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SMACKDOWN Comes to FNL

Reported by Nancy - May 19, 2005 -

Yesterday (5/18) & today (5/19) on FNL, the imagery was all war & sports in the coverage of the Senate's discussion of judicial nominees, especially Priscilla Owens. There was no attempt to treat a serious topic seriously, just David Asman again acting as cheerleader in chief for the GOP "team", backed up by graphics like "BATTLE FOR THE BENCH".

Some examples from 5/18:

11:59am (all times ET) - ALERT, with Asman announcing an "EPIC BATTLE ... underway right now" in Congress & called it an "EXPLOSIVE CONFRONTATION" to intro Major Garrett, who sounded exhausted to be reporting on this yet again. He said the "key question" is should POwens be confirmed, but there are "other issues playing out underneath it." He showed video of Sen JCornyn (R-TX) & tried to show a clip of Sen BFrist (R-TN) but there were tech problems with that, so Garrett paraphrased what Bush has said on the topic (e.g., GOPs are "not asking for blanket confirmation" but the "simple justice" of an "up-or-down vote"). Garrett showed a clip of Sen HReid (D-NV) & said that 6 GOPs & 6 Dems are working "behind the scenes ... trying to hammer out a compromise" & if
those 12 "DEFECT" neither party will get their way. At the end of Garrett's report, Asman said "LET THE GAMES BEGIN."

12:03pm - Asman said that Bush was at a GOP fundraiser in DC last night (clip of Bush) & met with judges to "BOOST" their morale, then interviewed Sen JKyl (R-AZ) about Owens. Kyl hit all the GOP talking points (e.g., Owens has a "sterling record", Atty Gen AGonzales never criticized her, she was first on her bar exam). Asman's imagery included "HEAT OF BATTLE" - "FIGHT" - "NUCLEAR option".

12:09pm - Asman said the "EPIC BATTLE" in the Senate "could last for days"

12:12pm - teasers included: "SHOWDOWN", "remarkable CONFRONTATION" in Congress

12:15pm - Asman commented on the "SHODOWN" over Bush judicial picks

12:19pm - "DOWN TO THE NITTY GRITTY" on Bush judicial nominees

12:23pm - Asman said it was "STEAMY UNDER THE DOME" to intro his interview with Senator KBHutchinson (R-TX) & later opined that the "SHOWDOWN itself has begun."

Comments: The language & graphics were essentially the same on 5/19, with interview guests from the usual roster (e.g., Meehan/Dem v Dow/GOP, a pairing that FNL uses often; Bill Kristol) making similar points. The only thing lacking to complete the sports image was a skimpily-clad bimbo parading across the set carrying a placard reading "Round 3".

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNL's "coverage" of how the Senate is handling Bush's judicial nominees). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.