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The Distract-O-Rama Machine In Full Swing

Reported by Nancy - June 9, 2005 -

Today (6/9) on FNL, the reactionaries' attack on Howard Dean continued, & FNL carried on with their usual fear-mongering & fluff, but the biggest single block of time was devoted to live coverage.of Bush giving a speech in Columbus OH. When you add in all the pre- & post-speech "coverage" provided by FNL, the last 2 hours of the program turned out to be "The George W Bush Show." Despite all the air time devoted to Bush, there wasn't a peep about the Downing Street Memo, the ongoing prisoner torture & abuse issue, Halliburton's no-bid bonanzas, the billions of dollars missing from Iraq on the CPA's watch, or any of the many other scandalsinvolving this administration

Here's how FNL covered this non-event:

11:14am - "looking at Columbus", waiting for Bush to speak, with Brigitte Quinn commenting that Bush is "pressuring Congress" about the PATRIOT ACT
11:18am - teasers included: live in Columbus OH - Bush will speak about the PATRIOT ACT ("extremely controverial" but Bush said it's a "key weapon in the war on terror")
11:22am - Quinn commented that "the President seems to be early or right on time" for appointments & "this morning he's a little early." FNL showed video of Bush speaking while Quinn bloviated about the Patriot Act for a while (an "INVALUABLE TOOL against terror") then said "Let's listen" (at 11:23am). When Bush finished speaking at 11:43, FNL continued to show video of him ("meeting & greeting", as Quinn put it) while Quinn bloviated & recapped.
12:24pm - Wendell Goler reported from the White House about Bush's speech in Columbus (with, of course, video of Bush). In the course of his report, Goler called Khalid Shaikh Muhammad the "mastermind of the 9/11 attacks"
12:26pm - Bob Sellers showed a clip of Bush's speech, then interviewed Bill Kristol (reactionary ideologue) about the speech & about the PATRIOT ACT in general.

Comments: Why air this entire speech? There was absolutely nothing new in it -- it was a photo-op with words attached. The short version: Bush wants Congress to extend & expand the PATRIOT ACT. Ten words vs approximately 32 minutes of air time. Note also that the "fair & balanced" channel asked only one person, in-house ideologue Bill Kristol, for an "analysis" & "discussion" of the speech.

And I guess we've solved the mystery of why it isn't important to catch Osama bin Laden: Khalid Shaikh Muhammad was the "mastermind" behind 9/11. Kinda reminds me how every "terrorist" they kill or capture is identified as a "lieutenant" or "senior aide", as though Al Qaeda's chief concerns are tables of organization & flow charts.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNL's choice to cover Bush's speech in Columbus & ignore all the scandals of this administration). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.