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Fox News: Behind the Scenes of its Propaganda

Reported by Melanie - February 15, 2005

Subtitle: If you question whether Fox News is a propaganda machine for the right, read this.

Today (February 15, 2005) during Dayside w/Linda Vester, viewers were drenched in conservative hate against "liberal" universities, people who are anti-war, and newspapers who "lean left."

One of the segments was about anti-war protesters in Seattle who allegedly assaulted military recruiters during a protest on Inauguration Day. As I began to compose this post, and to do some research into the "players," my eyes grew bigger and bigger. Here's what happened.

Returning from a break, Vester introduced Fox reporter Dan Springer: "An anti-war group at Seattle Central Community College reportedly assaulted the recruiters and then ran them off campus." At first the school wanted the anti-war protesters to apologize but now they're "changing their tune."

Dan Springer opened by asking whether the students involved in the "ugly incident" were "suppressing the free speech of our military" even as they "exercised their right to protest." Springer said that on Inauguration Day a group of students at the college organized a walk-out and "turned their anger" to military recruiters who were on campus that day. He said a "few hundred surrounded the men, shouting them down, destroying some property and, according to one report, even throwing bottles." Springer said campus security escorted the recruiters away "from the angry mob." He said initially the college president "seemed embarrassed" and demanded the protesters apologize but when the anti-war protesters refused the "president backed down." Springer said the anti-war protesters are now trying to get military recruiters banned from the campus. He said that "if the President relents on this as well, it will cost the school about a million dollars in federal funding."

Imagine my surprise when I found this news release dated 2-14-05:

DENVER, Feb. 14 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld should withhold federal funds from a Seattle college for its failure to ensure the safety of military recruiters who visited the campus last month, the Secretary was advised by a public interest law firm in a letter released today. According to news reports, military recruiters were forced to flee from Seattle Central Community College after being assaulted and battered by a student mob. Mountain States Legal Foundation advised Secretary Rumsfeld that the college's actions violated the Solomon Amendment, which requires that colleges and universities permit military recruiters on campus or lose all federal funds. "(B)y failing to ensure the physical safety of military recruiters on its campus, SCCC violated the Solomon Amendment," the letter advises.

Here's a little bit about the Mountain States Legal Foundation from MediaTransparency.org:

Although you'd never know it from their website, the Mountain States Legal Foundation was started by former Interior Secretary James Watt in l976. It has taken on and won all kinds of conservative legal cases.

An article dated February 4, 2005 in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says, in part:

Yesterday, however, officials backed off their demand that the group apologize to the recruiters or be stripped of their affiliation with the college.

Central President Mildred Ollee said she dropped the ultimatum after discovering that members of other student groups were involved in the confrontation.

The incident was captured in a newspaper photograph that has made its way into conservative Web blogs. That spurred a wave of e-mails to Central administrators denouncing the conduct of the students.

Fox News displayed the same "newspaper photograph" featured on the Post-Intelligencer's site.

Comment: So, let's follow this. After Inauguration Day (1-20-05), the story "made its way onto conservative web blogs." On February 4, 2005, the Seattle newspaper published a story about that. The Mountain States Legal Foundation hears about it and on February 14, 2005, calls on Don Rumsfeld to withhold federal funds from the college. On February 15, 2005 Fox News broadcasts a story which is entirely slanted against the anti-war protesters and in favor of the military, designed to ignite country-wide anger, not only against anti-war protestors but against "liberal" colleges, a favorite Fox/neo-con target of late.

"Fair and balanced news?" Now, you tell me Fox News isn't part of the right-wing propaganda machine!

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