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Gibson Admits It -- He Might Try to Scare Viewers!

Reported by Judy - July 21, 2005

To even the most casual viewer, it is obvious that Fox News has fear-mongering as one of its major goals, deliberating selecting stories designed to frighten viewers into accepting a stronger, more intrusive government presence. John Gibson more or less admitted it on "The Big Story" on Wednesday (July 20, 2005).

During his notorious "My Word" segment, Gibson ripped into the BBC for a series it broadcast in January called "The Power of Nightmares." According to the BBC website, the series says that the idea of a worldwide network of terrorists has been hyped out of proportion by neo-cons and radical Islamists.

Of course, in Gibson's version, the thesis becomes that "there is actually not an Al Qaeda." Then he continues to summarize the thesis:

"Guess who created the illusion? American neocons. Guess who benefits? The folks with the darkest imaginations--that might include me, I might try to scare you, using a phantom threat to frighten you into following instructions from a mysterious source. That group might also include the White House, the American military and well, you get the picture." (The wording in the quotation is from the broadcast, not from the website.)

Gibson MIGHT try scare us? Let's run down what the rest of the show was about to see if he MIGHT have been trying to scare us.

The lead story was discovery of a bomb-making factor in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Americans there being warned to be on alert. Nothing scary about a bomb-making factor in the place where a lot of our oil comes from.

This is followed by news of the new Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., Prince Turki al-Faisal, who was head of Saudi intelligence and allegedly paid off Al Qaeda to prevent attacks on Saudi soil after 9/11. With friends like these, right? Nothing scary in the first seven minutes.

Then we go to White House Counsel to the President Dan Bartlett, who says the Patriot Act must be renewed because "the terrorist threat does not expire." A brief diversion to discuss John Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court allows viewers to catch their breath.

Then it's on to Aruba and the Natalee Holloway missing person case, from which we might take the lesson that Aruba is too dangerous to visit.

Next up is Hurricane Emily, followed by the news that another storm is brewing out in the Atlantic Ocean somewhere. No rest for the weary here.

A couple minutes are consumed with Larry Sabato, University of Virginia professor, talking about somebody else's op-ed piece about the Democrats, another brief respite from scary stories.

Immediately after that, it's back to the edge of our seats. Gibson hypes an interview with Mohammad Atta's father, then goes to Todd Connor with news of the arrest in Pakistan of someone suspected in the London bombings.

That segues nicely to an interview with Ibrahim Mogra, a Muslim cleric from Britain, whose mild words Gibson distorts into a blackmail threat against the West.

After 39 minutes of terror, give or take, it's time for a little sex-talk, specifically news that the National Sex Offender Registry is up and running so terrified parents can check out everyone they know.

A couple seconds of sanity -- two letters from viewers who rip Gibson for the right-wing idiot he is.

Let's see, we've done radical Islamic extremists, bombers, sex offenders, missing white girl. Must be time for illegal immigrants, so we hear a little about a bill that would allow people from other countries to get permits to work in our country for five years, similar to the braceros program the U.S. ran during World War II when the nation invited back all those Mexican workers we kicked out during the Depression.

Almost exhausted now, we just have a few seconds for economic worries -- not unemployment or jobs going overseas, or anything like that. No, this time we're worried that Alan Greenspan will raise interest rates because the economy is doing so well.

Then it's time for "My Word," where Gibson takes a fair and balanced look at the ridiculous idea that he, or somebody out there, might be trying to scare us into believing in a hidden network of terror with cells in your neighborhood right now, which means the GUY NEXT DOOR COULD BE A TERRORIST. Or is it a sex offender? Or an illegal alien? I can't remember, but I'd better cancel my vacation to Aruba and stay home where it's safe, with the duct tape on the windows, watching Fox News, humming "The Star Spangled Banner," clutching my Bible, and knitting socks for our troops who are fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here.

God Bless America and John Gibson, not necessarily in that order.

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