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FOX Reports President Coming Unglued

Reported by Deborah - October 24, 2005

Alisyn Camerota joined John Gibson to do a story about President Bush's shift in mood. She claimed that Thomas DeFrank wrote that he was "coming unglued" in a story he did for the New York Daily News. When DeFrank came on for his interview, he was not pleased with Camerota's intro telling her that she "overstated" his article and that he never used the term "unglued" to describe the President. 10/24/05

DeFrank described Bush's mood with words like snappish and bitter and when Camerota claimed that he said Bush was yelling at aids he corrected her saying that he said "lashing out". DeFrank, acting like a privileged Bush insider, said that he had been with Bush for a long time and "he always liked to keep his staff in their place and off balance".

Camerota wanted to know where DeFrank was getting his information and why they are talking. He didn't want to discuss sources but told her that these are not "disgruntled" staffers but people who love Bush and see that he's under " a little bit of strain."

Camerota ended her segment telling Gibson that maybe Bush was experiencing "second term blues" Then she and Gibson talked about past Presidents who had numbers as low as Bush and of course he's not behaving anything like Nixon did. Gibson quipped that he was glad to hear that Bush wasn't talking to the White House portraits.

comment: Although Camerota was challenging DeFrank about sources, there was not an indication that she was seriously trying to discredit his report. She and Gibson were sitting on the fence in many ways. They were anxious to defend and discredit Bush at the same time. It seemed to me that they were guilty about saying anything negative about Bush and at the same time almost intoxicated by the possibility.

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