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Reported by Nancy - May 13, 2005 -

On Thursday (5/12) on FNL, David Asman spent the last hour of the program in a paroxysm of adoration for any & all things military. The whole last hour (like much of the rest of the program) was little more than an oder to Operation Matador, with obligatory asides for stories of violence here at home (bullets flying! car chase! burning truck!) & Asman acting as cheerleader-in-chief throughout. One fascinating tidbit in a report by Andrew Stack from Baghdad: a new law in Tikrit says no one can drive alone, because of the number of car bombs.

12:00pm - Asman led off the hour with "a WORLD exclusive" from Ollie North, "the ONLY journalist embedded" with Op Matador in Iraq. North's report was about a pilot (medevac), Floyd Keller, whose duty includes evacuating wounded after US engagements on routes on the border with Syria - with plenty of video of stuff blowing up, soldiers shooting, wounded being evacuated & treated. Asman practically grovelled to North & called him "Colonel" about a gazillion times.

12:03pm - Andrew Stack in Baghdad reported on Unhappy Iraq [my phrase, definitely not his or Fox's], where Iraqi security forces conducted raids in Baghdad; car bomb killed 17-20 & wounded at least 20; 2 Iraqi officers were shot dead on their way to work; there were 2 separate car bombs in Kirkuk; & an IED blew up an oil pipeline in the north. Stack noted that there are currently 70 attacks/day in Iraq by insurgents (but didn't mention how many attacks by US or Iraqi forces take place). Stack also noted a new law in Tikrit that says no one can drive alone, because of the number of car bombs.

12:05pm - Asman read a series of short blurbs about random violence: another deadly (gang-related?) shooting in downtown Los Angeles; "bullets fly" at a Wal-Mary in Dallas - suspect killed by police; suspected car thief shot & killed by police in LA after wild chase ("they had no choice"); & a schoolbus accident in Knoxville TN

12:11pm - teasers: EXCLUSIVE video of major terror ("Fox is in the line of fire"); upcoming interview with a man who was told "bring back UBL's head in a box"; combat medics risking their lives - ("incredible heroes")

12:14pm - Asman interviewed Gary Schroen (former CIA officer & author of "First In:  An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan"). Asman was hyper-treacly ("we were IN AWE", the CIA's coordination in Afghanistan "was just BRILLIANT"). Shroen was relatively low-key, but Asman was particularly excited about a statement from Schroen's boss, Cofer Black (he wanted Schroen to bring him back OBL's head on dry ice). Schroen said the quotation was accurate, but it "was meant to be dramatic & shocking, gloves were off, we're at war." Asman's conclusion: "You're a real hero."

Comment: I saw Schroen earlier in the week on "Meet the Press" (his book is being published this month, so apparently he's making the rounds). Russert asked him some pretty tough questions (e.g., how come a kid like John Walker Lindh could infiltrate Al Qaeda but the CIA couldn't). Asman was too busy being the wide-eyed child in a candy store.

12:19pm - teasers: Minuteman Project ("wait'll we tell ya about a new plan they have to go north"); video of Op Matador

12:28pm - teasers: "WORLDWIDE EXCLUSIVE" - video of Op Matador; driver "had to do some quick thinking to save himself from his burning" truck (with video)

12:32pm - Steve Harrigan in NYC reported on medics in Op Matador. As Harrigan noted, they save everyone "-- even the terrorists". There was the usual video of stuff blowing up, shooting, medevacs (reservists from NH), action at the frontline hospital.

12:41pm - Asman read a pair of short blurbs: Hobbs stabbed his dayghter & her friend over $40; truck driver forced to jump from his burning cab into a river (with requisite eye candy video)

12:42pm - teaser: Op Matador; Minuteman Project

12:45pm - Asman interviewed Chris Simcox (co-founder) about his plans to take the Minuteman Project north to the Canadian border. Simcox describes his group as a "civil defense corps of citizens" & also used the phrase "concerned citizens." Asman did his cheerleader routine again, including trying to inflate the group's achievements -- he said he'd heard that the "Minutemen" were responsible for "1327 apprehensions", which Simcox corrected to "about 340." When Asman tossed other numbers around, however (27,400 illegals last year, down to 11,000 this year) Simcox was eager to take credit for that, claiming that the decrease is "clearly because people are not crossing" because his group's "obvious presence" deters them.

12:48pm - teasers included: "EXCLUSIVE video" of Op Matador; suspected car theif

12:56pm - teasers included: "EXCLUSIVE video" of Op Matador

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Asman's "style" or any of the topics listed from this hour of the program). O/T comments will be deleted, especially irrelevant chitchat & personal attacks. Please use the O/T category from the list at right to post unrelated comments. Thanks.