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Oh, Goody! An Earthquake! A Possible Tsunami!

Reported by Nancy - March 28, 2005 -

Today (3/28) FNL, being (mostly, but not entirely) deprived of the Terri Schiavo extravaganza, went back to some of its favorite themes -- Happy Iraq, Michael Jackson -- until an 8.2 earthquake was reported in Sumatra, & then they went to all-quake speculation & ALERTS. Bob Sellers was in for David Asman, so at least there was no "Asman Observer". And CA State Senator Art Torres acquitted himself superbly against classic FNL ambush tactics.

Here are the interesting highlights:

At 10:59am (all times ET) Brigitte Quinn said that Zarqawi is "close to capture" to intro a report from Mike Tobin, who said that some Iraqi officials say Zarqawi is living "on borrowed time" & showed a clip of Interior Minister Falah Al-Nakib saying they're working hard to capture Zarqawi -- "hopefully very soon".
Comment: Note how the claim decreases in each successive statement.

At 11:11am with a "live shot" of the CA courthouse, & following a clip of MJackson speaking on Jesse Jackson's radio show, Quinn interviewed Jim Hammer (former SF DA) & Gloria Allred (CA atty & publicity hound).
Comment: Quinn said that Jackson compared himself to Nelson Mandela, but that's not what he said on the clip she played (I didn't hear the original broadcast; he may have made that comparison elsewhere). What he said, at least in the clip Quinn played, was that reading about Mandela's struggles (& other material) gave him the courage & resolve to get through his current problems.

At 11:21am Quinn said that Gov ASchwarzenegger has "bold plans" & "some" say those plans could have an impact on the "rest of the nation", then interviewed Jim Rogan (former CA congressman) & Art Torres (current CA state Senator). Quinn opened by asking whether Schwarzenegger is "more ambitious" than might have been predicted & Torres pointed out that he's "losing popularity" because he's going against nurses, teachers, etc. When Quinn persisted, Torres said the two are directly related. Rogan then praised Schwarzenegger, saying he's "willing to shake up the status quo" & claiming that unions "dominated" CA for the past 50 yrs (note that he also didn't answer the "ambition" question). Torres got back in, & pointed out that when "you take on teachers you take on ... parents", that "education is the #1 issue" in CA & that Schwarzenegger is "not willing to take away corporate tax loopholes." Rogan gave the local version of NCLB ("We have so many failing schools" & "What he's trying to do is reform education" so every kid gets a chance). Torres retorted that "He's being very misleading about" how he's providing the money. When Quinn asked if Schwarzenegger will be "successful" Rogan jovially said he had "learned never to bet against him" but Torres didn't let up, saying that Schwarzenegger "needs an extreme makeover" [comment: a ref to Schwarzenegger's appearance on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" last night], to which Rogan repeated the line about "he'll do everything he can to shake up the status quo."
Comment: Note the spin in Quinn's questions. Asking whether AS is "ambitious" implies that he's taking on a gargantuan task, the odds are against him, etc., while asking whether he'll be "successful" is the kind of question that forces the responder to be a "nay-sayer" if he answers negatively. The neutral way to ask that question would be something like "will his effort fail or succeed" which would give the responder the opportunity to take either position without being negative. Good for Torres for not falling into that standard FNL trap!

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