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Reported by Nancy - November 6, 2004 -

That's how FNL has been treating the ongoing battle in Fallujah -- like a big rock concert -- & today (11/6) was no exception.

At 2:00pm (ET), they opened the hour with Page Hopkins announcing that women & children have been warned to leave Fallujah. Lt Col (ret) Scott Rutter, embedded with the Big Red 1, then read a report obviously generated by the US military's office of propaganda. At least this time, instead of claiming that Iraqi forces fought "bravely & gallantly" at Fallujah last spring (as he claimed yesterday), he said that they had fought bravely & gallantly at Najaf & Samarra.

This was followed by a report from Todd Connor, who gave FNL's version of the "history" of the fighting in Fallujah. Connor's outline was limited to the 4 US "contractors" killed in Fallujah last spring, the subsequent US attack (which, according to him, killed 600 Iraqis), & the assertion that Zarqawi is to blame for all of this plus the murder of Nick Berg. While Connor was reporting, one of the banners beneath proudly announced "US warplanes pound terror targets".

Hopkins then reported that the US govt has just admitted that 6,000 more weapons (RPGs, etc) are missing & probably in the hands of insurgents than were previously acknowledged. [comment: oops!]

Lest viewers think too hard or long about any of this, FNL immediately segued into short blurbs about a memorial at Pat Tillman's high school, & buying cookies to support the troops. Dana Lewis reported that Yasser Arafat is still alive in a hospital near Paris, & Amy Kellogg reported from Ramallah about how the Palestinian Authority is responding to events. Her report included a clip from an interview Geraldo Rivera did with Saeb Erekat (PA spokesman), which Kellogg incorrectly characterized as "welcoming" Bush's re-election; what Erekat actually said (in very good English) was that Bush needs to be pro-active in seeking a 2-state solution, since the elements required for that are already in place. FNL then dismissed the ongoing civil war in Ivory Coast with a brief blurb about a UN meeting to discuss the crisis. Then it was on to more important "stuff", like non-events in the Scott Peterson trial.

Comment: This may have been a record for FNL. There were 5-6 minutes of actual reporting (however skewed, flawed or indifferent) at the top of the hour before they went to their usual pattern of fluff/blurb/fluff/bloviate/fluff.