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Same Old, Same Old

Reported by Nancy - January 25, 2005 -

Last night (1/24) Jim Angle sat in for Brit Hume on "Special Report", but the tone, the topics & the All-Star Panel were all the same old, same old. Even the extended interview segment turned out to be simply a muted version of that perennial Fox favorite, the "Happy Iraq" scenario.

The one interesting segment of the program was at 6:20pm, when Angle said that "skeptics argue the election [in Iraq] will be so flawed" the results won't matter, & interviewed Victor Davis Hanson, military historian at the Hoover Inst/Stanford Univ. Angle asked Hanson why he thinks "there's a lot to be gained" with the election, & Hanson replied that Iraqis will have to start taking credit & blame. Angle wondered how to make sure Sunnis are represented in the new govt, & Hanson said that we've made "great efforts" in that regard, then went off on a tangent about how this is "more than just an election," because we're "on the side of history." He likened the Iraq election to the "liberation of the Helots" & the "emancipation of women in Japan" & called it a "radical revolutionary development." Angle asked if Hanson were concerned about the dangers that "critics" & "skeptics" point out, & Hanson claimed that "so far they've been proven wrong," citing a couple of example such as the alleged prediction that "Shiites would be puppets of Iran." [comment: note how both Angle & Hanson use the "straw man" technique -- claim your opponent said something he didn't say, then debunk that as proof that you're right]. Angle noted that "Sistani had a very positive role" in discouraging reactions that might have led to sectarian war. Hanson went back to the straw-man technique, saying "we were told" Iraq would "look like Afghanistan" with warlords "or Lebanon" but "we've been very careful" & the new govt will be a legitimate govt. As further proof of his rosy assessments, he claimed that "oil is under transparent control" because the UN, France & Russia are not involved, which "doesn't fit the old conspiracy theories" that we're after oil. Angle picked up on the Afghanistan theme, & noted that we've had "some success" in Afghanistan & that Karzai urged Iraqis to vote. Hanson just continued with the straw-man technique, saying that there was a "distrbing pattern" of others predicting the " "military will fail" & "elections won't work" but they're wrong & he expects "rapid improvement" after the elections. Angle commented that "Zarqawi declared war on democracy" & said that didn't strike him as a "winning battle cry" & Hanson agreed.

General comments: When I googled Hanson to find out more about him, some interesting connections turned up. He's been published often in the usual radical rags, & his June 2004 WSJ article minimizing what happened at Abu Ghraib & offering the usual excuses for it (excerpt: "Right now we see only revolting pictures that properly shock our sensibilities. But because we do not know the circumstances of the interrogations, the conditions of confinement, or the nature of the acts that warranted imprisonment, we are also ignorant to what degree, if any, these men were responsible for horrendous acts -- or if their clumsy interrogators were trying to shame and humiliate them to extract information to save other lives.") was reprinted by Benador Associates, a PR firm. That name rang a bell because I had previously looked up another Fox guest, Paul Vallely, who is a member of Benaor. It turns out that Hanson is also a member, along with Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, James Woolsey, Charles Krauthammer, Laurie Mylroie, Richard Pipes, Alexander Haig Jr, & a host of other radical reactionaries.

Did someone say "fair & balanced"?