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Happy, Feelgood Story about Bush or Sunni Protest Story - Which Gets More Time On Fox?

Reported by Donna - August 29, 2005

Today on Studio B with Shepard Smith, which was redubbed 'Hurricane Center' with Bill Hemmer and Jane Skinner, the story was Katrina, of course.

They quickly switched to a press conference held by the Alabama Governor, Bob Riley (R), who made a few statements and also had representatives from other agencies who made statments.

While watching the press conference I, of course, noticed the banners running underneath the various speakers.

While there were several banners, two of them were aired for an especially long time. One for 46 seconds and the other for 56 seconds.

The first one which appeared on screen for 46 seconds said, 'Gov Riley: Pres Bush Called and Pledged Full Support.' The second one, which appeared for 56 seconds said, 'FEMA - Pres Bush Moved Quickly To Authorize Aid for Alabama.'

In contrast a story ran later on the news segment and spoke about the Sunni's protesting in Iraq due to them not supporting the Iraqi Constitution. The story ran with a video of the Sunni's holding up pictures of Saddam Hussein and the length of the story was 23 seconds.

Comments: Pressured for any good news about the president, Fox resorts to running banners for an excessive amount of time that praised him while the story regarding the Sunni's was reduced to half the amount of time. Or, if you count both of the statements, a quarter of the time alloted for the story about the Sunni's.

Does everyone realize that the Sunni's need only a 2/3 majority in 3 provinces (and they dominate 3 provinces) in order to to vote this constitution down? And, if it's voted down the whole process starts all over again? Does everyone realize that this constitution may relegate Iraqi women to slave status and includes the word 'federalism' which cuts the Sunni's out of most oil profits?

It seems whenever the news is looking very bad for the president, Fox will resort to anything, including excessive time praising him for pledging taxpayer money and barely any time on a story that is so important for the war in Iraq and the American people.

While everything is happy and shiny about the president's pledge of FEMA money and support, I still remember all of the stories last year that came out of Florida about people who went to FEMA for help and received some bottled water, ice and a 1-800 number to contact FEMA. And, they didn't even have a telephone to contact FEMA.

I'm sure as soon as everything is settled down after this storm, we'll see photo ops of the president handing out bottled water, but I'm pretty sure he won't make time for Cindy Sheehan.

Why are hurricanes good for the president? Because it doesn't give you time to think about what a terrible job he is doing on everything else.

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