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News for the Easily Distracted

Reported by Nancy - November 9, 2004 -

FNL today (11/9) was a head-spinning mishmash of Scott Peterson/Yasser Arafat/battle for Fallujah. To paraphrase someone funnier than I, "Won't it serve Fox News right if a verdict in the Peterson trial comes in on the day Arafat dies?"

They've developed some pretty hideous music (even for FNL) to cue up any Fallujah story. Of note, the US military seems to have realized that lame names like "Phantom Fury" didn't put an Iraqi facade on things, so they've re-named the mess with an Arabic name -- Al Fadr (sp?).

At 11:28am (ET), teasers for Fallujah included "combing every street, every alley for terror hideouts" & "how does the military train for urban warfare?"

At 11:30am (ET) Patti Ann Brown's headlines included Fallujah (a large number of terrorists might have left the city), Ramadi (terrorists clash with US forces), Arafat dying, Peterson trial, USPS stamp honoring Reagan.

At 11:32am (ET) David Asman joined the show & commented that the video from Fallujah was "compelling", although he didn't clarify exactly what he meant by "compelling". At this point, FNL reporters were all referring to "our" forces when discussing Fallujah. Later they changed & started mentioning "coalition" forces. [question: can anyone confirm whether other "coalition" forces are in fact involved in this battle?]

Asman noted that violence is "trickling down" to other places in Iraq [comment: not surprising, since we're bombing the crap out of lots of places there], & introduced a report from John Cookson in Baghdad, who said the US is "pushing deeper & deeper", "retaking" the city on 2 fronts. Overnight the city was "lit up" from artillery barrages, we "pounded" the city, we're using [comment: among other lovely weapons] "phosphorus shells that burn through metal bulkheads". Not surprisingly, "resistance is patchy". Cookson also reported on a "terrorist" mob in Bakuba & a nighttime curfew in Baghdad.

At 11:34am (ET), Brigitte Quinn noted that "terrorists could be hiding anywhere" to introduce a report by Megan Campbell re urban warfare training. Campbell duly noted all the nasty things these opponents do ("tactics like placing bombs in dead animals"), but reassured viewers that "US troops are well trained" [comment: as opposed to the Iraqi forces we're using as cannon fodder?] & that we're using "psyops" tactics like "trucks to blare music". [comment: see how "benign" we are?]

At 11:36am (ET), Asman broke away from the Peterson/Arafat/Fallujah pattern for a scare about 100 missing propane tanks in Denver that "might" be terror-related. He interviewed Danny Coulson (former FBI asst deputy director), who tried to calm things down, noting that the missing propane is not consumer vapor, but commercial-grade liquid propane & that they may have been stolen for commercial purposes. Asman wouldn't let go of the possible terror connection, wanting to know if "the effort that went into stealing" them didn't indicate this was not a run-of-the-mill robbery. Coulson said no, it would take only a bolt cutter & a few minutess, not a big deal effort. Asman then asked whether there was any "terrorist chatter" about the propane. Coulson again said no [comment: Asman was visibly disappointed that Coulson wouldn't help him hype this story].