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Giving Dumb Blondes a Bad Name

Reported by Nancy - November 19, 2004 -

This morning (11/19) on FNL, Brigitte Quinn proved yet again that she can't handle an interview with an interesting, intelligent guest.

There was the usual scattershot approach to "hard news" -- Bush is going to Chile [comment: after yet another vacation in Crawford], there's fighting in Fallujah, Scott Peterson "might" not get the death penalty, Zarqawi "may" have been in Fallujah & US troops "may" have found his HQ there, Geraldo Rivera had an interview with John Kerry, Iran "might" be making nukes, the UN Staff Council will vote this afternoon on whether to give a "no-confidence" vote to S-G Kofi Annan, did Osama bin Laden's tape make Kerry lose, North Korea "might" be "cashing in" on terror.

At 11:21am (ET), Quinn interviewed David Kimball (pres, Arms Control Assoc) about Iran possibly working on a gas that is used in nuclear weapons. Kimball is a cut above FNL's usual guests. He obviously brings a wealth of knowledge & experience with him. Quinn wasn't up to the task of interviewing him well. She started by asking whether he thought the report was true. He said we just don't know at this point, but the IAEA will investigate. She then asked if he agreed with our allies [comment: what "allies"? Fox has done nothing but bash the EU for trying to deal with Iran] that diplomacy is the way to go. Kimball said diplomacy is the best option & that we should "complement, not complicate" EU efforts. Quinn, instead of simply asking him to expand that thought, said she didn't understand what he meant by "complement" [comment: if she really didn't understand that word, she has no business being on a "hard news" show]. After he explained, Quinn resorted to a classic Fox ploy, saying "some say" we should let the EU go ahead with diplomacy but the US should not take the military option off the table. Kimball said he thought the military option against Iran was "terrible" & suggested that a carrot-&-stick approach would be better. Quinn wouldn't let go of the "military option" idea, & asked if the "stick" were military, wouldn't that be more effective because we've shown that we mean it. Kimball pointed out that it could have the opposite effect, since the US military is already "bogged down" in Iraq & overstretched, & it would probably start an all-out war. Quinn had the good sense to end the interview there, before Kimball said anything else contrary to FNL's usual testosterone-laden preening & gloating about the US use of military force.

This interview stood in stark contrast to an earlier one (11:13am ET) Quinn did with Gen (ret) Thomas McInerney (a FNL regular) about current military ops in Iraq. McInerney used the screenwriter, treating the issue like a football game, & both Quinn & McInerney used phrases like we've "broken the back" of the enemy, & the Sunnis will have to decide if they "want to be bombed" or "come with us". McInerney proudly noted that Fallujah could become "another Beirut, or even Carthage" [comment: an allusion that undoubtedly went right over the heads of FNL's "base", as it did over Quinn's]. McInerney is obviously well-informed &, like Kimball, brings a wealth of knowledge & experience, but Quinn brings out the worst rather than the best in him.