Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Shooting the Messenger

Reported by Judy - September 13, 2004 -

Fox and Friends today (Sept. 13) continued to try to attack the source of information indicating George Bush skipped out on his National Guard duty, without really dealing with the fundamental questions surrounding Bush's whereabouts during certain months of 1972 and 1973.

Co-hosts Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, and E.D. Hill repeated the reasons why memos released by CBS News last week and the statements of Texas politician who says he pulled strings to get Bush into the guard should not be believed: a superviser mentioned in the memos had left the Guard, the source of the documents has an ax to grind, the daughter of Ben Barnes says he is lying and changed his story for a book he is writing, someone else says there was no waiting list for the guard anyway.

The re-hash was an attempt to kill the bearer of bad news rather than deal with the bad news itself. It represents an exact reversal of Fox's technique for dealing with the smear boaters, when Fox repeated their allegations endlessly and downplayed any discrepancies in their "facts."

The co-hosts also mentioned an upcoming ad to be run by Democrats called "Operation Fortunate Son," which notes that in Bush's 1978 unsuccessful campaign for Congress, he distributed flyers saying he had flown for the U.S. Air Force, when he actually flew for the Texas Air National Guard. Fox did not play the ad.

Co-host E.D. Hill emphasized the alleged lack of importance of the debate saying, "What that does to get you a job ... I don't know," but that Fox has to keep focusing on it. She also termed in later in the show "a negative debate."

The co-hosts also interviewed Fox analyst Fred Barnes, who also downplayed the importance of the issue. He said there is "not a huge distinction" between flying for the Air Force and the National Guard, to which Doocy said, "It's a typo."

Barnes also focused on the CBS memos, saying the network "is going to have to come to grips" with allegations that they are forged.

What does it all mean? Fox wants to keep the issue alive selectively: state as fact that the memos were forged, discredit the information about Bush's service both in those memos and from other sources, and claim that it has no other choice but to continue rehashing this same information, when in fact it could stop repeating old information whenever it wants to.