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Bravo Joe Biden!

Reported by Nancy - September 21, 2004 -

FNL this morning (9/21) declined to broadcast all of Kofi Annan's speech at the UN, but they sure broadcast all of George W Bush's, which followed. Needless to say, it was what happened afterward that was most interesting.

Immediately following Bush's speech, Jim Angle gave a brief recap. During this segment, FNL used a split-screen with Angle on the left (smaller) side & a wider right side showing the exit where Bush would leave the GA. As soon as Bush made an appearance, FNL went to full-screen coverage of that, leaving Angle as a voice-over.

Brigitte Quinn took over the voice-over duties at 11:24am (EDT) so we could continue watching Bush walk out. Almost immediately (11:25am EDT), Quinn began an interview with Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) to get the "Democratic" viewpoint. Biden was an excellent guest, articulate, forceful & not willing to let Quinn get away with her usual tricks. Quinn opened by asking Biden whether he agreed with Bush's remarks about not retreating. Biden replied that he did agree with that concept, but that not retreating means changing course [comment: neatly using Bush's own "stay the course" rhetoric] & that he didn't agree with the glowing picture of Iraq that Bush & others in his administration continue to try to portray. Quinn then asked about whether Iraqi elections will go ahead as planned, & Biden answered that there are questions about that in anyone's mind who has a mind. Quinn asked if other UN members are likely to help, & Biden pointed out that if they don't we're in real trouble. Quinn tried to use this to segue into Condoleeza Rice's statement about not comparing Iraq to Vietnam, & Biden wouldn't let her get away with it. He pointed out that he never said Iraq was Vietnam, that Kerry didn't said it, McCain didn't said it, Hagel didn't say it, Lugar didn't say it [comment: nicely tying in GOP as well as Dem critics of how the Bush admin has handled the Iraq situation]. When Quinn again tried to bring up what Kerry did or did not say, Biden refused to let her put words in Kerry's mouth, said "Let me tell you what he DID say" & proceeded to quote what Kerry has said, with emphasis on all the "BIG IF" factors, pointing out that no one really knows what will happen on the ground in Iraq over the next few months. Quinn then tried to imply that Kerry has a timeline in mind about pulling US troops out, Biden again corrected her & pointed out that no one has a "timeline" because of all the uncertainty about what will happen, but IF certain things (e.g., decent security in Iraq) do happen, then other things (e.g., drawdown of US troops) can logically follow.

At the beginning of the Quinn-Biden interview, FNL was still using the split-screen technique, with Biden on the left (smaller) side, & a wider right side showing the exit where Bush was leaving/had left. They dropped that after a little while, when it turned into a view of bunches of people just milling around.

After the Quinn-Biden interview, at 11:32am (EDT), Quinn began interviewing Bill Kristol & Marc Ginsberg about Bush's speech. Both Kristol & Ginsberg are regulars on FNL & elsewhere on Fox. Note that Quinn, who had introduced the interview with Biden as the "Dem" viewpoint, did NOT introduce this segment as getting the "GOP" viewpoint or, for that matter, as getting ANY viewpoint. But Kristol & Ginsberg made that unnecessary, by immediately attacking what Biden had said, instead of discussing what Bush had said. [Comment: both Kristol & Ginsberg are rabid right-wingers; Kristol led off by saying that not retreating means killing terrorists, & the whole segment went downhill from there.]