized the information in the newly released documents, as well as the White House response.

He also interviewed Democrat Joe Andrew and Republican Brad Blakeman about the new information. Scott's first question: "Does this issue carry any weight now all of these years later?" You wouldn't think that question was really necessary since Fox News already had decided with the smear boat issue that what happened 30 years ago clearly is relevant. Andrew used the question to talk about the credibility of the information because it was coming from the news media who investigated the matter, not from ads. (Fox News Live did not replay the Texans for Truth ad from yesterday, as it routinely did with smear boat ads.)

Blakeman called the reports "yellow journalism at its finest" and referred to CBS as a 527 for Kerry. He pulled out a litany of adjectives: outrageous and uncalled for.

Instead of further probing the details of the new Bush documents, Scott preferred to ask Andrew, "Is there regret on the Democratic side that Senator Kerry made Vietnam such a centerpiece of his DNC appearance?" The question was irrelevant to the news of the day and only served to drag up the memory of smear boats.

Unless there are new developments, Fox will drop this issue like a dirty handkerchief in a day or two.

The National Guard documents were only part of the burgeoning bad news for Bush this week, including Kitty Kelley's book, The Family, alleging Bush used cocaine at Camp David. Although a New York Times article today referred to GOP efforts to debunk the book's claims in advance, Fox made no reference to it during a two-hour block.

Sometimes what isn't covered on Fox is just as interesting as what is covered.