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Grapevine Whine - Some "Special Interest Groups" Are More Equal Than Others

Reported by Nancy - November 30, 2005 -

Last night (11/29) on Special Report, Brit Hume used one of the "pickings" on the Grapevine segment to chime in on the campaign to whitewash GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff by discrediting those investigating his many questionable activities.

At 6:27pm (ET) Hume read a teaser: "Should a Democratic Senator investigating Jack Abramoff disqualify himself?" Following an ad break & headlines, Hume then led off the Grapevine with a tidbit that was

Hume said that Sen Byron Dorgan (D-ND & senior minority member of the Senate investigation into Jack Abramoff [GOP lobbyist]) "says there's no connection between the nearly $20,000 he received from the scandal-plagued lobbyist's firm in 2002 & a letter he signed earlier that year urging his colleagues to fund a program backed by Abramoff's clients." According to Hume, the Associated Press reported that Dorgan received "nearly $95,000 from Abramoff's firm or his clients between 2001 and 2004." Hume did note that But Dorgan "has blasted" the story, saying "he never met Abramoff, did not know about the donations from the lobbyist's clients & sees no reason to step aside from the investigation."

Comments: This item is an excellent illustration of change-the-subject diversionary tactics. Instead of focussing on Abramoff, the investigations into his activities, or the underlying issue of floods of money from special interest groups corrupting our government, the emphasis is switched to whether it's "appropriate" for Dorgan to investigate Abramoff. Note that Hume does not use the Foxian phrase "special interest group" to describe his "clients" although that's what they are.

The AP report, as published in the Washington Post, can be found here.

Dorgan is so angered by this whole episode that he has posted a statement on his website -- note the date on the statement -- the day before Hume's little tidbit. Dorgan's statement ends with this paragraph:

I’m not surprised that some will try to spin a web of deception to smear and discredit those of us who are investigating the wrongdoing of Abramoff and others in this scandal. But I’m not going to let it stand. The suggestion in the story that I may have supported that school construction program because of Jack Abramoff, or because of campaign contributions from Indian tribes is clearly and despicably wrong. ...

I'm not surprised either.

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

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Hume's "report" on the allegations about Dorgan & Abramoff). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.