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FOX Audience Criticizes Colmes for Speaking Out Against Shooting of Unarmed Iraqi

Reported by Ellen - November 16, 2004 -

Alan Colmes took a lot of flak (no pun intended) tonight for his stance over the shooting by a US Marine of an unarmed, wounded Iraqi. In fact, all he did was call for an investigation, albeit with great emotion over the possibility that an American may have committed a war crime. He also made clear the FOX talking points that appear on FOXNews.com that Iraqi insurgents sometimes feign being wounded as a way of ambushing US forces and that the Marine had been shot in the face the day before. (Comment: I suspect his face must have been shot AT the day before or else wouldn't his wound have to have been pretty superficial in order to be back in combat the next day?)

Colmes' opinion seemed pretty uncontroversial to me and the vehemence of the opposing opinions surprised me. However, as I wrote a few weeks ago, I have become suspicious about how and why the phone calls on the air are chosen. Tonight's calls were in keeping with the seeming FOX agenda of defending the marine, blaming the "liberal" media (see Deborah's post just before mine), and demonizing the other side as being worse - as if that somehow excuses our own brutality. Kudos to Colmes for telling one caller who insisted Colmes praise the troops as soon as he hung up, "I refuse to be your dancing monkey." But I can't help but wonder whether he really got such an overwhelming percentage of opposing calls or if FOX just wanted to make sure there were lots of food fights over his stance. If the calls were just a reflection of listeners, it speaks volumes about the quality of the FOX audience.

Disclaimer: I had to turn the radio off three times during this hour-long segment because Alan kept playing the video and I just could not bear to hear it. So I missed some calls and may have gotten a skewed sample. If someone wants to correct me, feel free to comment and I'll amend this post if it seems appropriate. Please note I'm referring to the percentage of calls on the show, not whose opinion was right or wrong.

11/18/04 UPDATE: I received an email from Alan Colmes earlier today saying that the calls received were not screened to fit in with a Fox agenda and were an accurate reflection of the "overwhelmingly negative response" of his largely conservative audience. That's even more frightening than the idea of Fox stage-managing which calls went on the air. When did conservative come to mean bloodthirsty?