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Helter Skelter Would Be An Improvement for FNL

Reported by Nancy - March 3, 2005 -

On Wednesday (3/2), FNL seemed like it was still waiting to hear what the "official line" would be on cases before the Supreme Court. This resulted in yet another neck-snapping, rapid-fire series of jumps from topic to topic, with only a few of the usual pro-Bush segments. Brigitte Quinn & David Asman seemed a little flustered by the lack of a plan.

First, the pro-Bush segments:

At 11:14am (all times ET), saying that Social Security "reform" is "obviously high on the President's agenda" & that Dems "obviously oppose" it as do "some" GOPs, Quinn interviewed Bruce Reed (Dem, DLC) & Pete DuPont (GOP, former Gov of DE). Both guests hit all the RNC talking points, with DuPont ("individuals are gonna have their own accounts", "in another month or so of work, he'll [Bush] have enough votes", Dems are "too liberal", Dems want "high taxes ... most Americans oppose this") only slightly edging out Reed ("the President has achieved bipartisan" blahblahblah, Dems "desperately need" blahblahblah) in nauseating sycophancy.
Comment: this is what passes for "Fair & Balanced" on FNL. Why not have a *real* Dem or progressive who actually opposes Bush's SocSecScam, instead of a RINO like Reed?

At 12:05pm, there was an ALERT & Asman said that Bush sent "a STRONG [emphasis his] message to Syria" to intro a report from Jennifer Griffin from Beirut about events there. When Griffin finished, Asman commented approvingly that Bush "is talking tough" & it "doesn't look like he's gonna back down on this one".

Now, to the rest of the mind-numbing, helter-skelter pastiche that passes for a news program on FNC:

There were several ALERTS & updates about Steve Fossett's flight around the world:
11:02am - Quinn said "Fossett's life could be in trouble"
11:13am - ALERT re Fossett
11:22am - ALERT - Fossett will make an announcement at 2pm

At 11:03am Jeff Goldblatt reported on what Quinn called the "midwest murder mystery" -- the murder of Judge Lefkow's husband & mother. He said a task force was "working around the clock" & noted the "potential involvement of hate groups". At 12:08pm Goldblatt essentially repeated his earlier report.

There were the usual blahblahblah routines about MJackson
11:05am - Bob Massi
11:18am - teaser
11:23am - teaser: "media frenzy at Camp MJ" [comment: yes, without a hint of self-awareness]

Starting at 11:29am there were multiple ALERTs & updates re- a school bus driver shot in Cumberland City TN
11:33am - new info re school bus driver "may have been killed" - no one else on bus
11:37am - ALERT - TN school bus driver - WKRN reporter Derinda Carter
11:45am - ALERT - TN school bus driver shot (with the editorial comment that it happened one day after SCOTUS "struck down" the death penalty for juveniles [comment: the child allegedly involved hasn't even been charged with anything yet, & already FNL is howling for his execution])
11:59am - ALERT - TN school bus driver

There was a brief nod to the "Happy Iraq" scenario:
11:32am - Caroline Shively in Baghdad reported on the assassination of a judge & prosecutor, noting that the names of tribunal members are being kept secret because it's "so dangerous"
12:03pm - Shively essentially repeated her earlier report, adding some info about several bombs today in Baghdad -- but the new Iraqi Army is "making progress"!
[comment: note how the tenor of Shively's report changed over that half-hour]

11:34am - Molly Henenberg reported on some of the questions being asked during today's SCOTUS hearing on 2 cases involving the Ten Commandments on public property. Henenberg wrapped up by noting that a recent AP/Ipsos poll showed that 76% of respondents said such displays should be allowed [comment: Molly, if 76% of your friends thought the earth was flat, would that make them right?].

By 11:38 they started hyping the alleged "sketch of Grand Central" the accused Madrid bombers had
11:38am - ALERT - Ray Kelly (Chief, NYPD) will "momentarily" appear
11:41am - ALERT - view of 1 Police Plaza, waiting for Kelly
11:46am - ALERT - Kelly speaks "let's listen" -- which we did, while Kelly said there was no info that these drawings were "part of an operational plan" to attack Grand Central
11:56am - teasers included the Grand Central "sketch"
12:00pm - Kathryn Herridge reported on the "sketch of Grand Central"

At 11:42 - Asman interviewed George Martin (neighbor & friend of the man accused of being the BTK killer); Martin was a singularly uncommunicative interview subject.

At 11:53am, they gave up all pretense of reporting news & interviewed Joan Collins about her new novel "Misfortune's Daughter" (Hyperion).

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNL's coverage of any of the above items). O/T comments will be deleted. Please use the O/T category from the list at right to post unrelated comments. Thanks.