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Grapevine Whine - Mean Jean Gets a Pass

Reported by Nancy - November 27, 2005 -

Brian Wilson is substituting for anchoor Brit Hume this week on Special Report, but the format & coverage of the program remains essentially the same. Wilson, like Hume, does a segment called "The Grapevine" in the middle of the program. Also like Hume, Wilson tries for humor & generally fails, because, 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, which excuses Mean Jean Schmidt (R-OH) for her nasty public comments in Congress & repeats the slurs she made about John Murtha (D-PA).

Because of technical problems I encountered while recording the Thursday edition of Special Report (tape failed altogether), I went to the Fox website for a transcript of the "Grapevine" segment. Here's what I found as item #1 for that segment:

Jean's Apology
Ohio Republican Jean Schmidt has issued an apology of sorts for her controversial attack on a fellow representative on the House floor last week. Schmidt delivered a scathing message from an Ohio state legislator to Democrat John Murtha, a former Marine who had proposed an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, saying, "Cowards cut and run, Marines never do." Since then, Schmidt has been lampooned on "Saturday Night Live" and profiled in the New York Times and even the state senator/reservist she claimed to be quoting has distanced himself from her remarks. Schmidt now says she didn't mean to impugn Murtha's character, but blames the media for making her a scapegoat, saying, "I am amazed at what a national story this has become. I have been attacked very personally, continuously since Friday evening."

Comments: Where's the apology? Even this report called it "an apology of sorts." The first 2 sentences of this little tidbit are about Schmidt's nasty remarks & include a repetition of her smear of Murtha. The rest paints Schmidt as the victim, being lampooned by SNL & Fox's arch-nemesis, the NYTimes. Her "apology of sorts" (that she didn't mean to impugn Murtha's character) is immediately followed by her pointing the finger at "the media" & blaming them for scapegoating her. Poor baby.

To give you a better idea of how outrageous Schmidt's remarks were, here's Murtha's bio from his Congressional website:

... Murtha has dedicated his life to serving his country both in the military and in the halls of Congress. He had a long and distinguished 37-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring from the Marine Corps Reserve as a colonel in 1990; and he has been serving the people of the 12th Congressional District since 1974, one of only 131 people in the nation's history to have served more than 30 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and one of only 224 Members of Congress who have served 30 or more years. ...He learned about military service from the bottom up, beginning as a raw recruit when he left Washington and Jefferson College in 1952 to join the Marines out of a growing sense of obligation to his country during the Korean War. There he earned the American Spirit Honor Medal, awarded to fewer than one in 10,000 recruits. He rose through the ranks to become a drill instructor at Parris Island and was selected for Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia. He then was assigned to the Second Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In 1959, Captain Murtha took command of the 34th Special Infantry Company, Marine Corps Reserves, in Johnstown. He remained in the Reserves after his discharge from active duty until he volunteered for Vietnam in 1966-67, receiving the Bronze Star with Combat "V", two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He remained in the Reserves until his retirement. This first-hand knowledge of military and defense issues has made him a trusted adviser to presidents of both parties and one of the most effective advocates for the national defense in Washington. At the request of Presidents and Speakers of the House, he served as chairman of delegations monitoring elections in the Philippines, El Salvador, Panama and Bosnia. He was awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal by the Marine Corps Commandant when he retired from the Marines.

Now let's compare Schmidt's bio, also from her Congressional website

... Jean Schmidt is the first woman ever elected to represent Southern Ohio in Congress. ... Throughout her career, Congresswoman Schmidt has held various roles in public office and been actively involved in civic and community groups. She served for two terms in the Ohio statehouse and according to the Cincinnati Enquirer she “…proved effective in passing legislation to address her district’s concerns.” While serving in the state legislature, Schmidt enacted legislation to create jobs, protect Ohio’s children and ensure access to quality healthcare. Prior to Jean’s election to Ohio’s statehouse, she served 10 years as a Miami Township trustee. In this leadership role, she helped Miami Township to become a world-class community by initiating a variety of projects and improvements, including creating a 300 acre first class park system, securing funds for critical road repairs, and attracting 2000 high paying jobs for the Township. She also established a 5K Run and located a branch of the Clermont County Library in Miami Township. Congresswoman Schmidt ... holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati ....

If you'd like to complain to Fox about this, email: special@foxnews.com

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Special Report giving Schmidt a pass on her comments). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.