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The Spin Begins: Should we "Start Talking Assassinations?"

Reported by Melanie - August 23, 2005

Fox News pretended to address Pat Robertson's assassination remark today (August 23, 2005) during Your World w/Neil Cavuto, but not before heading to a break showing a picture of Robertson with "SAVE $200 BIL!!!" written underneath.

After the break, Steve Harrigan gave a short report about what Robertson said while Fox showed video of Chavez with Fidel Castro. A chyron, "A BOUNTY?" ran at the bottom of the screen.

Next came "Fox News Military Analyst" Col. David Hunt, a breathless and frightened man, who, ironically, authored a book titled: They Just Don't Get It. (Bear that title in mind as you read what he said.)

Substitute host Stuart Varney asked Hunt whether Chavez is "such a big threat that we've got to start talking assassination?" (Let the spin begin. That's not the issue.)

Hunt said, "Yeah, he's a terrible guy," he's "destabilizing a part of the world that's already pretty unstable." (Seems to me we're doing a pretty good job of that in Iraq.) Hunt said that "besides being a Communist," Chavez is a "very dangerous guy, he's supporting terrorism." Hunt didn't think "Robertson's little ninjas" should be "running around trying to kill him" but he said he wouldn't "mind if Chavez chokes and dies from eating some bad shrimp ... we need to get rid of him."

Varney said political assassination "as a matter of foreign policy" is risky and he wondered, "Do you really think we should be doing this?" (Who's this "we" Varney's talking about? Since when does Robertson speak for "we" as a nation?)

Hunt sarcastically said, "Yeah. How's that foreign policy goin' so far?" He said, "we've got to put it on the table, let's discuss it." He said he thought it was "a mistake" to make it illegal. He said, "You've got state sponsored terrorism in North Korea, state sponsored terrorism in Syria, you've got the Russian mafia running wild, you've got Chavez." (I would add George Bush to that list.) Hunt said "these guys" cannot "run around thinking it's okay to kill Americans or anybody else for that matter, without retribution." (Hunt: Does that apply to Bush too?)

Varney told Hunt that the Venezuelan government has demanded an apology from the White House, and Hunt said he thought "they ought to take a deep breath and take a walk in the ocean. It's not going to happen."

Varney wondered if Bush can authorize the assassination of a democratically elected leader, and Hunt said no, but it's, "a political tool to be considered." He said, "problem is" if you "whack" Chavez, you have to have somebody "behind him that's in favor of you." He said political assassinations, "should be part of the deal to fight terrorism. Chavez is a very dangerous guy."

Varney wondered how a minister "squares the concept of assassination with Christianity." Hunt said, "there are personal ethics and possibly professional ethics," and "possibly that's how he's doing it." He said Robertson may be "an American first and a pastor second."

Varney thanked Hunt and said, "It's a pleasure to have you with us."

Over the course of the interview, Fox showed some video of Pat Robertson but the vast majority of it was of Chavez with Castro. Two of Fox's chyrons said, "Chavez is one of the most outspoken critics of President Bush," and "ROBERTSON V$ CHAVEZ."

Comment: Clever, isn't it? The issue discussed wasn't how outrageous it is that Robertson said what he said, or that he too sounds like a terrorist, or who are "we" to talk like this when we condemn others who do so. Instead, it was whether we should make political assassinations part of our foreign policy! These guys "just don't get it." Not only that but Fox continues to vilify Cindy Sheehan who wonders what "noble cause" her son died for in Iraq, yet it thinks Pat Robertson, who now advocates murder, brought up something we should "put on the table" and discuss. My god!

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