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Shameless Self-Promotion

Reported by Nancy - August 22, 2005 -

Today (8/22) on FNL, Jane Skinner anchored the last hour of the program. Despite her professionalism, the hour turned into a series of ALERTs for topics that weren't particularly ALERT-worthy & promotions for Bush's speech today at the VFW Convention in Salt Lake City (&, not coincidentally, self-promotion for Fox's planned coverage of that speech).

Here are the ALERTs:
11:59 - ALERT - Skinner talked about a "showdown" over the Iraq Constitution to intro William LaJeunesse in Baghdad, who reported that "Shiites & Kurds say it's a done deal" but "Sunnis say no way". With 4 hours remaining to the deadline, he said there will be "breaking news all through the night."
12:11pm - ALERT - Skinner reported that SCOTUS refuses to re-hear the recent case re eminent domain
12:14pm - ALERT - Skinner reported that a military test plane (F-15) was making an emergency landing in St Louis (Lambert Field) & showed video of same until the camera lost sight of the plane
12:18pm - ALERT - back to live pix of the F-15 making an emergency landing at Lambert Field, then Skinner interviewed Sandy Singer (airport spokesperson) by phone
12:44pm - ALERT - Skinner showed video (courtesy of Fox affiliate WSVN) of a police standoff in Hialeah, FL, but there were scant details to report

Here are the segments & teasers promoting Bush's speech (& Fox's coverage of it):
12:07pm - Skinner reported that Bush will speak in UT at 1:35pm (ET) & it will be "live on Fox"
12:21pm - Skinner interviewed George Hethercutt (GOP, former Rep, WA) & John Breaulx (Dem, former Sen, LA) about Sen Chuck Hagel (R-NB) comparing Vietnam & Iraq. About halfway through the interview, Skinner worked in a mention that "the White House was steamed at hearing these comments" & noted that Bush would be speaking about the war later today
12:26pm - teasers included: Bush to speak later today ("sneak peek" coming up)
12:33pm - Skinner showed live pix of Air Force One "about to touch down in Salt Lake City" to intro Wendell Goler at the White House, who reported on what Bush is expected to say at the VFW Convention, ending with a plug for Fox's live coverage of Bush's speech & followed by Goler-Skinner chitchat about Bush's "working vacation"
12:37pm - Skinner reported that the mayor of Salt Lake City sent an email encouraging people to protest Bush's visit today
12:42pm - teasers included: Bush speech
12:47pm - FNL showed live pix of Air Force One "on the tarmac waiting for the President to deplane" ending with teaser & full-screen graphic promoting FNC's coverage of Bush's upcoming speech
12:55pm - teasers included: Bush speech

Comment: Why an ALERT for the Iraq Constitution report? It's not like FNL hasn't been all over this for the past week. Why for a SCOTUS refusal to re-hear a case? Has SCOTUS *ever* re-heard a case (lawyers, feel free to jump in here)? There was no further follow-up on either the F-18 emergency landing or the "standoff" in Hialeah, so how urgent could they have been?

As for the Bush speech promotions, not the pacing: first just a couple of casual mentions, then a teaser, then in the last half-hour repeated teasers & videos & a "sneak peek" -- 5 separate instances altogether. Total air time devoted to self- & Bush-promotion during this last hour was approximately 10 minutes (approx 8 mins in the last half-hour alone). No wonder there was so little time to follow up on actual news.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNL's overuse/abuse of ALERTs , & promotions re Bush's speech). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.