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Tale of the Tape

Reported by Judy - November 1, 2004 -

Fox News was all over the Osama bin Laden tape today (Nov. 1), sometimes saying it showed George Bush is winning the war on terror and sometimes saying it had no impact on the race either way.

In an interview on Fox and Friends, Democratic Rep. Harold Ford of Tennessee said the tape reminded voters that Osama is still on the loose and that Bush's policies have not been successful.

Later, Dick "The Toe" Morris said that the video tape was a sign that Bush's policies were winning the war on terror because Osama could only send a video tape and not a bomb. Then he proceeded to blame President Clinton for not killing Osama in 1998.

Fox Foreign Affairs Analyst Mansoor Ijaz, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, agreed that Osama lacked the infrastructure to pull off another attack. Ijaz said, however, that Osama was trying to give the impression that he has intimidated voters in order to enhance his own stature. If John Kerry wins, Ijaz said, Osama can say he influenced the voters to get rid of Bush. If Bush wins, Osama knows Bush policies, which have alienated the world from the U.S., will continue, so Osama can have his cake and eat it, too.

Fox and Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade tried to spin the tape into an endorsement for Kerry, saying Osama was echoing Kerry's rhetoric when Osama said that Bush is still deceiving Americans after four years.

On Fox News Live, Fred Barnes, editor of the Weekly Standard, said polls over the weekend showed the Osama tape had no impact on voters.

In the interview with Ford, the co-hosts pushed the idea that Kerry had polled voters about the tape before making a statement on it. That was a charge Republicans began making on Sunday, but according to The Associated Press, the poll was not done by the Kerry campaign. Ford pointed out that Bush knew about the tape at noon but did not comment on it until late afternoon and suggested that Bush was "huddling with his advisers" to decide what to say.

Fox News probably will keep searching today for a message about the tape that it hopes will translate into votes for Bush.