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Reported by Nancy - February 2, 2005 -

Last night (2/1), Special Report was mostly about portraying Bush's agenda in the most positive, glowing terms possible, & of course casting any potential opposition or response in the most negative terms possible. No surprises here.

Secy of Defense Donald Rumsfeld gave Bret Baier an interview on 2/1, & that was headlined & replayed in several segments during the program. Baier actually did press Rumsfeld about how many Iraqi troops are actually trained & equipped & ready to function. Rumsfeld threw out a number -- 130,200 -- but immediately qualified that by saying that "numbers miss the point" because "you're looking for capability" [comment: well, duh, it's hard to have much capability without numbers].

At 6:07pm (all times ET) Carl Cameron previewed Bush's State of the Union speech. In addition to the "preview", Cameron's "report" included clips of both GWBush & Laura Bush.

At 6:10pm Jim Angle reported on a "rare view in the House today" -- 1 GOP & 1 Dem offering a plan that includes "personal savings accounts". Angle said that House Dems are "getting some help from MoveOn" in "targeting" Dems who support personal accounts.

At 6:12pm Brian Wilson reported on the progress of Alberto Gonzales's nomination as Attorney General. Wilson said that a "handful of Dems" don't support Gonzales & showed a series of clips (one Dem; Bush walking & waving; Sen Orrin Hatch defending Gonzales). Wilson also mentioned that Dems had considered a filibuster, but rather than explore why or how they might do that, he focused on how Sen Bill Frist "found that exasperating" (clip of Frist).

Brit Hume's "Grapevine" segment at 6:30pm was the usual series of short blubrs: the "photo" of a US soldier hostage that was posted on an "Islamist" website may be a photo of a "Special Ops action figure"; looks like Howard Dean will be next DNC chair; a CNN exec & US Rep Barney Frank (D-MA) had a disagreement.

At 6:33pm Jonathan Hunt delivered his usual tabloid-style "report" -- this time using the flimsiest alleged "evidence" to insinuate that Paul Volcker may not be quite as rabid about the UN as Hunt would like. This "report" was essentially a repeat of Hunt's "report" that aired earlier the same day on FNL.

At 6:36pm Carol McKinley essentially repeated her report on Prof Ward Churchill (that also aired earlier the same day on FNL). Churchill is the current target for death threats from the radical reactionaries, & Fox's coverage of the issue fanned those flames. When I described the report McKinley filed for FNL (please see Just Another Day in the Slime of FNL), I said:

McKinley managed to play the race card, saying that "lots of students" are concerned "because this is another black guy" & referencing the previous sports scandal at CU [comment: Churchill is a full-blooded Cherokee].

Some claimed that McKinley said "black eye" rather than "black guy". I have relistened to her segment from FNL & I think you could interpret her mumbling either way. In any case, she did not repeat that line in this report.