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News Flash: North Carolina is "a hotbed of terrorist activity"

Reported by Nancy - July 17, 2005 -

On Friday (7/15) Rick Folbaum was in for David Asman on FNL, so at least there was no "Asman Observer." There was however, an interview which would have been hysterically funny -- if the participants hadn't been entirely serious about keeping up the fear-mongering.

The "tops" for the last hour of the program included arrest in Cairo; suspects with ties to the US; "moving story of a mother who saw something suspicious".

At 12:00pm (EDT) Folbaum announced that an Egyptian biochemist was captured in Cairo, to intro "global team Fox coverage" of the aftermath of the London bombings. Dana Lewis in Leeds updated the UK investigation; Kathryn Herridge repeated some old info about the NC connection; Greg Burke in Jerusalem reported on the Egyptian connection to Al Qaeda.; & Folbaum recapitulated what is known about the bombers.
Comment: Interesting that Burke wasn't in Cairo to report on the "Egyptian connection" but in Jerusalem.

12:08pm - Folbaum offered a "programming note" - Bush to comment on War On Terror in Charlotte, NC
Comment: A "programming note" is new Foxspeak for self-promotion

Here's the segment that could have been lifted straight from the pages of The Onion:

12:14pm - Folbaum interviewed Neil Livingstone (billed as a "terror expert" & CEO, Global Options, Inc) about the London-NC connection. Livingstone was the one who made the claim that NC "has been a hotbed of terrorist activity", citing, for example, "bootleg cigarettes" to raise money for terror orgs. Livingstone apparently has no problem painting with an extremely broad brush, because he also claimed that "schools across the" US have "provided academic training to people linked to Al Qaeda & other terrorist organizations." Folbaum hardly had to ask any question to prompt some of Livingstone's more cartoonish assertions (e.g., "the Brits have confiscated a manual about how to look normal, how to blend in" & "they [terrorists] are clearly planting terror cells" everywhere). Folbaum's final comment was "surprise at the speed of this investigation", to which Livingstone responded that "all they really needed was one break" because the UK has "44,000 camers in public places" & "we need to consider that here."

Comments: Considering all the hot air we've been hearing about how there should be no "rush to judgment" on Karl Rove because the grand jury is still investigating the Plame case, isn't it curious how eager Livingstone & Folbaum (& every other talking head on Fox) are to jump all over the most tenuous allegation when it involves a "terrorist"? As for Livingstone cavalierly dismissing the efficiency of the UK post-bombing investigation with the offhand "all they really needed was one break" -- well, duh, couldn't that be said of any investigation? And to use a single student, enrolled for one semester at a single school in NC, to make the claim that NC is a "hotbed" of anything seems ... well, just a tad over the top. Maybe two tads.

On second thought, considering how long Eric Rudolph was able to "evade" capture by law enforcement while "hiding out" in NC, maybe NC really *is* a hotbed of terrorist activity. Just not the kind Fox & Livingstone would like viewers to remember.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Folbaum's interview with Livingstone; "hotbeds of terrorist activity" & keep it relatively clean, please :) ). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.