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Never Mind The News. Carl Cameron Drops In For Some Bush PR

Reported by Ellen - January 27, 2005

FOX News Reporter Carl Cameron dropped in at the beginning of Alan Colmes' radio show last night, ostensibly to report on Bush's press conference earlier in the day. But, on America's single bloodiest day in Iraq, Cameron barely mentioned the war which other news outlets said dominated the 47-minute conference. Instead, Cameron spent a lot of time telling us what a humorous guy our Jokester-in-Chief is and that he really was kidding when he said a reporter was acting like a senior citizen because he showed faulty memory.

Cameron, recently promoted to White House Correspondent, was caught on film in Outfoxed chatting cozily with Bush about his (Cameron's) wife's work on Bush's campaign. Last night, his first visit on Colmes' show since his promotion, Cameron seemed to spend an awful lot of airtime talking about how well he doesn't know the president. When Colmes asked if Cameron had a nickname yet, he said "Not a second term nickname... I'm still sort of relegated to the group... nicknamed during the first campaign... I have not actually been around the president enough to be nicknamed during his presidency. But back when he was the governor of Texas, he gave me three."

At the end of the segment, Colmes asked how Cameron would characterize his relationship with the president now. "Uh... (Cameron seemed to fumble for the words here) I would say that it is cordial, friendly, candid, frank... and again my relationship with him goes back to when he was governor and it was a very different time but the George W. Bush that I knew then and to a certain degree still have a relationship with - there's a certain degree of sort of macho shoulder butting that George Bush does with an awful lot of people." Comment: No mention of the wife who, I have been told, is now an ex-wife. I have a feeling the divorce was not over a difference in political beliefs.

After a little more chit-chat about Cameron's nickname and Bush's graciousness, Cameron got around to the "substance" of the press conference. Was it the 37 deaths in Iraq yesterday? The dangers of the upcoming elections there? No. "This briefing today was odd in that a number of questions were posted by reporters in sort of humorous moods and the president sparred with the press in kind of a more friendly way, notwithstanding the tone of the questions about Iraq, the tone of the questions about the elections on Sunday as well as the tone of the questions about the president's domestic agenda."

Colmes introduced the segment in which Bush jokingly told a reporter he was acting like a senior citizen because his memory was faulty.

Cameron quickly said that "we have to explain... the inside relationship between that particular reporter... and the two of them had been a famously caustic relationship... and it was always quite funny and it was received quite well by the folks in Texas who thought it was healthy and humorous. The president is being accused by some of suggesting that the elderly or senior citizens as a whole class of people, if you will, are all prone to forgetfulness." Cameron started laughing in the middle of the word "forgetfulness" as if to prove the hilarity of that suggestion. Cameron then said that "special interest groups will weigh in on it (the remark), particularly if they have an anti-Bush agenda." Colmes and Cameron then reiterated that it was a joke, not a mean-spirited remark.

"Any real news come out of this today?" Colmes asked.

"Not really. The president, essentially, was talking about Iraq, the upcoming elections and the fact that this was the bloodiest day since the invastion - 31 Americans dead. It needed to be addressed and the president did that... This was a time when nobody expected him to say much because there were so many momentous things happening."

Now that is saying a lot.

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