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Hume Gets It Wrong ... Again

Reported by Nancy - March 9, 2005 -

Who gave Brit Hume the saw he's using to cut off the branch he's sitting on? Adding to his previous errors, last night (3/8) on Special Report, Hume claimed that critics aren't proposing alternatives to Bush's SocSecScam -- a claim so easily disproved it's laughable. And Hume devoted his one-on-one interview segment to talking with Ari Fleischer, who is promoting his new book, "Taking Heat" -- a triple play for Hume, since he got to help promote a pal's book, bash Helen Thomas, & minimize l'affaire Gannon.

At 6:05pm (all times ET) Jennifer Griffin reported from Damascus on events today in Lebanon & Syria. Hume's lead-in to Griffin's report was particularly revealing: "state-controlled Syrian televison" didn't cover Bush's speech today [comment: Syria bad!].

At 6:07pm Greg Kelly reported on Gen George Casey's press conf today, saying Casey was "facing a barrage of reporter's questions" about the incident that killed Italian intel agent Nicola Calipari & wounded Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena. Kelly said that Casey has ordered a review of other checkpoint incidents in past 6 months [comment: but didn't say why Casey imposed a 6-month limit]. Kelly also said that Casey tried to emphasize positive events in Iraq but "concede that the insurgency remains a force to be reckoned with" [comment: only after a "barrage" of questions from those nasty reporters, who weren't buying the "Happy Iraq" scenario Casey was selling].

At 6:10pm Hume read a teaser: "Democrats are challenged to come up with some ideas of their own" for fixing Social Security" [comment: note the underlying opinions: that SocSec needs to be fixed, that Dems are "challenged", that Dems have no ideas ...]

At 6:12pm Hume said that "critics of personal accounts" aren't proposing alternatives, to intro a report by Carl Cameron about GOPs launching campain against those nay-saying Dems. Cameron showed a great big chunk of an ad from a group called "Progress for America" which is in favor of changing SocSec. Cameron didn't show any clips from any ads opposing Bush's plan. [Comments: Here's one example of Hume's statement being wrong. Representative Martin Olav Sabo (D-MN) introduced legislation outlining an alternative SocSec plan on March 3. And Cameron showing the PFA ad reminded me of how much free air time Fox gave the Smear Boat Liars. Looks like they're pulling the same stunt again with SocSec. Note that PFA is the same group who brought us pro-Bush ads such as "Ashley's Story" & "Why We Fight" during the 2004 presidential election.]

At 6:15pm Hume noted BClinton's upcoming surgery & said Clinton "downplayed" his condition, "with help from GHWBush", showing a clip of both [comment: why does Fox insist on including GHWBush in their coverage of BClinton? You'd think he was the one undergoing surgery.].

At 6:19pm, following a clip of Helen Thomas asking Ari Fleischer questions at a WH press conf, Hume interviewed Fleischer. They started off with chitchat about being WH press secy, but halfway through Hume tried to use the interview to bash HThomas. Calling her "often highly tendentious" he asked why Fleischer let her keep her front-row seat when she became a Hearst columnist. Fleischer said she's "unique, a legend" & he felt she was "entitled" to that seat, adding "We disagree vociferously, but that's the way it works." Hume persisted, asking if he let her keep the seat "just to honor her" or because her behavior (which he called "out of bounds" & "unprofessional") wasn't a problem. Fleischer said "She's entitled to state her opinion ... she's earned it" so Hume tried a different tack, suggesting "she was useful to you." Fleischer said he "tried to answer in a way useful to the President" & that he likes her personally. Hume switched to the controversy over Jeff Gannon (aka James Guckert) who he said had a "somewhat checkered background" [comment: what a remarkably restrained way to describe Gannon/Guckert]. Fleischer said the "whole thing is rather odd & unique" & there's a history of "colorful characters" at WH press confs, but he stressed that he doesn't think the WH press secy should be the one defining who is & isn't a reporter, because that would be "not good for politics, not good for journalism."

At 6:27pm Hume read a teaser for his Grapevine segment: "Theresa Heinz Kerry offers an alternative explanation for why her husband lost the presidential race." When Grapevine started at 6:31pm, following headlines, that was his lead item, followed by Dan Rather ("promiment CBS colleagues have emerged as critics"); a poll by Democracy Corps/Carville ("only 44%" say Dems "have new ideas"); & "even left wing Rolling Stone" says MoveOn is too liberal.

At 6:34pm Major Garrett reported that Thomas Griffith, one of Bush's federal judge nominees, was "tripped up by unpaid legal dues" & never took the UT bar exam, so some are saying he is guilty of the "unauthorized practice of law." Garrett used Griffith as an example of why Senate GOPs are considering changing the filibuster rules. Hume's lead-in for Garrett's report was also revealing: "petty state of partisan bickering over the federal bench" [comment: wanna bet he's never used the phrase "partisan bickering" to describe any action by any GOP?]

At 6:36pm Brian Wilson reported on amendments to the bankruptcy "reform" bill, focusing on one by Sen Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that, according to Wilson, would "prevent violent anti-abortion" activists from using the bankruptcy laws to avoid paying fines & restitution. Wilson said the "abortion language effectively scuttled" the bill before, but now it's "poised to pass" & will "close loopholes" exploited by many. His last comment was more revealing -- he called it a "victory for credit card companies & banks."

At 6:41pm, following a clip of GWBush & a clip of the Hezbollah rally, the "All-Stars" segment started. When I saw that Krauthammer was one of the panelists, I couldn't bear to watch.

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