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Still Playing the Victim Card

Reported by Nancy - December 17, 2004 -

FNL this morning (12/17) hit the "Christmas is under attack" theme again, this time trying to spin one story from Oklahoma & one from Texas to fit their pre-conceived agenda. The program also included an "update" (aired twice) from the ever-rabid Jonathan Hunt about the Oil-for-Food program.

At 11:24am (ET), Brigitte Quinn interviewed Joshua Carden (lawyer with Alliance Defense Fund) & Bruce Prescott (Mainstream Baptists of OK) re Nativity scene out of school play in Mustang, OK. Quinn's first question set the tone: "Is Christmas under attack?" Carden said yes, people who are not in the "mainstream" are trying to take Christmas out of "the public square" [comment: note how they stay on message by re-using the same words & phrases over & over]. Prescott pointed out that "Christ was NOT excluded", they sang Christmas carols including Silent Night; he said the play was trying to give "emphasis to one faith over another". Quinn gave Carden the last word, & he said "hypersensitive folks" are reacting to a Nativity scene.

At 12:42pm (ET), Rick Folbaum said "Christmas is no longer under atack in Plano TX" to introduce a report from Phil Keating in Dallas. Keating said that a federal judge ruled that one boy must be allowed to hand out candy canes with "attached Christian message". His parents had filed suit with the help of the Liberty Legal Institute (clip of dad); parents are feeling "relievd" & "victorious" [comment: note that this federal judge wasn't excoriated as being an "activist", nor did Keating mention that the federal judge was following precedent because other cases exactly like this have been litigated by the ACLU on behalf of children handing out "candy canes with attached Christian" messages].

At 11:44am (ET), Jonathan Hunt did his usual rabid rant about the Oil-for-Food program. He started by saying "We already knew Saddam Hussein skimmed billions", the program may also have been "turned into a vast international money-laundering scheme" involving "hundreds of millions of dollars"; docs from the "UN-picked French bank BNP" obtained by Henry Hyde & shown to Fox [comment: why is a Congressional investigation showing docs to Fox?] show "3 suspicious transactions" involving $9 million (out of >50,000 transactions) & third-party payments are a "classic money laundering ploy". Hunt said "the bottom line" is that "no one is sure where that $9 million went & how many more millions may have ended up in the wrong hands". Hunt essentially repeated the exact same report at 12:26pm.

Here's some of what FNL didn't cover:

news stories (from Googlenews front page at 7:30am ET):
Turkey & EU membership talks/Cyprus deal
YUKOS files for bankruptcy
Japan & US sign missile defense treaty
"Star Wars" missile fails to launch
Israeli army kills 3 Palestinians
update re shortage of flu shots
anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge

follow-ups on yesterday's stories (same source):
Athens bus hijackers
Sprint & Nextel merge
Iraqi campaign mudslinging
Time-Warner fines: $120M (DoJ ) & $300M (SEC)
MPAA files suit against P2P networks
heavy metal toxins in imported Ayurvedic food
warnings of bomb attacks in Indonesia (& Qantas refunds)
drugs better than shots for anthrax

Iraq stories (from icasualties.com at 5:30am ET):
Navy SEALS expanding probe into abuse photos
Italian taken hostage
gunners overrun police station in Samar
6 Iraqis executed near Latifiyah
southern Iraq's oil exports down almost 1/3
soldier killed in IED incident near Camp Taji
3 Polish soldiers killed in copter crash
DoD internal docs show Marines abused detainees over 2yr period
ambush south of Baghdad: 4 Iraqi policemen killed, 13 wounded, & 20 abducted