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Barnes Disses Kondracke

Reported by Nancy - March 22, 2005 -

Last night (3/21) on Special Report Jim Angle covered for Brit Hume. Like every other cable news outfit, FNC is overdosing on Schiavo, & Special Report was no exception. Other news did actually get mentioned, although nothing but Schiavo received any real attention. Even the "All Stars" weren't as obnoxious as usual -- probably because Krauthammer wasn't there -- although Fred Barnes distinguished himself by verbally attacking Mort Kondracke on the topic of Schiavo, without any regard for what is probably a painful subject for Kondracke.

At 6:02pm Angle talked about Terri's "parents" [NOTE: not "the Schindlers"] & said it's about the "life & death of an innocent person" to intro a report from Major Garrett on Terri Shiavo's husband Michael (clips of 2 lawyers, clip of Bush, clip of DeLay, clip of Michael Schiavo).

At 6:06pm Julie Banderas reported on protesters waiting outside Terri's hospice. Banderas referred to Terri's parents as the Schindlers.

At 6:07pm Carl Cameron reported on Bush in AZ with John McCain ("known for his so-called straight talk"). Cameron said that McCain "chided" Dems & noted that the hope is he will appeal to Independents & Dems. He also mentioned a "rare town-hall style appearance" by Dick Cheney with Bill Thomas (R- ) & that GOPs plan "nearly 500" Soc Sec PR "events" across the country during Easter break. He said this was a collaboration between the White House & Congress. He revealed that GOPs have been using focus groups "to hone their message" & have come up with the following key points:
1 - the time is now
2 - seniors will see no benefit cuts & "they owe it to" their grandchildren
3 - Dems "are standing in way of all of it"
[Comment: typical ... appeal to fear ("the time is now" -- duh, the time is always "now" but this phrase implies there's an urgent crisis which must be fixed immediately with no discussion; & you're screwing your grandkids if you don't agree with this).]

At 6:12pm Megyn Kendall reported on Rehnquist's return to SCOTUS.

At 6:15pm Eric Shawn reported on Kofi Annan's plan to "fix" the UN & "restore its credibility."

At 6L21pm Angle used the one-on-one interview to talk with Viet Dinh (Georgetown law prof) about Schiavo. The interview was narrowly focussed on legal issues, with only one overt spin attempt by Angle (saying that the order signed by Bush "just gave the family another chance to go before a judge").

At 6:30pm Angle did the "Grapevine" segment
1 - House voted to give Schiavo family access to fed courts - polls show Americans not backing this
2 - AP is going to offer 2 versions of the stories they cover - one straightforward, one more "creative" - to draw in readers "through creative means" [comment: Angle read a sample of one story in each style, as provided by AP, & all I can say is it's a sad day for all of us when AP sinks to tabloid level]
3 - Sen Jon Corzine (D-NJ) says VP Cheney's tour to promo SocSec shows they're in trouble, saying it was "like sending Saddam Hussein" to campaign for democracy in Iraq" - GOPs complained about that [comment: whiners]

At 6:34pm James Rosen reported on Rice's Asia tour.

At 6:37pm Bret Baier, on tour with Rumsfeld in Argentina, reported on his discussion with Rumsfeld about the suspension of US aid to Nicargaua (billed by Angle as an "EXCLUSIVE REPORT"). There were several clips of Rumsfeld, one rather lengthy.

At 6:40 Angle reported that 2000 protesters "seize control" in Kyrgyzstan [comment: since this protest relates to allegations of fraud in recent parliamentary elections there, we'll have to see whether FNC gives this the same kind of coverage it gave to electoral fraud in Ukraine].

At 6:42pm, following a clip of the Schindlers' & Michael Schiavo's lawyers, the "All Stars" (Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke, Mara Liasson) discussed Schiavo. Angle suggested there isn't "any harm in having one more court take a fresh look." Liasson said there's "no harm to her [Terri]" but it's a problem "if it sets a precedent for Congress to intervene in family issues." Kondracke said that as a precedent, "it's bad practice" but lauded the House debate as "phenomenal ... passionate ... eloquent." He said Terri Schiavo has "never had an MRI or PET scan" & he thinks there oughta be a PET scan, & if that confirms that she is in PVS, then pull the plug. Barnes whined that everyone should "stop the 19 judges" thing, because "it's one judge," the original judge [comment: Judge Greer] who made a mistake. He said it's "clear the parents don't have standing to sue, only the husband does" so Congress "gave the parents standing." Kondracke pointed out that there was a guardian ad litem [comment: Jay Wolfson] appointed "to inform" Jeb Bush in 2001, who sided with Greer re Terri's PVS. He added that it's "better to err on the side of hope" but called the hope "very slim." Barnes got angry & said that hope isn't that Terri will "leap out of bed" adding that "she's not brain dead, she's brain damaged" & "she does respond to stimulus." Angle ended it there, without contradicting Barnes's false assertions.

Comment: I couldn't take any more of Barnes & didn't watch the second half of the "All Stars". If anyone did, please feel free to summarize it.

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