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Brit Hume's Lie Goes Unchecked

Reported by Melanie - March 4, 2005

On February 25, 2005 I posted, STILL No Word From Brit Hume. In that post I reiterated our support for Al Franken and James Roosevelt, Jr. in their call for "a retraction, an apology," or even the "resignation" of Fox News's Brit Hume. Hume shamelessly rearranged sentences written in l935 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to falsely imply that Roosevelt would favor the Bush administration's effort to "privatize Social Security." On February 3, Hume read the manufactured "quote" on air as an accurate representation of what Roosevelt wrote. In doing so, Hume lied to millions of trusting viewers, and he showed himself to be a shill for the Bush administration, not a purveyor of "fair and balanced news."

On February 20, 2005, Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe wrote, Hijacking FDR to Undo his Deal. In her article, Goodman said, in part:

First, we had vague and fond references by the 2005 president to his 1930s predecessor. GWB makes FDR sound like a favorite ancestor whose charming-if-dusty old ideas just need a brush-up to ''serve the needs of our time."

Next, the conservative group Progress for America actually used FDR footage in an ad to privatize Social Security. This alone was enough to force grandson James Roosevelt into defending the real FDR from the revisionists.

Undaunted conservatives then scrambled the words and meaning of the late, great president to say that FDR himself endorsed ''personal accounts." The notion that FDR was a closet privatizer was promoted with a straight face by a Wall Street Journal columnist, then by William Bennett, and, not surprisingly, by Fox News's Brit Hume, who isn't one of those journalists on the Bush payroll -- he just plays one on TV.

Today, in my fourth post on this topic, I again call on Fox News to address this issue. It is entirely unacceptable for Fox News's most senior news anchor to lie to the viewing public.

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