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As Bush's Approval Sinks, FOX Tries To Buoy Condi Rice With Hot Air

Reported by Ellen - June 10, 2005

In an article entitled Rice Noted For Her Diplomatic Flair, FOX says "When former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice became secretary of state, she increased her visibility abroad and her prestige at home beyond even that of her predecessor Colin Powell."

That's just not true, according to an April 14 Harris poll.

While the third paragraph in the poll's summary notes that Rice is the only cabinet member in the Bush administration "currently enjoying positive ratings" (what a surprise that FNC is showcasing her!), it also says she "is not nearly as popular as her predecessor, Colin Powell."

If it were true that Rice is such a hit, shouldn't her diplomatic ability receive more acclamation than to be called "skillful?" That's exactly how FOX summarizes the assessments of "foreign policy analysts" in the very next sentence after implying she's on her way to becoming the most popular Secretary of State of all time. Sounds to me like they are damning her with faint praise cloaked in a stylin' package.

So what has she done to show such "flair?" Here's more faint praise:

In the 18 weeks she's been secretary of state, Rice has spoken Russian to the Russians in Moscow, reached rapprochement with the Europeans in Paris and has taken tea with China's Communist leadership in Beijing. Rice has also visited Baghdad, Ramallah and Latin America. Everywhere she's gone, she has garnered mostly positive reviews, drawing notice for her carefully controlled diplomacy and even her sartorial flair.

Foreign policy analysts say the most important distinction between Rice and Powell is her closeness to President Bush.

That's it for the good news. After that, there's a couple of paragraphs about some of her faux pas - such as faulting the French, Germans and English "hours after she welcomed a new era of transatlantic harmony in Paris" - even though she's still in the "honeymoon" stage. No mention of her Freudian slip about calling Bush her husband, though.

The article concludes with questions about "the ultimate measure of her success." According to FOX News contributor Dennis Ross, that will depend on the answers to three questions. "How has she been able to deal with the Iranian question? What has she been able to do on North Korea? When it comes the Israeli-Palestinian issue, has there been a change and what has she contributed to it?"

She doesn't look so great there, either.

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