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Martha, Manila, Martha

Reported by Nancy - October 8, 2004 -

FNL was back to some of its old tricks this morning (10/8), harping on Martha Stewart -- with a few nods to some actual news.

The political reporting was about what you'd expect, although Wendell Goler did cite an op-ed that Paul Bremer wrote in today's New York Times [2 comments: 1) not a source FNL typically cites; & 2) so much for the myth of the liberal media].

At 11:05am, Brigitte Quinn interviewed Elinor Clift (Newsweek) & Norman Ornstein (American Enterprise Inst) about how today's dismal jobs report & the Duelfer report might affect tonight's debate. Even a hawk from AEI couldn't spin it, & didn't even try: when Quinn asked about the Duelfer report, wanting to know "who came out on top", Ornstein said "The White House is trying to make chicken salad out of chicken doo-doo."

There were various reports about the earthquake in Manila [comment: no video of wrecked houses yet, just a map of the Philippines, so they didn't spend much time on any of these], updates about the bombings at the Sinai resort of Taba [comment: plenty of wreckage & rescue video], a report from John Cookson in Baghdad about further violence there & in Fallujah [see previous comment].

At 11:30am (EDT), Brenda Buttner did her best to give her usual perky upbeat spin to the jobs report, but had to acknowledge the markets are down, oil prices are up, Wall Street's not happy.

In the fear-mongering category, at 11:13am (EDT), Quinn interviewed a Mobile, AL, detective, Paul Burch, about Jeremy Bryan Jones, a *possible* serial killer, & at 11:33am (EDT) David Lee Miller filed a report about school info (floor plans, photos, bus schedules) for school districts in 6 states being found on a computer disk in Iraq -- he did mention that there's no specific threat.

Interspersed among all of this were repeated teasers about Martha Stewart starting her prison term, including one where Quinn said Stewart was "sneaking" into prison. At 11:21am (EDT) Alison Camerata filed a report from outside the prison in West Virginia, also accusing Stewart of sneaking past the hordes of press mobbing the gate, complete with video of 2 cars with blacked-out rear windows driving in that Camerata guessed contained Stewart [comment: since when does Stewart *owe* the press the opportunity to cover her every move?]. Immediately following this report, Quinn interviewed Roger Friedman (Fox contributor) about Stewart starting her prison term. Friedman got off a whole series of great lines, opening with a comment that "we're all safer now" [comment: his humor put the story in a more appropriate context than FNL would have viewers believe].