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Fox News Analyst Bevelacqua calls Italian Journalist's Release 'Unfortunate'

Reported by Ellen - March 7, 2005 -

Tuned into Studio B with Shepard Smith today and found him speaking with one of the Fox news analysts, Bob Bevelacqua, US Army retired, about the shooting of the Italian journalist. At first, the conversation was unremarkable, saying how you had to be careful at checkpoints in Iraq. They spoke of how there was both civilian and military traffic on the road to the airport and this caused many security problems. Then Bevelacqua said if you don't follow the checkpoint instructions to the letter, the only thing they can do is assume that you mean them harm and they will return the 'favor' very quickly. (comment: he actually said the word 'favor', which I thought was kind of odd)

But he continued on, saying that this is obviously what happened with the Italian journalist (it is?), that this has happened to many innocent Iraqi civilians in the past and they've gotten killed. He said this is extremely unfortunate but it does happen. (His casualness was disturbing)

Smith interjected that it seemed unfathomable for a security team not to know the proper procedures for the checkpoints.

Bevelacqua said he was going to assume and he hates to assume (right) that whoever was driving or in charge didn't know what they were doing and selectively (selectively?) decided not to obey the rules or didn't know the rules.

Smith then said that passengers are usually in the back seat and how they could see what was happening in the front seat, he didn't know. (comment: I can see the front seat and what's going on when I'm in the back seat. What's he speaking about?)

Smith continued on that is was important to point out who this journalist was (Why? You'll see). He stated that she was a communist who worked for a communist newspaper. (OMG, let's give McCarthy a call).

He then read and put up on the screen two statements from her written column on November 13, 2004.

"In one attack on a hospital the Americans killed 20 doctors. The Marines are shooting at everything that moves."

"Fallujah is dying under the criminally indifferent gaze not only of the United States but also of the Iraqi Government."

Giuliana Sgrena, il manifesto, November 13, 2004

Smith said that these are more editorial comment than statements of facts, he guessed.

Well, he had done it - he had his 'news analyst' all primed for the following exchange.

Bevelacqua said, "Oh, Shepard, you're going to make me say something I'm probably going to regret."

Smith: "That was the hope."

Bevelacqua: "It's unfortunate that she was released. She didn't deserve the faith and honor that was given to her in the death of an Italian Intelligence officer. She is supporting the animals that took her hostage and she's using the death of a fellow countryman to help push her cause. It's disgusting."

Smith said he thought that was pretty strong and did Bevelacqua think she was supporting those who held her hostage?

Bevelacqua said that anyone who uses that type of anti-coalition rhetoric might as well be on Al Jazeera. He said she is suppoting their cause. He added that she doesn't want this to be a success, so she's jamming whatever she can into the collective eye of the coalition. He again said, "It's disgusting."

Smith ended the segment by saying that an investigation was underway and the President had promised the Prime Minister of Italy a complete and thorough investigation. He finished by saying that the U.S. government is basically saying this woman's story is 'absurd'.

Comment: I'll tell you what's absurd. Having this 'News Analyst' spew his hate for this woman and saying it was 'unfortunate' that she was released. Smith knew exactly what he was doing when he said "That was the hope" after Belevacqua said he was going to say something he was going to regret. This is pure sensationalism in the guise of patriotic pride. Rather than give the American public the news story, they are giving speculation, pure and simple.

Reported by: Donna