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Special Report's Not So Special

Reported by Nancy - December 2, 2004 -

If you watched Fox News Live earlier, you already know what stories were covered in the first half of last night's edition (12/1) of Special Report. And if you've been following the way Fox has been covering the Oil-for-Food investigation, you can probably guess how the second half went. Shouldn't a program that calls itself "Special" do something to acknowledge World AIDS Day? Or is that not "special" enough?

Here's the first half, most re-cycled from earlier that same day: Donna Fiducia opened the hour at 6:00pm (all times ET) with headlines -- Blake, Peterson, Bryant, alcohol ban at Oklahoma U. At 6:02pm, Bret Baier reported from the Pentagon about increased troop levels in Iraq (from the current 138,000 to 150,000 by the end of January), which will be achieved mostly by "extending" the tours of personnel already there. At 6:05pm, Hume noted that there were court hearings today about detainees at Guantanamo (& didn't mention the ICRC report of prisoner abuse there). Then Jim Angle reported on Bush in Canada today, complete with plenty of video replaying Bush's speech. Angle noted that Bush thanked Canadians for helping thousands of passengers stranded when the US shut down its air space on 9/11/01, but didn't comment that it took him more than 3 years to do so. At 6:09pm, Hume reported on gunfire near the presidential palace in Haiti while Colin Powell was visiting there, noting that no one was hurt & UN peacekeeping troops returned fire. In a teaser before an ad break, Hume then said a "convicted terrorist" will run for President of the Palestinian Authority. After the break, at 6:12pm, Hume introduced that report, repeating the "convicted terrorist" phrase & saying that he tossed a "political grenade" with his announcement. Mike Tobin then reported from Jerusalem that Marwan Barghouti has announced his candidacy for PA Pres, noting that if he's elected Israel will be forced to deal with a PA leader in a jail cell, & comparisons to Nelson Mandela will be inevitable. At 6:17pm, Dana Lewis reported on events in Ukraine.

At 6:20pm, Hume interviewed Steve Sestanovich (Council on Foreign Relations, & observer during recent Ukraine elections). One particular item mentioned during this interview was quite interesting. Sestanovich said there had been 10,000 domestic & 1,000 foreign observers during Uklraine's recent election. According to the CIA World Factbook, Ukraine is slightly smaller than the state of Texas & has a population of 47,732,079. [Question: Anyone care to compare/contrast the recent US election?]

Fiducia read more headlines -- increased troop levels in Iraq, Bush in Canad, Terri Schiavo, Tom Brokaw -- at 6:30pm, then Hume did his "Grapevine" segment: conspiracy theories about what's going on in Ukraine [comment: I'm soooo tempted to say "methinks he doth protest too much"], taxpayers will foot the bill if Janklow loses civil case [comment: can you imagine the thermonuclear reaction if Janklow were a Dem?], MoveOn is looking for something to move on to, a Denver parade barred a Christian float.

At 6:34pm, it was off to the races with Jonathan Hunt, rabid as ever, about the Oil-for-Food investigation. At 6:42pm, following a clip of Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) also shown earlier the same day calling for Kofi Annan's ouster, Hume & his panel took off on the bash-the-UN theme. Tonight's panel was Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke & Charles Krauthammer [comment: you can imagine how "fair & balanced" the "analysis" was]. The whole affair, in typically over-the-top Fox-ese, was called the "biggest financial scandal in the history of mankind" at "$20 billion & counting" [comment: which is patently false, because the collapse of BCCI (fraud, money-laundering & many other assorted financial scams) cost hundreds of billions of dollars world-wide -- could it be that Fox doesn't want viewers to remember all the Bush-BCCI links?].

Barnes & Kondracke agreed that Annan must go, with Barnes even pointing out that William Safire & National Review also have called for him to leave [comment: see? the echo chamber works!] & Kondracke saying that Annan was "responsible" for the whole mess -- Hume called him on that, & Kondracke backtracked to well, "not entirely" responsible. But Krauthammer said it's the UN itself that's the problem, with a corrupt bureaucracy, corrupt secretariat, corrupt General Assembly. His solution? Dump the UN entirely. Listening to Krauthammer is like biting into tinfoil, & after he said that the UN spreads anti-Semitism, I just couldn't take any more.

Needless to say, none of the panel members mentioned that US companies & individuals are also targets of these ongoing investigations.