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Grapevine Whine - Another "Misquote" That Wasn't

Reported by Nancy - December 6, 2005 -

Brit Hume is really obsessed with Sen John Kerry (D-MA). Having failed twice last week to smear Kerry, Hume led off the Grapevine segment last night (12/5) with yet another attempt to imply that Kerry was misquoting someone. But even Hume's biased reading of the alleged quotes, complete with sneers & heavy emphasis on selected words, couldn't disguise the fact that there was no misquote at all.

Last week, Kerry rated 2 separate "pickings" on Hume's Grapevine segment of Special Report. In the first, on 11/28, Hume was incensed that Kerry "accused Republicans of trying to 'swift boat' [Rep John] Murtha [D-PA]." Three days later, on 12/1, Hume tried (& failed) to paint Kerry as a flip-flopper. Since neither of those smears would stick, Hume apparently decided to continue the campaign.

At 6:27pm (ET) on 12/5, Hume read a teaser: "We'll tell ya what Senator John Kerry claims the top general in Iraq said, & we'll show ya what the general did say."

Following an ad break & headline news, Hume then set up the first "picking" on the Grapevine segment by saying that Kerry "has repeatedly said that" Bush "is ignoring the advice of his own commanders by not withdrawing troops from Iraq." Hume said that Kerry "most recently" told CBS’ Face the Nation that "General Casey, the commander of our forces has said the large presence of American forces in Iraq feeds the notion of occupation."

Hume apparently thinks that's a misquote, because here's how he triumphantly "countered" with "what the general did say:"

In fact, Casey told the Senate Armed Services committee in September that he had a sufficient number of troops, saying, " increased [emphasis Hume's] coalition presence feeds the notion of occupation."

Hume then added a bunch of irrelevnt stuff Casey allegedly also said ("eventual troop withdrawal is a vital part of the administration's plan;" "reducing the visibility & ultimately the presence of coalition forces as we transition to Iraqi security & self-reliance remains a key element of our overall counterinsurgency strategy.") With his trademark supercilious sneer, Hume wrapped it up by saying that Kerry "of course is now calling for exactly that."

Comments: Notice how the set-up has nothing to do with the alleged quotes Hume then recites? But for the sake of argument, let's assume that Hume got both Kerry's & Casey's quotes correct.

According to Hume, Kerry said: "General Casey ... has said the large presence of American forces in Iraq feeds the notion of occupation."

According to Hume, Casey said: "... increased coalition presence feeds the notion of occupation."

Those 2 lines are as alike as peas in a pod -- & even Hume couldn't pretend that Kerry was quoting Casey directly, rather than simply stating what Casey had said.

Hume threw in all the rest of the stuff that Casey supposedly said simply to muddy the water & reiterate Bush administration talking points.

This is a standard tactic for Hume; for another good recent example of an alleged mis-quote that wasn't, see my post from Nov 29, where Hume tried (& failed) to imply that Sen Carl Levin (D-MI) was misquoting Pesident George W Bush.

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

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Hume's obsession with Kerry; the spin in this particular "picking"). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.