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Triple Whammy

Reported by Nancy - November 23, 2004 -

This morning (11/23) on FNL, there was the usual mix of inconsequential & trivial fluff coccooning the "hard news" this program pretends to show. Big brouhaha & multiple mentions of alleged fraud & irregularities in elections in the Ukraine (compare to the coverage afforded to post-election problems in the US (e.g., report from Orlando Salinas minimizing problems in Florida at 11:36am today). But 3 items stood out in particular as typically FNL.

At 10:14am (ET) Brigitte Quinn interviewed Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard & Fox News regular) about polls done by the NYTimes & Gallup. The Times poll showed 56% "optimistic" about Bush's 2nd term & 39% not optimistic. The Gallup poll showed Bush with a 57% approval rating. Quinn read a line from the Times article & asked if Bush has a mandate, Kristol called it a "potential mandate", then discussed that for a while. [comment: what's "balanced" about having one right-wing commentator bloviate about this for 3 mins? why not ask someone who actually did the polls? why not discuss what people are actually optimistic about?]

At 10:19am (ET), John Scott interviewed Jeff Benedict (Sports Illustrated) about the basketball brawl. Overall, this was ordinary speculation, except that Benedict took the opportunity to get in a little union-bashing (he noted -- in a very derogatory way -- that the union will assist players who appeal their suspensions, but didn't bother to mention that that is precisely what a union is supposed to do).

Finally, I saw an ad again this morning that just epitomizes the loaded language that Fox uses to whip up fear & loathing. "Eurabia," a special 4-part series on Muslims in Europe will air Thanksgiving week on the "FOX Report," 7pm (ET) on FNC (beginning tonight, Tue 11/23). The voice-over for the ad for this program includes "swarming", "flooding", "rampant" "alienating", "luring" & ends with the warning that this "human" threat is "aiming straight for America" -- a lovely combination of xenophobia & let's-hate-Europe.

Fluff blurbs mixed with real blurbs (all treated equally superficially & with the usual FNL spin): Scott Peterson, ALF releases animals from lab at U of Iowa, Canadian suggests Bush should be arrested for war crimes if he sets foot in Canada, new offensive south of Baghdad, hunting massacre in WI, special ops to "help" CIA, ACLU "attacks" Boy Scouts so Sen Bill Frist (R-TN) introduces "Save Our Scouts" bill, terror threat from nukes & bioagents & chem agents, wicked weather, Catholic League reminds people to display religious symbols, a woman in AZ was "swept away" in a stream & rescued, national Christmas tree, how not to steal Christmas ornaments, cornering the enemy in the "triangle of death" in Iraq. Etc.