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FOX Takes Credit for Justice Department Leak Investigation

Reported by Melanie - December 30, 2005

Stuart Varney, the substitute host this week on Your World w/Neil Cavuto, positively vibrated today (December 30, 2005) as he opened the show and melodramatically made this announcement:

Now, listen to this! A call to action from this program, and we get results! Just two days ago, Your World asks why the Justice Department isn't launching an investigation into top secret leaks. Word coming today that investigation is going to happen. We've got former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik here on why holding these leakers accountable could make all of America safer from terrorism.

Fox then broke for a FOX NEWS ALERT - with all the red lettering and bells and whistles and clanging cymbals - and Varney continued:

You heard it here first. This show, Your World, making a call to action on Wednesday. Today, it happens. The Justice Department will indeed investigate who leaked top secret information related to those wire taps which the President said endangers all Americans in the war on terror.

Fox interrupted with a clip from Wednesday's program during which Varney said, "Since a massive investigation was launched when former CIA operative Valerie Plame was outed, why not for these leaks?"

Varney then began his interview with Kerik about why we must get to the bottom of who leaked (it was the same ol' same ol' terror, terror, terror we've heard a hundred times). A chyron appeared at the bottom of the screen: "Leak Investigation Begins After This Show Makes Call to Action."

Comment: What a hilarious end to the year! Guess we'll all have to watch Your World more often now that we know the White House takes directions directly from the show! We're in good hands knowing our government has such wise and thoughtful advisors, huh?

The ties between Fox News and the White House (and thus the Justice Department) are so close it's hard to know which came first, the chicken or the egg. Did the White House ask Fox to "float" the idea of an investigation before it announced that there would be one? I wouldn't be at all surprised. Did Fox translate the White House talking points into a call for an investigation, run the story, get an enthusiastic response, and call the White House to tell them it looked like it would fly? I wouldn't be at all surprised at that either. We'll never know, of course, but we do know that the story is no longer about whether wiretapping is legal or illegal or about what it means that our government is now listening to the private conversations of its own citizens. To obfuscate the issue, Fox has turned it into one about finding and punishing a whistleblower: One who reveals wrongdoing within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority.

Another thing: It's an indication of how far gone Fox News is that it actually takes pride in thinking that it's telling the government what to do - while at the same time claiming to employ "journalists" at a "fair and balanced news" organization.

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