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Fred Barnes, Sourpuss in Residence

Reported by Nancy - March 23, 2005 -

Jim Angle covered again for Brit Hume on Special Report last night (3/22). Carl Cameron gave John McCain a (metaphoric) pat on the head for falling into line, Fred Barnes continued to display his snide arrogance & Mort Kondracke revealed again that he has a functioning conscience.

At 6:02pm (all times ET) Major Garrett reported on developments in the Schiavo situation.

At 6:06pm Julie Banderas reported from outside Terri Schiavo's hospice, showing a clip of "her mother Mary's heartfelt plea" & giving a day-by-day breakdown of how Terri will die. Banderas also showed a clip of Paul O'Donnell's statement earlier today (his statement compared Mary Schindler to "another Mary" & what's happening to Terri to "another Crucifixion").

At 6:11pm Brian Wilson reported on rising gas prices.

At 6:14pm Carl Cameron reported on Bush with McCain in AZ "pitching Social Security reform". Cameron focussed on McCain, emphasizing how he expressed "staunch support" for the invasion of Iraq & criticized the EU for the proposed lifting of the ban on arms trade with China & summing up all the clips he showed by saying "that from a man known as one of President Bush's biggest critics in the Republican Party"

At 6:17pm Angle mentioned events in Israel/Palestine.

At 6:21pm Angle interviewed Jonathan Turley (GWU law prof) about Schiavo. After Turley explained the ins & outs from a legal standpoint, Angle asked whether at some point it becomes difficult for judges to make decisions without reconnecting Terri's feeding tube. Turley said judges are "reluctant to order the tube reinstated" so they have very little time in which to act & called the whole situation "as bizarre as I've ever seen a case." Angle said that Congress thought it ordered a de novo review & Turley replied that Judge Whittemore said that's not his job, adding that Whittemore said there's "no viable claim here." Angle asked if Whittemore is done with the case, & Turley said "unless he gets reversed," noting that the appeals court could order a de novo review, which would change the case from expedited status to normal status, which slows everything down, giving the Schindlers "all the time in the world." Angle asked if the parents will go to SCOTUS, & Turley said that would put Justice Kennedy in the "hot seat", but warned not to assume that conservatives on SCOTUS will favor the Schindlers.

At 6:32pm Angle did the "Grapevine" segment:
1-"some" denounce the Schiavo situation as partisan, "some" say it's about religious belief, poll shows neither, most say tube should have been removed
2-trade unions in France "in an uproar" because new law will abolish 35-hr work week
3-girl in Manchester (UK) sent home because she was "wrong race" for her hairdo
4-one Palestinian says Arafat was killed by 2 Israelis using laser or poisoned by high technology

At 6:34pm Bret Baier, on tour with Rumsfeld filed an EXCLUSIVE report re Rumsfeld in Brazil & Argentina. He included plenty of clips of Rumsfeld rambling on in his usual style.

At 6:38pm Megyn Kendall reported on Johnny Cochran suing a homeless man, a case that ended up in SCOTUS due to free speech concerns.

At 6:43pm the "All Stars" (Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke, Mara Liasson) weighed in (again) on Schiavo. Angle opened by asking how long can this process go on "before some judge is compelled to say we have to reconnect the feeding tube?" Kondracke noted there are several different things "in motion" (e.g. FL legislature could "leap in", 11th Circuit could "leap in"), but added that he wanted to repeat what he said on the previous night's program: it's not a terrible death, it's "rather peaceful", it's "not torture" & he thinks there ought to be a PET scan to find out once & for all if she's in a PVS. Barnes jumped on that, saying "this judge was free to do it" but viewed the case "more narrowly", admitting that while the parents may have a "good moral case" they don't have a "good legal case." Barnes also repeated some of the things he'd previously said [comment: unlike Kondracke's informed comments, Barnes is merely repeating misinformation, & I suspect he knows it], primarily attacking Michael Schiavo (e.g., the "sanctity of marriage" doesn't apply here, because Michael has moved on, has a girlfriend). Liasson noted that Whittemore said the "proper place" for this case is appeals court & he "did it quickly" so they'd have time to make the appeal.

At 6:5pm they attacked the UN. Angle showed a clip of Kofi Annan & said Annan was talking about a need to reform the UN, "a point that President Bush couldn't agree with more." Barnes immediately sneered, "He's trying to save his job," calling the UN "corrupt ... wasteful" & Annan "desperate." Even Angle was a little taken aback, & listed some of the things Annan proposed (expand Security Council; replace Commission on Human Rights; anti-terror conf; SC principles for authorizing war; countires to pledge 0.7% of GDP for development assistance). Liasson was the only one to address this, saying there "something on this list for everyone to hate" but adding that Anna has "stepped forward" & done what the US wants him to do. Barnes preferred to continue being snide, saying the UN should "bring in Japan & Brazil" on the SC & "drop France." He went into a France-bashing rant (e.g., "why are they there in the first place?" "It was a gift from the US" & "this country that did nothing to defeat the Nazis"). Kondracke asked "If we're worried about Terri why are we not worrited about Sudan? I don't see the US offering much in the way of leadership on this."

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