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I'm Thankful Hume's Away

Reported by Nancy - November 25, 2004 -

Brian Wilson filled in for Brit Hume again last night (11/24) on Special Report, & I'm beginning to wish he'd be a permanent replacement. If Wilson keeps it up, this could even become an informative & worth-watching program.

The program started off well, until Carl Cameron showed up (at 6:16pm ET) with a classic Dem-bashing report that pretended to be about the "search" for Dem leadership. Cameron included clips of "moderate" Dems like Will Marshall & Donna Brazile [comment: DINOs] & of the "Dean scream", called Jean Carnahan "credible" because she supports "gun rights" [comment: I don't recall Cameron ever calling Kerry credible for that reason, even though Kerry also supports "gun rights"] & said the Dean campaign had "flamed out". The report even included that hoary chestnut, "liberal Hollywood & media elites".

Back on track, at 6:20pm (ET), Wilson interviewed Mark Hatfield (TSA spokesperson) about new TSA regs & procedures. Wilson's questions were right on topic & not at all "softball", & Hatfield was both forthcoming & informative. Here are some tidbits from some of the stats Hatfield cited: in Oct 2004, TSA airport screeners confiscated 170,000 knives from passengers; they also confiscate 2 guns/day & 2000 rounds of ammo/month.

In the "Grapevine" segment (6:31pm ET), Wilson followed Hume's format of rapid-fire mini-blurbs: MEMRI reports that a Jordanian commentator agrees with Ariel Sharon that Arafat was a disaster for the Palestinians [comment: why does Fox insist on repeating MEMRI reports?]; a lawyers' group called ADF is suing a Cupertino, CA, school because it allegedly banned some documents that contained "Christian references" [comment: if the judge rules in ADF's favor, will Fox call him an "activist judge"?]; a group called Move America Forward wants to kick the UN out of the US, calling the UN "apologists for terrorists"; & viewers emailed that the DJ who called Condi Rice a "Jemima" was from Madison, not Milwaukee, WI. In this segment, all blurbs hit recurrent Fox themes.

At 6:34pm (ET) Jennifer Griffin reported on Fatah backing Mahmoud Abbas. The official Fox line on Abbas clearly hasn't been decided yet [comment: they must be waiting for word from the neo-cons & AIPAC] -- Griffin said he "looks a little gray", he "didn't dabble in violence" & "some say" that he is "little more than a transitional figure". This was followed by a report from Dan Springer (at 6:37pm ET) on the see-sawing results of the Governor's race in WA. There has been a machine recount, & a manual recount may yet happen.

The "All-Stars" segment opened at 6:42pm (ET) with a discussion of the situation in the Ukraine. The panel tonight was Fred Barnes, Jeff Birnbaum & Juan Williams (all regulars on this program). Again, both Williams & Birnbaum were more vocal -- Wilson gives them more opportunity than Hume does, doesn't interrupt & talk over the panel, & above all doesn't smirk. Williams even disagreed openly with Barnes, pointing out that the US supported Putin's strong-arm tactics in Russia but now protests when he tries the same thing in Ukraine. Barnes immediately offered some excuses for this [comment: hypocritical] US policy. The panel ended with a roundtable about what each was thankful for -- a little funny, a little smarmy, & mostly predictable, but what else would you do on Thanksgiving Eve?

Happy Thanksgiving to all!