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Fox News and the Power of Innuendo

Reported by Melanie - November 29, 2004

Jonathan Hunt reported on the UN Oil-for-Food "scandal" today during the third segment on Your World w/Neil Cavuto. (COMMENT: Evidently the importance of his report is increasing as the day passes. He made the exact same report during Dayside three hours earlier but during that show his was the ninth segment.)

Hunt reported on a French senator named Charles Pasqua who, according to Hunt, is named in the Dulfer report has having received "millions of dollars" in oil vouchers from Saddam Hussein.

According to Hunt, Pasqua is being questioned in three separate French corruption investigations but in an inteview with Hunt, Pasqua claimed he was innocent and had never received any money or vouchers from Hussein. Hunt said: "But when we pressed Mr. Pasqua on the alleged bribes, he threatened to walk out." Video aired of Pasqua saying: "I want to stop, you know. If you continue in this fashion we are going to stop. I don't see the need to continue further."

Hunt concluded his report: "Recovering his composure, this supremely confident man" who "some say is protected by French President Jacques Chirac himself," said he is willing to meet with his "US accusers" and that he would be willing to open his bank accounts to inspection. Hunt said that late last week the House International Relations Committee "invited" Pasqua to appear before it, but they're still waiting to hear whether or not he has agreed to do so.

COMMENT: Fox built this report around the fact that Pasqua didn't want to be "pressed" (after having provided an answer) about whether or not he accepted vouchers from Saddam Hussein. Yet, no one likes to be "pressed." Fox implied that Pasqua's threat to end the interview was evidence of Pasqua's guilt. Adding to the implied appearance of guilt was Pasqua's unaccepted "invitation" to appear before the House International Relations Committee. Yet, can you imagine a US senator agreeing to appear before a French congressional investigative committee?

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