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FOX News Tries To Shoot The New York Times Messenger

Reported by Ellen - December 20, 2005

As the uproar continues about the Bush Administration's authorization of secret spying on Americans, Rich Lowry, subbing for Sean Hannity last night on H&C, tried to deflect attention from the issue by questioning the timing of the New York Times report that broke the news.

Lowry opened the discussion by insinuating that the NY Times may have decided to run its story to coincide with the publication of a book by one of its authors. Lowry asked, "So, has the New York Times' front page become ad space for publishers?" He also complained about the fact that the publication of the author's new book was not disclosed.

I literally burst out laughing at such stone-throwing coming from the glass house at FOX News. To name just one example, the network's coverage of the "war on Christmas" coincided with the release of a book by one of its hosts on the subject, published by a sister corporation. I never heard any disclosure about the book's release to go along with any of the reports except when the author was a guest and the book was promo'd directly (but without mention of the publisher's connection). Take a look at Melanie's Hegemony thread and see how regularly this type of thing occurs on FNC.

It soon became clear that Bozell's and Lowry's real aim was to attack the New York Times for reporting a story they didn't want reported. Fortunately, Ellis Henican and Alan Colmes did a top-notch job in painting Bozell and Lowry as Bush apologists trying to shoot the messenger. Colmes pointed out all the stories Times reporter Judith Miller wrote backing up the Bush Administration's case against Iraq during the run-up to the war. He added that if the Times had gone with the spying story earlier, before finding a way to do it without revealing sensitive information, Bozell would have attacked it for compromising national security.

Henican said we should all be glad that the Times reported the story. When Bozell started in on the "at a time of war" talk, Henican interrupted to say that the Constitution has not been suspended because we're at war. I hope the next Democrat to face Hannity remembers that line.

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