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Grapevine Whine - Brit Obits

Reported by Nancy - November 23, 2005 -

Brit Hume does a cutesy little segment every night in the middle of Special Report called "The Grapevine." It's a series of mini-blurbs about relatively minor events in the world of politics. The focus is usually on US politics, with the occasional nod to international stories, & the blurbs are delivered with Hume's trademark sneering snideness that he apparently thinks is the equivalent of humor. In fact, like much of the rest of the material on FNC, the content of these little "pickings" is actually an attack on perceived enemies. Here's a recent example, this time critical of a newspaper in the UK.

Last Wednesday (11/16), item #4 on the Grapevine targeted the UK-based Independent for publishing a "largely friendly send-off" for Azahari bin Husin, identified by Hume as the "so-called brains" behind Al Qaeda's "Asian arm 'Jemaah Islamiyah' " & the person "responsible for killing 26 British citizens in Bali 2 years ago." Hume read a few carefully selected phrases from this obit:

In its obituary, the Independent calls Husin a "statistician and bomb-maker" and highlights his "lively classes" as a professor in Malaysia, along with his “fondness for women, sport, and fast cars." In closing, the paper quotes Husin as saying, "I have a greater cause in life. It is to serve God."

Questions: What Bali bombing is Hume talking about? There was a bomb attack in Bali in October 2005 that killed 20 people, so that can't be it. According to a BBC profile of Azahan, "Indonesian police also believe he was behind the 2003 attack on Jakarta's JW Marriott hotel which killed 11 people, and one on the Australian embassy in 2004 which killed 10." The more infamous Bali bombing in 2002 was 3 years ago, not 2, & killed 202 people (88 of them Australians). If that's the bombing Hume is talking about, why mention only the "26 British citizens" & not the other victims?

Comments: I'd love to see this "largely friendly" obit that got Hume so worked up, but the Independent has already archived it & only the intro is still publicly available without paying a subscription fee:


Azahari Bin Husin
Terrorist 'Demolition Man'
Published: 14 November 2005

Azahari bin Husin, statistician and bomb-maker: born Malacca, Malaysia 1957; Associate Professor of Statistics and Valuation, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia 1991-98; married 1994 Wan Noraini Jusoh (two children); died Batu, Indonesia 9 November 2005.
How and why this mild-mannered Malaysian mathematician transformed himself into "Demolition Man", the most wanted fugitive in South-East Asia, is a puzzle which authorities are hard pressed to solve after his violent death last Wednesday.
Article Length: 708 words (approx.)

Oh yeah, that's "friendly" all right. First they memorialize him as a "Terrorist 'Demolition Man' " & then they go on to list some demographic data. Wow -- "friendly" demographics! Then they call him a "statistician & bomb-maker." They even included (gasp!) a quotation from the deceased!.How dare they write actual facts? What would have satisfied Hume? Obliterating & ignoring that fact that the man had a career as a mathematician & professor before he turned to bomb-making? Hmm, that smacks of historical revisionism. Dick Cheney may want to have a word with Hume about that.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Special Report, Hume, this Grapevine item). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.