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All Ivan, All the Time

Reported by Nancy - September 13, 2004 -

FNL this morning (9/13) continued its proud tradition of beating a dead horse, by hyping, re-hyping & over-hyping Hurricane Ivan. This afforded them the opportunity to indulge in their trademark violent storm videos, pull out the thesaurus for brutal/shock words (killer, deadly, lethal) & also to ignore a raft of other stories.

Aside from superficial reports on today's activities in the Bush campaign (Wendell Goler at 11:08am EDT) & the Kerry campaign (Kelly Wright at 11:11am EDT), & Brigitte Quinn's bizarre statement (11:25am EDT) that Kerry is trying to use the violence in Iraq to his advantage [Comment: like the Bush campaign isn't? -- the Bush campaign is quintessentially about using terror-related violence to instill fear in voters], politics were covered by Quinn interviewing Rick Davis (GOP) & Steve Murphy (Dem) about Howard Dean's new book. The point of the interview was unclear, but it gave Davis a platform for GOP talking points & Murphy a platform for Dem talking points. [Comment: why not interview the author?]

There was also a Jane Skinner interview (11:35am EDT) with Bill Sammons (Washington Times, frequent FNL guest) about how the ongoing violence in Iraq might affect the US presidential election. While offering no insight re the causes of the ongoing violence, its impact on life in Iraq or possible courses of action the US might take, the interview did afford Sammons the chance to trot out the Cheney-esque assertion that "the terrorists want Bush out of office", which Sammons said was supported by events in Spain (a thoroughly discredited claim; the election process wasn't disrupted in Spain — it went forward & resulted in a regime change that was odious to the Bush administration).

There was the obligatory Scott Peterson update from Lis Wiehl at 11:42am (EDT).

Otherwise, we were treated to Ivan in multiple teasers, a report from Jeff Goldblatt in Panama City (10:59am EDT), a weather report from Buzz Lopez that focused solely on Ivan (11:01am EDT), a Brigitte Quinn interview with Peter Teahen of the American Red Cross (11:04am EDT), a report from Jamie Colby at the National Hurricane Center (11:30am EDT) & promises [comment: more like threats] that FNL will continue to update this story as it unfolds. [Comment: Breaking News! There are hurricanes in Florida!]

FNL also saw fit to devote 3 minutes to a report by Anita Vogel about a group of doctors in California suing HHS over the federal requirement that health providers who receive federal money must provide translation services for patients. Vogel's report was touted by banner graphics, by her & by Skinner in introducing it as "fair & balanced", & it did include brief audio/video clips from one person against the regulation & one person in favor of it. But Vogel's report is misleading. The suit was not filed by a group of doctors, but by a group that advocates making English the official language of the US. Vogel's report also failed to mention that the group who filed the suit, ProEnglish, is represented by the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation; that the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons & 5 physicians are co-plaintiffs; & that the Assoc of American Physicians & Surgeons is a right-wing fringe group that opposes -- among other things -- vaccinations & mental health screening for children.

Elsewhere, FNL twice showed photos of Bill Clinton, trumpeting that the pix were the first post-surgery photos & were obtained by the New York Post -- without informing viewers that they're tooting the horn for another Murdoch-owned entity. And a report on the stock market by Terry Keenan (11:33am EDT) included a plug for Neil Cavuto's program later today. [Comment: ain't self-promotion great?]