Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Coincidence? I Report, You Decide

Reported by Nancy - March 17, 2005 -

Brit Hume was back last night on Special Report (3/16). And so were endless clips of Bush, an error of fact from Carolyn Shively, the latest installment of the Pentagon travelling tour from Bret Baier & a questionable report from a questionable source by Hume. To his credit, Hume also announced a retraction of a misquote he previously reported (although he still hasn't mentioned his own twisting of words from FDR). There was no one-on-one interview, & Fred Barnes was beyond smug. The (inadvertently) funniest part of the program came right at the top of the hour.

At 6:01pm (all times ET) Hume said the "Senate handed President Bush a major victory & a stinging defeat to the environmental lobby" to intro a report from Brian Wilson about the vote to drill in ANWR. Wilson called it a "monumental day for Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) (clip of him & of AK's other Sen, Lisa Murkowski, also GOP). Wilson said that "AGAIN opponents argued" the area is too sensitive (clip of Sen TKennedy) & the "charge [was] led by" Sen Maria Cantwell (D-WA). After Wilson finished reporting, Hume asked him about the "latest on the drumbeat of accusations" against DeLay. Wilson said Dems "can't point to anything illegal" & noted that today Bush "offered support" to DeLay. Wilson just happened to have on hand a clip of Bush's statement, & Fox just happened to be prepared to run it, right that moment.
Comment: How lucky that Wilson had that clip all ready to go! Coincidence? I Report, You Decide.

At 6:05pm Hume said "Senate Democrats appear to be having second thoughts" re the threat they've made to shut the Senate down because "they don't want the debate to be about them." Major Garrett then reported that Dems told Bush to choose: Senate business or judicial nominees. He said there was a "rally of hard-core party activists" & showed a clip of HReid, said that some say Dems are too soft (204 of Bush's judicial nominees have been confirmed, only 10 have been blocked) & added that GOPs "brand" Dem tactics as "unprecedented."

At 6:08pm Jim Angle reported on how Bush is selling his SocSecScam [comment: that's now how Angle put it, of course]. Angle said Bush was "demonstrating his admiration for the system" (clip of Bush), & "making progress in convincing the American people" (clip of Bush) & that he "continues his own lobbying efforts (clip of Bush). Angle said the Dems were "out in force on the Hill today" (clips), & GOPs responded (clip of GOPs in front of 1935 Ford).

At 6:13pm Carl Cameron reported about PWolfowitz being named to head the World Bank (clip of Bush), saying there was criticism from opponenets worldwide (no clip), that Wolfowitz was the fomer US ambassadd to Indonesia (clip of Wolfowitz). Cameron added that "back at the White House" Bush "weighed in" on different subjects (clip of Bush re Iraq, clip of Bush re Iran, clip of Bush re Syria). Cameron added that when asked if he feels vindicated by events in the Middle East, Bush said he's used to criticism (clip of Bush) & is "careful not to take personal credit" for reforms, even though "many leaders in the region" say he was the inspiration.

At 6:16pm Carolyn Shively reported from Baghdad about Iraq's "freely elected parliament" which still has "no leadership in place" because the Shias & Kurds "still haven't made a deal." Shively said one sticking point is whether "Kurdish militia" will be "absorbed" into the natl army. She said the date of March 16 was chosen because "it's the anniversaru of a chemical attack on Kirkuk" that killed 5000, calling that "a reminder of what Iraq is leaving behind."
Comment: the attack to which Shively refers was on Halabja, not Kirkuk; needless to say, she didn't mention that this attack was carried out in 1988 using chemical agents supplied to Saddam Hussein by the US.

At 6:22pm James Rosen reported on CRice's trip to India & Pakistan, saying that Musharraf welcomed her & brushing off Musharraf's dictatorship with the comment that he "recently reneged on a promise to step down." Rosen said that Rice "reaffirmed" US objections to an Iran-India gas pipeline (clip of Rice, clip of Singh). He added that Rice says ties are "better than ever," that her talks showed "no immediate results" for US arms sales, & that next she goes to Afghanistan.

At 6:24pm Mike Tobin reported that the IDF handed over Jericho to the PA (clip of IDF colonel), noting that the Palestinians "insisted" on a signed document & nothing is definite, because it "won't take much for the Israelis to move back in."

At 6:31pm Hume did the "Grapevine": new poll shows a lot of people opposed to Bush "personal accounts" don't understand what he's proposing, with members of AARP slightly more likely to approve [comment: which Hume found snidely amusing]; Russell Redenbaugh, a member of the US Civil Rights Commissionn, resigns (clip of Redenbaugh ranting); a former member of Saddam Hussein's militia says a cleric paid him $150 to kidnap foreigners.
Comment: Hume's source for that last item was MEMRI. Judge for yourself.

At 6:33pm Hume issued a retraction for a story previously reported, saying that Special Report had quoted an interview the "People's Daily" had with WaPo managing editor Philip Bennett, but the "People's Daily" had misquoted Bennett

At 6:33pm, Jonathan Hunt filed (yet another) "report" on the Oil-For-Food program, in his usual nasal tabloid whine. This time the big deal was all about "cash payments", 1999-2003, totalling $160,000 to Benon Savan from his aunt in Cyrpus (who has since died), which Savan apparently says were to defray expenses of her trips to NY. Hunt noted that "simply moving that kind of cash out of Cyprus was illegal" [comment: he didn't note that big banks have entire departments set up precisely to help the ultrarich move their money around illegally, evading their home country's currency laws]. Hunt wanted to know "Where DID that money come from?" He said that Interpol "now has Savan in its sights" & this "could complicate his plans to retire" to Cyprus.

At 6:36pm Bret Baier continued his Pentagon tour, now in Riyadh with JCS Chief Gen Myers. Baier was annoyed that the Saudis "forbid" non-Saudi media from covering Myers' meeting with Saudi royals, so he showed video from Afghanistan. Baier mentioned that 500 US troops are now in Saudi Arabia, saying that numbers "could increase" because the Saudis fear their border with Iraq. Baier also said that Myers "touted" Saudi counterterror efforts.

At 6:38pm Hume reported that Chertoff set out his priorities for Homeland Security (clip of Chertoff).

At 6:41pm Hume showed a clip of Sen Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) re ANWR & a map, & the "All Stars" (Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke, Mara Liasson) proceeded to try to justify drilling in ANWR & bash environmentalists in the process. Hume said the drilling approval was a "long time in coming" because the "environemtnal movement -- or LOBBY -- blocked" it. Kondracke was smugly pleased that the GOPs "contrived to put it in the budget" so it "can't be filibustered." Kondracke pointed out that ANWR is 19M acres, that "only" 1.5M acres on the "coastal plain" are affected by this bill, that it's next to the North Slope where drilling already happens, that there's been "no known environmental catastrophe there." He added that to "reduce dependency on foreign oil" the US should do everything including drilling. Liasson said the vote "shows you what a difference an election makes," noting that the bill also had support from Dems from oil states like Sen Mary Landrieu (D-LA) & that AK "stands to make a LOT of money" from this. Barnes crowed that it was another "huge defeat" for the "environmental lobby" (the first being Bush's rejection of the Kyoto protocol). He said 1M bbl/day "isn't nothing." Hume asked "Is there a downside for the President?" & all agreed there's no downside, Bush has "everything to gain, nothing to lose."
Comment: no one asked if there's a downside for the planet.

At 6:50pm, after a clip of Bush talking about polls, Hume repeated some of his bloviating about recent polls about Social Security, & the panel went into high gear. Kondracke claimed that Bush's "adversaries" are winning "by convincing old people their benefits will be cut" & Bush has good points but "has not been able to get those points through." Hume wondered if the [news] media are "obligated to straighten out these misconceptions?" & Liasson said "Sure," adding that she doesn't put a lot of faith in polls either. Hume pressed the issue, asking if the news media should "contradict these findings?" Liasson blathered on for a little bit about how results can vary depending on how you ask a question, & saying that Bush has "explained 'private accounts' " but has "mixed two different things" -- what to do to make SocSec solvent & a "drop" in benefits. Barnes took offense at this, & snapped that Bush "made a disctinction today." Liasson pointed out this was "for the first time." Hume tried to smooth things over, saying a "majority clearly believes something needs to be done" but Barnes was not mollified, dismissing the entire subject by saying Dems "have lost, move on from there." He said "I don't feel too sorry for these guys in the House, most represent gerrymandered districts" & added that the "press has clearly investigated what Bush says, they need to do the same for Democrats."
Comment: Is a "drop" in benefits less painful than a "cut" in benefits?

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Special Report'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.