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No "Hard News" Here

Reported by Nancy - March 10, 2005 -

FNL on 3/9 was the usual mishmash of slanted political "reporting" & fluffy blurbs for the short-attention-span crowd. Even the weather report was politicized, with Janice Dean commenting on BClinton's & GHWBush's charity golf tournament.

Sleaze & political spin masquerading as hard news:
At 11:54am, saying that a CA family is "outraged" as "their daughter's killer posts an online ad," Asman interviewed Mark & Cindy Sconce, parents of Courtney. JWeinberger, convicted of killing Courtney, posted an online ad looking for a penpal. Asman apologized to the parents for giving details about Courtney's murder (she was raped & strangled), using the excuse that he wanted to bring viewers up to speed on the facts. Mark Sconce said he & his wife do regular internet searches on his daughter's name & Weinberger's name to keep track of what's being said about them. Asman asked how Weinberger got the ad online without having internet access, & Mark started to explain about the process of using a third party (he seemed most upset by the fact that Weinberger's profile in the ad didn't include the fact that he was convicted of rape/murder), but Asman was more interested in attacking the ACLU. Cindy Sconce started to reply, but broke down in talking about her daughter. Asman turned to Mark, asking "Who makes you more angry? The person who put the ad or the ACLU?" Mark said "civil rights are fine & I agree with them", but if the point of putting people convicted of crimes in jail is to protect society, "why give them a way to be in touch with society?" Asman said he hoped "now they'll have second thoughts & do more research before they post these ads" [comment: the "they" Asman was referring to is unclear; it came immediately after the mention of the ACLU, but the ACLU is not the "third party" who put the ad on line -- could this be a deliberate attempt by Asman to confound the two?]. Mark Sconce added a plea, asking "some legislators to champion the cause" of making sure the crimes for which criminals are convicted are posted on these websites.

Politics:

At 11:00am (all times ET) Brigitte Quinn interviewed "our own globe-trotting" Bill Kristol live from London about events in Syria & Lebanon. Good neo-con that he is, Kristol hit all the neo-con talking points (e.g., Syria is "playing the anti-Israel card", Assad is "trying to avoid" the US "coming down on him" & is showing "signs of weakness") & bashed the usual suspects (the war on Iraq "wasn't Somalia, wasn't Vietnam", these events disprove "cynics back here"). Kristol said he was "optimistic" but later noted that peacekeeping troops might be needed to stabilize the situation in Lebanon, & "Lebanon is not Ukraine" so it "might require us to do a little more." Quinn asked if it's a "litmus test" for Bush's policies & Kristol said the admin "has done a great job." Quinn opined that "some of the credit" has to go to events no one is responsible for (e.g., the death of Arafat) & Kristol claimed that "none of this would have happened if Saddam Hussein were still in power," then praised the "American people's staying power" (the ability "to take casualties" in Iraq).

At 11:21am, saying that Kerry criticized Bush for nominating Bolton & "his wife" told a Seattle audience that the results of last election might have been computer hacked, Quinn interviewed Gov Marc Racicot (Bush-Cheney04 campaign chair) & Bob Beckel (Dem "strategist"). No surprises here. Racicot was condescending (sometimes it's "difficult to accept a verdict", Dems are "trying desperately to remain relevant"). Quinn was gossipy (speculating that THKerry "didn't want to be first lady", wondering if Kerry is "gonna run again"). Beckel was accomodating to the point of nausea (THKerry will "continue to say what she wants to say" & for GOPs "she's the gift that keeps on giving").

At 11:32am Greg Burke from Rome reported on Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi's comments about the incident that killed Nicola Calipari & wounded Giuliana Sgrena. Berlusconi says they had authorization, that US forces knew they were coming, & that the car stopped as soon as it was warned. According to Burke, Sgrena now says it wasn't an ambush but it used ambush-like tactics. Burke reported that a picture of the car has been circulated that shows only 12 shots were fired [comment: Burke failed to note that hoax pix of the car have flooded the internet, some with 1 "bullet hole", some with hundreds of "bullet holes"].

At 11:42am there was an ALERT that Bush will greet Pres of Romania shortly. To kill time, Asman added some observations about Mt St Helen's, then Quinn said rescuers will reach hikers in TN soon. At 11:44am FNL went live to Bush meeting with Romanian president. FNL thought it worthwhile to run lower-thirds graphics noting numbers of Romanian troops in Iraq, Afghanistan & Kosovo, but not worthwhile to post the Romanian president's name even while he was speaking.

Blurbs:
11:06am - Iraqi forces found 41 bodies near Syrian border, suicide bomber
11:07am - surprise glumpse of Pope John Paul II
11:07am - 4 hikers stranded in TN
11:08am - Mt St Helens acting up again
11:11am - massive sinkhole in FL
11:14am - Quinn interviewed Sheriff David Gee about who killed a man on a highway near Tampa
11:30am - Orlando Salinas reported on GHWBush & BClinton playing golf to raise money for tsunami aid.
11:33am - Asman said a lawyer for Matt Hale says he passed secret messages to a follower months ago.
11:34am - Quinn interviewed Jim Hammer re MJackson
11:37am - Russell Crowe
11:37am - Phil Keating reported on rapper C Murder's new music video from prison [comment: just in case viewers didn't know what to think about this, Asman intro'd the segment & said "Tell me it ain't so, Phil" & Phil said sadly that it was]
11:59am - ALERT - hikers stranded in TN

Teasers (as usual, the teasers were not-so-subtle forms of propaganda):
11:11am: manhunt in FL; THKerry makes some new allegations [comment: Quinn said "Theresa says ..." using her first name only; I'm not holding my breath waiting for Quinn or anyone else at Fox to refer to Mrs Bush as "Laura" or Mrs Cheney as "Lynne"]; Russell Crowe says AQ was after him; Berlusconi says US was "in on" hostage rescue op - "fallout" from that
11:18am: "Is Theresa Heinz Kerrry still sore" over losing the race for the WH?; "morning snack turns deadly at school" as >2 dozen children die from food poisoning; Russell Crowe
11:25am: convicted rapist & murderer places online ad for penpal, victim's family speaks out; Al Qaeda "setting sights" on Russell Crowe; rapper records from behind bars - "should the guy be allowed to profit while he's in the slammer?"; & Italy's PM weighed in re Sgrena.
11:39am: "family of little girl outraged" after her killer posts an online ad; Mt St Helens; tornadoes - "women who love the thrill of the chase."
11:42am - Quinn read "tops": Syria; Bush talking about his energy policy; Mt St Helens.

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