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Stewart skewers the MSM on Runaway Bride

Reported by Chrish - May 3, 2005

Jon Stewart on his Daily Show 5/2/05 ran some clips of Fox, CNN, and MSNBC as they made much ado about nothing in the runaway bride story.

JS "This weekend, obviously, everyone was talking about this Jennifer Wilbanks of Duluth GA. She's a young woman, private citizen, went missing a couple of days before her wedding. The family wasn't speaking to the media but, eh, that didn't stop anybody, the media knew. They knew. They knew what happened. They've seen it before on their very own networks."

(Clip) Greta Van Susteren, FOX "Coming up, does Jennifer have enemies, jealous ex-boyfriends, and her fiance, is he going to take that polygraph test?"

(Clip) Don't know her name, CNN "Originally the fiance had agreed, at the beginning of the investigation, that he would be willing to take a polygraph test. Why, why is he hedging?"

(Clip) Dan Abrams, MSNBC (with both pointers raised next to his ears, lol) "but it must lead your ears to go up a little bit, when you hear the fiance say "I'm going to wait a day.'"

(Clip) no face, voiceover, CNN "Do you consider him, or anyone else, suspicious?"

(Clip) Bill O'Reilly split screen to GVS, FOX "Gotta be a crime. It's gotta be a crime."

Back to JS, emphatically "It's got to be a crime! it's got to be ...because if it doesn't we're gonna look like a bunch of dumb asses. It's got to be a crime because we need something like that. Laci's done. We need a new one. Would anyone put the brakes on the ridiculous chatter?"

(Clip) Voice of Sean Hannity, FOX "Now I know there's been a lot of these high profile cases, and it tends to make people like us in the media somewhat cynical and suspicious. Maybe we're too quick to start thinking, this person, that person, this one needs a polygraph...could it be a simple case of, of, of cold feet?"

Back to Jon Stewart, bug-eyed, stunned. "When Sean Hannity is the level-headed one, we've taken the bus to Crazytown, people. Cause everybody knows by now, it was a case of cold feet! It was just a private, aarrrgh! Miss Wilbanks went to Albuquerque by way of Las Vegas, it was a little embarrassing for her but thankfully not a tragedy. There was no story there, none...I'm sorry, CNN, you're going to keep this going, you have an update?"

(Clip) Voiceover, Wilbanks being led through airport with towel over her head "Can you give us an idea, I know the towel's over her head, but what is your sense of her state of mind right now?"

Stewart is frowning, chin on one hand, then "Well I think her state of mind is one of obliviousness, because as a private citizen going through the airport I can't imagine why she wouldn't want the cameras filming her during her hour of embarrassment. Maybe you could put a towel over your head."

Of course this doesn't capture his tone and facial expressions. If I find a link to the video (anyone?) we'll post it.

Comment: I think O'Reilly's over-the-top statement should be grounds for dismissal (I know, add it to the list). As commenter Liz wrote on Marie Therese's post yesterday about BORe, "(H)e reacts without knowing law and without knowing TRUE background facts and what he does is a shame because he reports to millions as if it were the truth."

Jon Stewart, as usual, is spot on.

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