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Jonathan Hunt May Never Get Out of the Doghouse

Reported by Nancy - June 16, 2005 -

Yesterdat (6/15) on Special Report with Brit Hume, Jonathan Hunt delivered yet another hysterical, over-the-top, overblown excuse for a "report" on the investigation of the UN Oil-for-Food program, that was essentially a repeat of a similar "report" he did on FNL on 6/14 (not to mention every "report" he's ever done on this topic). It's fairly routine for Special Report to recycle something from a Fox News program that aired earlier (typically, one of Bret Baier's rewordings of a Pentagon press release). But if Hunt keeps this up & Hume keeps encouraging him, Hunt may become the first permanent resident of our doghouse.

For more background (including excellent info & links provided by our readers & commenters), please see earlier entries in this category by clicking on the "UN Oil-For-Food Program" link in the right-hand column.

On FNL on 6/14, Hunt' said there were "NEW & EXPLOSIVE QUESTIONS", the Volcker panel is "URGENTLY REVIEWING" new evidence "obtained by Fox News"; that Kojo Annan's boss at Cotecna, Michael Wilson, is "a LIFELONG FRIEND of" UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan; & that now there's an email from Wilson to other execs at Cotecna describing a meeting with Annan ("we had brief discussions with the SG"). According to Hunt, a UN spokesman said "we are still checking our files" about whether such a meeting took place. Hunt's apotheosis: Annan is "UNDER INTENSE PRESSURE to explain WHAT HE KNEW & WHEN HE KNEW IT."
[Comment: sorry about the all caps; there's no really good way to capture Hunt's nasal tabloid delivery]

On Special Report on 6/15, he essentially repeated the same info, adding that a second email "STRONGLY IMPLIES that Kofi Annan was involved" in deciding who got contracts because, according to the email, Wilson said any recommendation needed the approval of BSevan & KAnnan. Hunt updated the UN's response by saying the SG's spokeman "stuck to his guns today" -- the clip he showed was the spokesman saying that contract issues do not go "to the top" (which makes perfect sense in a corporate or bureaucratic environment). Hunt also added some details about Wilson: he's "ALSO GHANAIAN" & has called the SG "UNCLE KOJO." Hunt summed up by saying that, at best, it's Kofi Annan's "memory that failed." Needless to say, Hume didn't mention the fact that the New York Times had previously reported this email.

Comment: The real scandal in Hunt's, & FNC's, ongoing "reporting" about this is the xenophobic (note how Hunt emphasizes that Wilson is also Ghanaian) attempt to distract from some real issues relating to the UN Oil-for-Food Program: US & UK firms that profited handsomely from the deaths of thousands of Iraqis, the inconvenient fact that the US & UK, as permanent members of the Security Council, were kept fully apprised of what was going on in the Oil-for-Food Program throughout its existence.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Hunt, the Oil-for-Food program, the UN). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.