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The Eye of the Beholder

Reported by Nancy - August 16, 2005 -

After yesterday's mishmash of mini-blurbs about mini-stories on FNL, I anticipated that today's episode (8/16) would be more of the same. So, from 9:00am to 10:00am (EDT), I surfed some major & minor news sites, looking for "developing" or "ongoing" stories, to see how FNL would handle them later this same morning. Here are the results from the last hour of the program, with David Asman anchoring.

US-based stories:

[curiously absent from the MSM, & from FNL]

*JPMorgan to pay $350 mln in Enron case; TD settles
[Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:54 AM ET]
FNL: did not mention

*July Inflation Jumps on Higher Gas Prices
[Aug 16 - 9:36am]
FNL: 12:20pm - "top stories" teasers included: record gas prices push inflation up

*Ag. Dept. Cites Plants on Mad-Cow Rules
[Mon Aug 15,11:12 PM ET]
FNL: did not mention

*US-based stories on FNL not treated as major news elsewhere
12:09pm - Asman reported that UK police detain 4 terror suspects in Manchester
12:09pm - Asman reported that police in NH found a "stash" of what might be chemical weapons
12:32pm - Asman said that Bush "is working from his ranch in Crawford" to intro Carl Cameron at the White House, who reported on Bush's legislative agenda for the fall session of Congress: Social Security "reform", immigration "reform" ("guest worker" program & border security), Roberts's SCOTUS nomination, embryonic stem cell research. Asman commented, in that disbelieving tone of voice he so often uses: "McCain & Kennedy together on an issue?" And at the end, Asman repeated the "working vacation" line.
12:34pm -Asman reported that memos that SCOTUS nominee JRoberts wrote "reveal his opinion about Michael Jackson"
12:35pm - Asman reported that Trent Lott is "pointing the finger" at Frist & other GOP leaders for "orchestrating" his downfall (according to a "new book out next week" by Lott)
12:36pm - Asman commented on a "killer tornado caught on tape in WY (from last Fri) & a "lotta damage in the northeast this week" to intro Janice Dean's weather report
12:42pm - Asman interviewed Mamoun Fandy ("Arab Political Professor", Rice University) about whether Muslims are "doing enough" to oppose/condemn terror. Asman said "ya gotta say bin Laden is going to hell" & "condemn bin Laden & his ilk for all of eternity/." Fandy agreed.
12:46pm - Asman read some short blurbs, with eye candy: "what caused a fire in an abandoned factory in Rockville MD?" & "accident at a construction site in Harlem"
12:51pm - Asman interviewed Kinky Friedman ("the Jewish singing cowboy" & independent candidate for Gov of TX), ostensibly about Cindy Sheehan -- but the interview was more about Friedman than about Sheehan.

International stories:

* Iraq:
Failure to meet constitution date worries Iraqis
[Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:50 PM BST]
FNL: 12:07pm - William LaJeunesse in Baghdad reported on problems with the Iraqi Constitution
12:13pm - Asman interviewed Marc Ginsberg (former US Ambassador to Morocco & Fox talking head) about the Iraqi Constitution. There was some good background/history, & Ginsberg even pointed out how the tension between federalism & autonomy is not unique to Iraq but also was a major topic during the American Revolution.

* Venezuela:
Jet with 152 passengers crashes in Venezuela
[9:08am ET Aug 16]
FNL: 11:59am - Asman reported on the Venezuela plane crash, then interviewed Peter Goelz (former managing director, NTSB). Goelz kept trying to emphasize how safe air travel, including international travel on international carriers, is -- but Asman comments included "perhaps we should think twice about booking on a carrier that's not registered here in the US" & "stick American sounds like the bottom line."
12:20pm - "top stories" teasers included: plane crash in Venezuela
12:30pm - Patty Ann Brown read headlines, including: plane crash in Venezuela

* Zimbabwe:
SA fears Zimbabwe 'failed state'
[Tuesday, 16 August 2005, 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK]
FNL: did not mention

* Afghanistan:
17 Spanish troops killed in Afghan air crash
[August 16, 2005 - no time stamp]
FNL: 12:30pm - Patty Ann Brown read headlines, including: 17 Spanish troops die in copter crash in Afghanistan

* Guatemala:
At least 30 dead in Guatemala prison gang battles
[Aug 15, 6:43 PM (ET)]
FNL: did not mention

* Israel :
Steady Exodus From Gaza Continues
[Tuesday, August 16, 2005; 9:06 AM]
FNL: 12:04pm - Asman reported said some Israeli settlers were resisting evacuation (police "being forced to bust heads") to intro Jonathan Hunt in Israel, who reported that "Fox News has learned" the IDF will "leave some of the tougher settlements for a little later" & "emotions [are] running high today". He noted that "Palestinians [are] celebrating the Israeli withdrawal" but wrapped up with this: Israel is "bracing itself" for a "nightmare scenario" of "Israeli soldiers in hand-to-hand combat with" settlers.

* Russia:
Russia struggles to contain bird flu outbreak
[Tuesday 16th August 2005 10:41 GMT]
FNL: did not mention

* Japan:
Powerful Quake in Japan Said to Injure 59
[Aug 16, 8:13 AM (ET)]
FNL: 12:03pm - Asman reported on the quake in Japan ("caught on tape")
12:17pm - teasers included: quake in Japan
12:20pm - "top stories" teasers included: quake in Japan

*International stories on FNL not treated as major news elsewhere

Comment: Obviously, what is considered a "developing" or "ongoing" story depends on the eye of the beholder. I think this comparison makes it clear that the eye of the beholder on FNL needs glasses.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNL's choice of which stories to cover). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.