Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Stuffed With Fluff

Reported by Nancy - November 1, 2005 -

Bill Hemmer started off the month for FNL with an edition today (11/1) that harked back to the worst of David Asman's episodes. There were repeated & essentially content-free mini-blurbs about Bush's "plan" for how to cope with a possible bird flu pandemic & about the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to SCOTUS, but by far the bulk of the noon hour was taken up with drivel masquerading as news. There was plenty of eye candy (burning mansion in Georgia! explosion at gas pump in OH!) plus sleaze (college station broadcasting sex & nudity!). As with any Murdoch-owned outlet, there was plenty of coverage of Charles & Camilla's visit to the US (your daily quota of celebrity fluff). The hour was capped by the FNL's staple: the "missing cute white girl" entry.

Here's how the noon hour unfolded:

11:59am - Molly Henneberg reported on avian flu & the possibility that it might mutate to a strain that could infect
12:01pm - Hemmer interviewed Rich Masters (Dem) & Terry Holt (GOP) about how the Bush White House has been able to change the topic of discussion
12:05pm - teasers: "royal ruckus"; missing HS teacher; why gas may get cheaper in one state
12:06pm - Mike Emanuel in TX reported on developments in the trial of Rep Tom DeLay (R-TX)
12:08pm - Hemmer reported that Queen Elizabeth II & UK PM Tony Blair were at a tribute in St Paul's for the victims of London's July bombings
12:09pm - Katharine Witty (BSkyB) reported that Charles & Camilla will visit Ground Zero
12:10pm - Hemmer reported that North & South Korea will compete as one nation at the next Olymphics
12:11pm - Hemmer read a series of short blurbs: vote in WA on gas prices; explosion at gas pump in OH
12:11pm - teasers: releases from Abu Ghraib; college station broadcasting sex & nudity;
12:14pm - Hemmer said the "Gang of 14" will be meeting about Alito
12:15pm - Bret Baier reported that 500 Abu Ghraib detainees were released as a "goodwill gesture" at the end of Ramadan; there are still more than 13,000 detainees there.
12:17pm - teasers: Bush avian flu plan; "fiery inferno in San Francisco;" "hired cop stopping a gang of jewel thieves in their tracks ... & it's all on tape!"
12:20pm - Hemmer interviewed Charles Babbington (WaPo) about how Alito's nomination has "settled in."
12:24pm - teasers: bird flu; "fire engulfing a GA mansion;" "crazy car chase caught on camera"
12:27pm - Hemmer read 'tops' for the next half-hour: Bush & possible flu pandemic; "battle over porn on one college campus"
12:28pm - Uma Pemmaraju read headlines: US soldier killed in Baghdad; bomb in Kirkuk; New Delhi mourning bombing victims; CA teen on murder-suicide spree may have posted warning signals; workld's highest ski lift in CO
12:29pm - FNL showed video of Charles & Camilla arriving in NYC ("watching the motorcade on the Long Island Expressway") while Hemmer gave their schedule
12:31pm - Hemmer interviewed Sen Ben Nelson (D-NB) about whether there might be a filibuster over Alito
12:35pm - Catherine Herridge reported some more info on avian flu
12:37pm - FNL showed eye candy video while Hemmer read 2 short blurbs: "wild high speed chase in VA" & "retired police officer helps catch a gang of jewel thieves in MI"
12:38pm - ALERT - 4 people stabbed in Lafayette Park in DC this morning - park has reopened (Hemmer repeated that the park is "right across the street from the White House" 3 times)
12:39pm - teasers: GA mansion "going up in flames;" college station "broadcasting sex & nudity - is the college going to take it off the air?"
12:42pm - Hemmer reported that FEMA is offering free bus rides from Baton Rouge to NOLA for evacuees
12:43pm - Rick Reichmuth did a weather report
12:45pm - FNL showed eye candy video while Hemmer read 2 short blurbs: explosions near San Francisco & GA mansion on fire
12:45pm - William LaJeunesse reported that the student-run TV station at the Univ of California-San Deigo has been showing a "porn" show ("here's the video" -- but they didn't show all of it)
12:47pm - teasers; Bush & bird flu; missing high school teacher
12:51pm - ALERT - "watching Tom DeLay's case in TX" - Hemmer reported the judge will not have to testify
12:51pm - Hemmer interviewed Jenny Abercrombia (co-worker) & Missy Davison (friend) about Tara Grinstead, a high school teacher in GA who "vanished"
12:55pm - ALERT - Hemmer repeated info about the stabbings in Lafayette Park in DC
12:58pm - "Because You Asked" -- a viewer named Guillaume emailed a question that Hemmer re-cast as "could the bird flu simply fly here?" His answer: it's "possible but nothing to lose sleep over."

Comments: Note the pattern (again). Multiple teasers about Bush & avian flu leave the casual viewer with the impression that the government is doing something to protect citizens rather than simply handing out a huge gift to the pharmaceutical industry. Herridge did mention that the UK, Canada & Australia are better prepared to cope but of course didn't point out that that's because they each have -- gasp! -- "socialized" medicine systems. She also reported that Bush's plan calls for 20 million doses of vaccine & described very briefly the difficulty of tailoring anti-viral vaccines, but didn't mention that those 20 million doses will cover less than 7% of the US population & will be targeted for those at highest risk & in greatest need (first responders, health care workers).

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (any topic mentioned above, & FNL's coverage of it). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.