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Grapevine Whine - "Flip-Flop" Charge Just Flops

Reported by Nancy - December 1, 2005 -

Brit Hume led off his Grapevine segment of Special Report on Wednesday (11/30) with a "picking" that attempted to paint Senator John Kerry (D-MA) as a flip-flopper. Unfortunately for Hume, his own reporting put the lie to that implication.

Hume said that Kerry "came out firing" in his response to Bush's "plan for victory" in Iraq. According to Hume, Kerry said that the presence of US troops "presents food for the insurgency. And you need to reduce that presence." Hume then tried to imply that Kerry was flip-flopping on this, saying that "just 5 months ago" Kerry "argued exactly the opposite." Hume cited an unspecified "June TV appearance" & claimed that Kerry said US generals were telling him, 'We don't have enough troops in Iraq" & "There aren't enough people on the ground.” Kerry also said, according to Hume, that "The way you honor the troops & the way you provide a policy to America is to do everything possible to win."

For another example of how Fox "handled" Kerry's statement, see Janie's post about the message on Dayside.


1 - By Hime's own description, Kerry was NOT "arguing exactly the opposite." 5 months ago. What Kerry said back then -- remember, this is according to Hume -- was that "US generals were telling him" there aren't enough troops on the ground in Iraq.. Hume knows there's a huge difference, & it's beyond disingenous for him to claim otherwise.

2 - What "plan for victory" is Hume fantasizing about? You can't have a plan for something that hasn't been defined, & so far no one has defined what will constitute "victory" in Iraq. If you haven't yet read Seymour Hersh's most recent New Yorker article, Staying the Course, I recommend it highly; it includes one sentence in particular that relates to this alleged "plan" that Bush supposedly has:

A Pentagon spokesman said that the Administration had not made any decisions and had “no plan to leave, only a plan to complete the mission.”

3 - As always, note the tabloid lanugage: Kerry "came out firing."

4 - As always, note the spin: Bush's "plan for victory" in Iraq (in case you listened to the speech &, like most people, detected no "plan" whatsoever). Kerry "argued exactly the opposite." (a nice euphemism for flip-flopped). Hume tried for two bird with one stone, but got neither.

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

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Hume's tactics, language, spin). This is NOT about what's going on in Iraq. O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.