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FOX News: Honorary Member Of The Tom DeLay Defense Committee

Reported by Ellen - May 27, 2005

It's very rare that FOX News mentions the ethics allegations against Tom DeLay. Even Alan Colmes, who usually does an excellent job of covering issues of interest to liberals and Democrats, has given the DeLay investigations little attention on his FOX News radio show. Now, suddenly, there's a top story about DeLay on FOXNews.com. However, the report largely avoids the ethics issues and focuses instead on DeLay's allegation that he was "slurred" by an NBC episode of 'Law & Order.'

Temporarily bumping stories about dead/missing/runaway white people, the large box at the top of the FOXNews.com home page links to not one but three different stories about Tom DeLay and NBC. One of them offers us the "Raw Data: Tom DeLay Letter to NBC."

No mention of the "raw data" on the number or content of the ethics allegations against DeLay, nor does today's article mention that just yesterday the treasurer of a political action committee founded by DeLay was fined $200,000 for having broken the law "by not reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions." Comment: Contrast this coverage to the numerous discussions on FOX about the trial of Hillary Clinton's campaign worker.

We do, however, learn the content of the so-called "slur" against DeLay (that a fictitious right-wing suspect in the fictitious murder of an appellate judge might be wearing a Tom DeLay t-shirt) and whether or not DeLay should have responded to the episode or not. Not worth a mention, in the FOX News judgment, was DeLay's quote indicating why NBC might have linked him to such a suspect. Speaking after rulings in the Terri Schiavo case didn't go his way, DeLay said, "The time will come when judges will answer for their behavior."

In a full page article about the "slurs," FOX devoted one short paragraph in the middle - where it typically buries the bad-for-GOP news - to a superficial review of DeLay's less-than-stellar record and the numerous investigations into his fund-raising, his travel expenses and his relationship with lobbyists. FOX News covered the whole subject by saying merely:

DeLay has been in hot water over alleged ethics violations and has taken even more heat for comments he made regarding judges involved in the Terri Schiavo case. Schiavo was the severely brain-damaged woman who died in April after some Florida judges allowed her feeding tube to be removed.

Comment: It wasn't just "some judges" who allowed the feeding tube to be removed, it was all the rulings. But I digress.

There was one great quote from "Law & Order" creator/executive producer Dick Wolf that I was surprised to see at all even though it was buried in the article just before the previous paragraph:

"Up until today, it was my impression that all of our viewers understood that these shows are works of fiction . . . but I do congratulate Congressman DeLay for switching the spotlight from his own problems to an episode of a TV show."

I offer my congratulations to FOX News as well.

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