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When Ideologies Collide, Hypocrisy Rules

Reported by Nancy - March 18, 2005 -

Today (3/18) FNL wrapped up the week the usual mix of short blurbs with no context, meaningless fluff, & the usual drumbeat of fear (anthrax! rampage! they want to take your guns!) & loathing (illegal immigrants! crime wave in Philly!). The "big" story was Terry Schiavo, with FNL staff dropping all pretense of "real journalism" in favor of cheerleading -- but even that they tried to spin to put Bush in a good light. And they mentioned twice that CT Gov John Rowland was being sentenced for corruption, but never mentioned that he's a GOP.

In all the Schiavo glurge, two interviews stood out: Bravo to Martin Frost & John Breaulx for not caving to the PC line on this. And Mayor John Street of Philadelphia did an excellent job against Rick Folbaum.

Schiavo:

Opening the 11:00 hour & setting the theme for the rest of the program, Kathryn Herridge reported on the brouhaha surrounding Terry Schiavo.

At 11:08am (all times ET) teasers included: Schiavo

At 11:12am Quinn repeated some background about Schiavo, saying there's an "11th hour" effort on Capitol Hill to keep her alive & Congress "will be sticking around" to tackle this issue.

At 11:17am Quinn repeated Schiavo info

At 11:21am Quinn repeated Schiavo info, then interviewed Al D'Amato (fmr Sen, R-NY) & Martin Frost (fmr Representative, D-TX ). Quinn noted that the House Govt Reform Committee issued subpoenas to members of Schiavo's family & asked "how does that work?" D'Amato said it was an "ingenious" move, & Quinn interjected "Stalling, trying to buy time?" D'Amato said yes, because now the only thing her husb can do is go to court to quash the subpoenas, which will take time. He pointed out that SCOTUS has refused to hear the case. Quinn asked if Schiavo would actually be coming to hearings & Frost [comment: to his great credit] ignored the stupidity of that & said that Congress "oughta butt out of this", noting that the FL legislature has refused to act. He repeated that there is "no role for Congress" here, calling an "outrageous abuse of Congressional time" when they "ought to be worrying about the budget." Quinn seemed taken aback that anyone would deviate from the approved line, & turned to D'Amato who tried to equivocate around the issue, admitting "it's a reach" but saying "there's a great deal of emotion" involved & that for the people pushing this "it's a moral issue." Quinn was relieved to see a line she could recognize, & asked "Because President Bush is who he is?" Even D'Amato wouldn't go that far, saying it's "their own feelings" & they are "driven by religious" motives. He added that there may be a constitutional question re infringement where other courts have ruled. Frost jumped back in & pointed out that Fox's "own poll showed" the most think her husban should make the decision, & again calling it an "outrageus" intervention. Quinn couldn't get a word in edgewise, while D'Amato & Frost argued a little, then D'Amato finally said he agreed with Frost, calling the situation a "slippery slope" that "may be an abridgement of the separation of powers."

At 11:33am Rick Folbaum joined Quinn for some bloviation about Schiavo.

At 11:39am teasers included: Schiavo

At 11:42am Quinn said FNL is "continuing to follow the saga of Terry Schiavo" & the "dramatic effort on Capitol Hill"

At 11:56am Folbaum said the top story is to "watch the clock tick until the 1:00PM deadline" for Schiavo, promising "We'll have the latest on what's going on in Washington to buy some time for Terry."

At 11:59am there was an ALERT so Folbaum could announce we're "just one hour away" from removing Schiavo's feeding tube; fight intensifying, with hundreds of protesters outside her hospice. Then Herridge essentially repeated her earlier report. When she finished, Folbaum asked "When will we know whether the efforts of Congress have succeeded?" Herridge drifted off into talking about how "some members" of Congress say they overstepped, it should be left to the judiciary, so Folbaum concluded that the "next hour is critical, we will be all over this."

At 12:10pm teasers included Schiavo (with a clip of protesters "fighting for her life")

At 12:13pm there was an ALERT "as we watch the clock" re Schiavo; press conf coming soon.

At 12:23pm, after showing live pix of protesters in FL, Folbaum interviewed Bob Walker (fmr Representative. R-PA) & John Breaulx (fmr Sen, D-LA). Folbaum asked why Congress is involved in Schiavo. Breaulx said he's "concerned" because it's a "religious", a "medical" & a "family" decision, not a "political" one. Walker said those were "good points" but what Cong want to do is give fed courts jurisdiction. Folbaum switched topics, asking about the "Bush agenda" for his 2nd term -- "How's that going?" Breaulx said internationally very positive things have happened (e.g., Syria, Lebanon, Iraq), but on the "domestic front, some disappointments" (e.g., SocSec). Folbaum asked "What about Social Security?", noting that Bush's failure to sell his proposal is "certainly not for lack of trying." Walker said Bush has had a "number of successes", & he's "done a pretty good job convincing the American people" re the extent of the SocSec "problem." Walker also said Bush is "pushing vigorously" on the energy front, & said he had an "importnt victory with ANWR."

At 12:27pm teasers included: Schiavo (with pix of protesters at her hospice)

At 12:32pm there was an ALERT so Folbaum could announce that a FL judge holding hearing "RIGHT NOW" & KHerridge essentially repeated her earlier report. "It's about giving her some federal protection."

At 12:39pm teasers included: Schiavo;

At 12:42pm Folbaum announced "we're 18 minutes away" from Schiavo deadline, with promise of more info later.

At 12:45pm teasers included: Schiavo

At 12:49pm there was an ALERT so Folbaum could announce that Schiavo's feeding tube will not be removed. Herridge said it "looks like the tube will stay in place" based on a tecnicality, then essentially repeated her earlier reports. Folbaum wrapped it up by saying "Terry Schiavo lives another day!"

At 12:53pm there was an ALERT so Folbaum could enthusiastically repeat that efforts to keep TSchiavo alive "have succeeded" (with a promise of "more on Dayside").

At 12:59pm Folbaum bloviated about Schiavo to close the program.

Comment: Keep in mind that this glurge-fest is brought to you by the same folks who froth at the mouth about the "sanctity of marriage" -- but don't want Terry Schiavo's husband making medical decisions on behalf of his vegetative wife.

Politics:

At 11:13am Quinn noted that Rumsfeld held a "town hall meeting" at Pentagon & interviewed Martin Strong (ret Navy Seal), mainly about Iraq. It was about what you'd expect but Strong was at least sane & rational [comment: compared to "some" Fox "military analysts"].

At 11:34am Quinn observed that it's the eve of the 2nd anniversary of the Iraq invasion & Mike Emanuel reported on Rumsfeld's & Gen Pete Pace's "town hall meeting" with civilian & military employees at the Pentagon. He was very amused by a clip of Rumsfeld snidely referring to Spain's withdrawal of troops from Iraq (as was the audience at the Pentagon). He said that Rumsfeld says the numbers of troops are being "adjusted" (another clip of Rumsfeld) & that when asked about the departure of Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld called him a "wonderful human being."

At 11:43am, saying there's a "crime wave" in Philly, Folbaum interviewed Mayor John Street. Street said "We think it's an aberration", because rates had been going way down, with a spike in the last 10 days. He said the city is "continuing to assess" what can be done. Folbaum asked if he was "considering a moratorium on issuing handgun permits?" Street said he "asked our law department" to look at everything that might be done to "control some of this activity." Folbaum archly said that "critics will say more gun laws only punish law-abiding citizens", draggin in "2nd amendment rights" & claiming "criminals will get them anyhow." Street pointed out that it's a "whole lot easier for criminals if there's more people with guns" & that he's talking about handguns, not hunting rifles.

At 12:42pm, saying that antiwar protesters are planning protests in major cities this weekend Folbaum interviewed Michelle Malkn [comment: reactionary ideologue who thinks internment camps are a swell idea]. Folbaum asked "Why protest this weekend?" Malkin said protesters are "consumed with hatred of" GWBush, & they have an "undelrlying anti-Americanism." She offered as examples Lynne Stewart ("ultra left wing lawyer recently convicted" re conspiring with blind sheikh), Ramsey Clark ("legal counsel to Saddam Hussein" who "champions the cause of every anti-American thug") & Code Pink ("traipsing around" the Iraq border, "championing the cause of the insurgents in Fallujah"). Folbaum fed her the next line: it's "part of democracy to be able to protest" & Malkin smugly said "Sure, I'm just exercising the same right" to point out their "moral bankruptcy." Folbaum opined that when someone is doing something that might hurt him "sometimes it's just best to hang back & let him go."

Fluff:

At 11:52am Quinn interviewed Barbara Corcoran (Corcoran Group) re luxury homes. They were joined towards the end by Braden Keil (RE columnist for NYPost). Even here, political bashing reared its ugly head -- while the three were chatting about how Palm Beach is a "playground" for lots of people, Kiel snidely interjected "like the Kennedys, who played hard." Quinn did not tell viewers that both the NYPost & FNC are owned by the same parent corp, NewsCorp. Nor did she plug the Saturday morning Fox "financial" programs on which Corcoran is a guest.

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