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Conflicting Accounts of Tom DeLay

Reported by Ellen - April 7, 2005

At the same time that FOX seems to be doing its darndest to show that Republicans are standing strong behind the "unbowed" Tom DeLay, there are also reports that key Republicans are distancing themselves from him, albeit on different issues.

In an AP article titled "House GOP Backs DeLay Amid Ethics Scandals" on Yahoo and given the more sanitary title of "DeLay Unbowed by Allegations" on FOXNews.com, Rep. Roy Blunt, described as "third-ranking among GOP leaders," said, "I don't see any wavering of the support for the leader. I think a lot of members think he's taking arrows for all of us."

Following in Blunt's footsteps, a video report from Major Garrett on FOX's homepage also does its best to portray DeLay as a victim. The video is called "DeLay's Drama - The media are after House Majority Leader DeLay again for alleged ethical lapses."

However, buried in the middle of a FOX-written article that mirrors another Major Garrett video (on the same page) almost word for word is this: "Top Republicans told FOX News that the GOP is still smarting from what they perceive as massive public backlash against Republican-drafted legislation that ordered brain-damaged woman Terri Schiavo's case to be reviewed by a federal court. Sources said Frist and other top Republicans are annoyed at House Majority Leader Tom Delay of Texas for criticizing federal judges who ruled against intervening in Schiavo's case."

Just last Saturday, FOX's sister newspaper, New York Post, ran an interview with Vice President Dick Cheney in which he also expressed disapproval of DeLay. "Cheney said he backed efforts to help save Terri Schiavo's life, but strongly disagreed with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who wants retribution against judges who blocked restoration of her feeding tube. 'I don't think that's appropriate . . . There's a reason why judges get lifetime appointments,' he said."

Comment: It strikes me as very significant that Republicans - and FOX News - are backing off from DeLay on the one issue that polls indicate has clearly hurt the party yet remain steadfast behind him (so far) on the numerous issues of questions of ethics. Aren't they the ones who trotted themselves out as the party of ethics? Where is Bill Bennett these days, anyway? Waiting until there's a blow job before he'll speak up?

Even more interesting to me is the fact that FOX has not yet (that I know of) reported on this discrepancy. The same reporter, Major Garrett, covered both stories so it's not like one hand wouldn't know what the other was doing. Considering the non-stop air time FOX News gave last summer to the "did he or didn't he" issue of John Kerry's 30-year old war account, you'd think FOX News would be "all Tom DeLay, all the time." We know it would if it was a Democrat involved.

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