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Linda Vester's Viperous Venom

Reported by Ellen - February 6, 2005

I happened to be channel-surfing Friday, 2/4/05, when I caught Linda Vester making a blatant attempt to stir up hate and intolerance for Hollywood and liberals.

In a segment with Republican Congresswoman Deborah Price, Vester asked the rhetorical question "Where are they now?" about the "Hollywood types" who were pessimistic about the Iraq elections. Vester gave the audience a not-so-fair-and-balanced hint that they should have been speaking out in joy at the success.

With her face a study of troubled concern, Vester asked Price a loaded question: Whether the reason celebs have been silent about the elections is because they don't quite believe it's real or "is it more cynical than that?"

On cue, Price responded. "You almost think... that they wanted the election to fail... that they didn't want the Iraqis to have the right to predetermine their own destiny and now that it has gone well, better than anyone has predicted or expected... I mean we are just encouraged by the courage of the Iraqi people." As the audience broke into applause, Rice admonished, "Shame on those people!"

In case there is any doubt remaining that Vester's intention was anything other than to whip up hate against liberals and to demonize their opinions, here's an interesting little excerpt from her blog on FOXNews.com in which she responds to viewer feedback on that segment.

As for the Congresswoman who's wondering where are all those Hollywood activists now that elections in Iraq have been successful...

Peter F. In Sprongfield, MA wrote this:

These Hollywood types were right about everything else with Iraq. They said we would not be greeted as liberators, that it would turn into street-to-street fighting, and that there were doubts about the existnce of WMD's.

Peter, there's no doubt this Administration has made some missteps. But do you honestly think any actor or actress had personal expertise when he or she opined about Iraq? Show me an actor who has studied in the Middle East and I'll put him on the air.

Comment: Notice how Vester doesn't deny Peter's point but shoots the Hollywood messenger by questioning their personal expertise while virtually ignoring the fact that the information provided by Peter is readily available in any news outlet, including FOX. Interestingly, Vester provided no comment to the other viewer feedback that day, two of which supported Republican causes (one on privatization of Social Security, one against national health insurance and for curbing malpractice suits) and one that was certainly consistent with them (it "addressed" the high cost of medical bills by offering a means of better pursuing insurance claims).

I wonder how much time Vester has studied the elections in Iraq. Not much, apparently, because she had no knowledge of this situation in Mosul, reported on by her own FOX News today:

Hundreds of Iraqis shouted slogans and waved Iraqi flags Sunday outside Baghdad's heavily guarded Green Zone to protest alleged irregularities they say prevented tens of thousands of people in Mosul from voting in last weekend's landmark elections.

The demonstrators were mainly Iraqi Christians, Turkomen and Yazidis — members of a small religion in the north — who say polling centers never opened in their neighborhoods in the turbulent northern city and surrounding Ninevah province.

Electoral commission officials in Baghdad have acknowledged that many polling sites never opened Jan. 30 or opened late because of what they said were security concerns. Some sites that opened could not be supplied with ballots and other election materials, officials have said.

I wonder where this news will be on "fair and balanced" Dayside tomorrow. MIA is my guess.

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