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ALERT! Pot Calls Kettle Black

Reported by Nancy - July 5, 2005 -

Today (7/5) on FNL the theme was, as always, "be afraid!" If it ain't terrorists out to get you, it's pedophiles, exploding cars or natural disasters. Meanwhile, in the last 2 hours of this "hard news" program, there was no health or science story (except to say that Bush is still not going to do anything about global warming), no economy-related segment, no mention of the gunfight at Ayodhya (the holy site in India that has been a flashpoint for Hindu-Muslim violence). There were, however, two interesting segment: two interviews by David Asman, in which his language could have set international relations back a few decades, with snide, sneering references to African corruption & pollution in London.

First, at 11:49am Asman noted that Bush is in Denmark & that aid to Africa is a major topic for the upcoming G8 meeting that Bush will attend, then interviewed Edward Djerejian (former US Ambassador to Syria). Asman claimed he hasn't "seen too many aid programs where the money hasn't ended up in Swiss bank accounts" & also said "corrupt dictators" were at fault. Asman asked if we have any "links" to any African nations because they've been targeted by terrorists too, citing (whtout names or details) the attacks on US embassies in Kenya & Tanzania -- as though the only links that matter are terrorism-related, & those only when they can somehow be tied to anti-US terrorism.

Later, at 12:15pm in an interview with Zanny Minton Beddoes (The Economist), ostensibly about Bush saying there will be no "special favors" for Blair at the G8 meeting, Asman led off by announcing that during his recent 2-week European vacation he was appalled at how dirty the air, the water & the general environment were in London. This, of course, spun off into a discourse pooh-poohing global warming & other environmental issues.

Throughout, Asman's tone was dismissive & supercilios when discussing Africa, & dismissive but jovial when discussing how "dirty" London was.

Comments: Asman did these segments with no sense of irony & no evidence of embarassment. No mention of the "corrupt dictators" the US has propped up (e.g., Mobutu Sese Seko), nor of the visionaries the US has assassinated (e.g., Patrice Lumumba). Of course he didn't mention the ongoing terrorism in Algeria & Egypt, or even the terrorist bombings in Casablanca -- nope, just the bombings of US embassies. And the name "Halliburton" was never uttered, despite the fact that Halliburton is being investigated for links to government corruption in Nigeria.

Even by FNL's abysmally low standards. neither of these interviews could be called "fair & balanced", since only one viewpoint from one guest was provided in each.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNL's "be afraid" routine, Asman's interviews with Djerejian & Minton Beddoes). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.