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Whines from the Grapevine

Reported by Nancy - August 15, 2005 -

Brit Hume's regular segment, "The Grapevine", is a nasty & petty mix of opinion & "news tidbits", whether it's Hume who delivers it or any of the substitute hosts of the program (often Jim Angle, occasionally other Fox "personalities" like Chris Wallace & Brian Wilson). Last week was no exception.

Here, in reverse chronological order, are the "pickings" from the past week:

Fri, Aug 12
1- Harry Belafonte, for "sort of" retracting his "controversial" comments "comparing African-American officials working in the Bush administration, to Jews who worked for Hitler" [NOTE: See Tue, #2, & Mon, #1, below, for Belafonte's quote as reported by Grapevine earlier this week, which do not match how Grapevine reported it tonight]
2- The NCAA, for "reconsidering" its decision to ban "hostile or abusive" mascots from post-season tournaments. According to Hume, that decision was based on a letters to the NCAA from David Narcomey, a member of OK's Seminole Nation but Narcomey was "not authorized to speak for" that group. [NOTE: See also Wed #2 * Mon #3 below]
3- PETA, for its "Are Animals the New Slaves?" campaign, which features pix of mostly black Americans being tortured, sold & killed, next to pix of animals being tortured, sold & killed (Hume cited 2 blacks who were offended by the comparison).
4- PETA, for condemning a sushi fundraiser for the Florida Aquarium.

Thu Aug 11
1- Ralph Nader, for having "taken the side of Cindy Sheehan"
2- The [Vacaville, CA] Reporter, for "rushing to her [Cindy Sheehan's] defense" -- which is how Special Report characterized the paper's reporting (headlined "Anti-war position not new") that allegations that Sheehan had changed her opinion were unfounded.
3- Lobbying groups, for running ads for & against SCOTUS nominee JRoberts -- because Sen Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the highest-ranking Dem on the Senate Judiciary Committee, says the ads are a waste of money, since they're not likely to change votes on the committee (citing an AP story quoting Leahy).
4- The Dutch Naturists Federation, for wanting the govt of the Netherlands to set aside public-sex beaches apart from the nude ones.

Wed Aug 10
1- 38 House Democrats, for sending a letter "urging" Bush to ensure that authorities do not arrest Cindy Sheehan for her vigil at Bush's Crawford ranch.
2- The NCAA, for "insulting Native Americans", approvingly citing FL Governor Jeb Bush (GOP) who says the ban is "ludicrous" & "ridiculous (according to the Orlando Sentinel).
3- CA state govt, for not accurately keeping records on the 70,000 vehicles owned by the state.(quoting KPIX-TV in San Francisco).
4- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, for hosting a world youth festival & speaking critically of the US to the kids attending the festival.

Tue Aug 09
1- Democrats, for being put "on the defensive" by GOPs -- based on an alleged quote from DNC Chair Howard Dean ("What the propagandists on the right have done is make people afraid to say they are Democrats."). Hume said "Dean didn't offer any specifics" about how he plans to change that.
2- Harry Belafonte, for calling Bush admin officials "black tyrants" & saying "Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content or value" -- because "Holocaust scholars are now demanding a public retraction."
3- Anti-war groups, for "demanding" that KMEL, a San Francisco's hip-hop radio station owned by Clear Channel, drop the US Navy as a sponsor of its annual Summer Jam concert series, & for "threatening" to challenge Clear Channel's radio license "if their demands are not met."
4- Victor Bernace, a Dem who is running for a NYC Council seat, for hosting a "sexy, erotic dance show" fundraiser at a Manhattan nightclub. Grapevine's desciption of Bernace included "a Harvard-trained lawyer" & "this is his third attempt" to win a Council seat, & ended with this quote from him: "I'm not running for mayor in a small, old-time religious town in Utah. I'm running in New York City."

Mon Aug 08
1- Harry Belafonte, who "once compared Colin Powell to an obedient slave" (NOTE: the phrase Belafonte used was 'house nigger'], for saying that "African-American officials in the Bush administration" are "black tyrants" & that "Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content or value."
2- Americans, for not knowing "how their government works." A poll by the American Bar Assoc showed almost half could not identify the 3 branches of govt: 22% said the 3 branches were GOP, Dem & Independent while 16% said they were local, state & federal. According to Hume, "small numbers" said the judicial branch is responsible for either declaring war or raising taxes, "just under half correctly said the courts determine how existing law applies to a case."
3- The NCAA, for banning teams with "hostile or abusive" mascots from tournament games -- with Hume approvingly quoting TK Wetherell, the president of FSU ("stunned by the complete lack of appreciation for cultural diversity shown by the NCAA," & a member of the Seminole tribe of FL ("We are repeating history. Non-Indians are telling Indians what is good for them."),
4- Cindy Sheehan, for allegedly changing her mind. According to Hume, Sheehan said on CNN that a private meeting with Bush last year was "offensive," but told her local newspaper, the Vacaville Reporter, that Bush "gave us ... the gift of happiness, of being together."

Summary:

Over the course of this week, the following topics/people/orgs were treated negatively:
Harry Belafonte (3 times)
the NCAA & "political correctness" (as defined by Fox) (3 times)
PETA (twice in one night)
Ralph Nader
Cindy Sheehand (4 times, including twice on Thu)
The Reporter (Vacaville, CA newspaper, when it was "rushing" to Sheehan's defense)
unnamed "lobbying groups" for running ads for & against SCOTUS nominee JRoberts
The Dutch Naturists Federation
The Netherlands, for having nude beaches
House Dems
CA state govt
Venezuela Pres Hugo Chavez
Dems in general
Howard Dean
Anti-war groups
Victor Bernace (Dem candidate in NYC)
Americans (but only those who are ill-informed about how our govt works)

At the same time, the following topics/people/orgs were treated positively & sympathetically:
Sen Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for criticizing lobbying groups
SCOTUS nominee JRoberts
FL Governor Jeb Bush (GOP)
the Orlando Sentinel (source of the Jeb Bush item)
KPIX-TV in San Francisco (source of the CA state govt item)
the US Navy
KNEL radio station (owned by Clear Channel)
GOP "propagandists"
TK Wetherell (president of FSU)
The Reporter (Vacaville, CA newspaper, when Hume was using it to trash Sheehan)

Comments: The NCAA got dissed no matter what it did -- imposing the original ban, reconsidering the ban. And the Vacaville Reporter was approvingly cited early in the week when Grapevine echoed the right-wing noise machine about Sheehan "changing" her mind, but was trashed later in the week when it tried to set the record straight.

I said it before & I'll say it again: Gee, do ya think there's a pattern here?

My personal fave for the week was #2 on Monday -- Americans, for not knowing how their govt works. I wonder if the ABA poll broke down respondents by which cable news network they watch?

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Hume's, & Fox's, favorite targets in the "Grapevine"). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.