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Fox Does its Evil Work - It Obfuscates the Wiretap/Leak Issue

Reported by Melanie - January 2, 2006

Fox News is down in the trenches these days, doing its frightening, unAmerican, dangerous work and obfuscating the issue of whether or not George Bush's wiretaps are legal. On Fox, the issue isn't about legality at all, but about allowing George Bush to do whatever he wants to fight the war on terror while at the same time dealing with the treasonous behavior of the "liberal media" (the New York Times being the leader of that pack), Democrats, and groups like the ACLU.

Fox aired two segments on the issue today (January 2, 2006) on Your World w/Neil Cavuto. Stuart Varney substituted for Cavuto and introduced the first segment like this: "A question for you: mutiny at the New York Times? Now even the paper's own public editor is taking his colleagues to task over the wiretap story. In yesterday's edition, Byron Calame questions the timing of it. He calls the paper's explanation of its decision to report it 'woefully inadequate.' He says he's had unusual difficulties getting answers from the New York Times executive staff and he uses the term 'stonewall.'" Varney said one of the upcoming guests thinks all this "makes President Bush look better and better" but another guest "disagrees."

Varney then introduced Les Csorba, author (ironically enough) of: Trust: The One Thing that Makes or Breaks a Leader, and Chris Lapetina, yet another of the seemingly limitless, obscure "Democratic strategists" who appear on Fox.

Varney turned to Lapetina first and began the spin: "The New York Times leads the Democrats intellectually. The New York Times will do anything to undermine President Bush politically, including undermining the security of the country. Do you think Americans will go for that?"

Lapetina pointed out that the Times, "withheld this information...for over a year...released it well after he was re-elected and yet it's being accused of somehow or another, as being, out to get him."

Varney, asking a question that would give the Republican an opportunity to praise Bush, wondered if this could turn out to be bad for him. Csorba said, "Not at all! Actually, I think this was an early Christmas gift for the President...because once again it shows that the President is on top of battling Al Qaeda and fighting the war on terror by doing whatever is necessary, including utilizing signal intelligence, which has been used by Presidents Carter and Clinton, to defend ourselves." He said it "puts the New York Times and the Democrats and people like Chris, because they have to explain to the American people why they're against these kinds of programs, why they're against the extension of the Patriot Act. So, I think it makes the President look very, very good."

Lapetina said, "The Democrats are not against this program." He said they want to "make sure the President is acting within the law." He told viewers (maybe for the first time) that a judge on the FISA panel resigned in protest, and that two Republican senators "have said the Senate needs to hold hearings," and Bush's own AG at the time, "refused to sign the reauthorization" for the wiretaps.

Csorba said Bush has "the obligation to check in with the three branches of government," and Democrats have to explain why they are "so concerned when the President is utilizing his tools necessary to defend ourselves when Al Qaeda is calling into this country and potentially planning another attack."

That was the end of the "fair and balanced" segment, but wait, there's more. Brainwashing takes patience, time, and effort so in order to reinforce the pro-Bush position (which Fox will work at for the days, weeks, and possibly months to come), Fox went immediately to the next segment, this one with Harvey Kushner, a right wing hard liner and very frequent guest. Varney began his introduction of Kushner with a graphic over his shoulder that read, "America Wants Wiretaps!" Then he showed a full screen graphic with the results of an online poll conducted by a website - yet another cog in the right wing pundit and brainwashing machine - called "Family Security Matters.com" (Kushner is a "contributing editor" there.) The poll (which I couldn't find on the site) asked a simple question which, of course, didn't address the issue facing the country: "Should the President Have the Authority to Wiretap?" The results were: Yes 96%, No 3%, N/A 1%.

Varney ran with it: "96% of the nation says go ahead, tap away!" and a chyron planted itself at the bottom of the screen: "Warrants or Not, America Wants Wiretaps to Stop Terror"

Varney began his series of leading questions for Kushner: "That's unusually strong support - 96%."

Kushner, making the understatement of the year (so far), said, "Well, we're not saying it's totally scientific...but it's true. People want to be safe, they want to be secure, and they want these wiretaps to occur." He said "Wiretaps have occurred on bad guys for many years."

Varney, feigning shock, said, "Without a court order?!"

Kushner: "Without a court order, absolutely."

Varney, still feigning shock: "Did they go back in hindsight to get that court order?"

Kushner: "Sometimes, yes they did," but the point is, "the fury that the New York Times and other liberal groups like the ACLU has done is made it seem that the President is clearly being heavy handed against terrorists."

Varney, still shocked (shocked!) and pretending he didn't understand, said, "Explain it. There is no outrage about going after the Mafia or drug dealers? Why is it against terrorists?"

Kushner: "Because you have a variety of groups in this country" who feel "people of certain ethnicities are being picked on."

Varney, goading Kushner on, asked, "Which groups?"

Kushner: "Council of Arabic Relations" (I couldn't find a website, which doesn't mean it doesn't exist). He said they were "very vocal about this." He said "the leak by the New York Times threatens the security of the United States. The bad guys read the newspaper. They probably read the New York Times. They probably even have an online subscription."

Varney, asking another canned question: "Why did the New York Times do this? Why would they do this?"

Kushner: "I think for political reasons. Let's face it, they're the darlings of the left. They're the darlings of the Democratic party. Anything to make the President look bad." I agree with the former Republican strategist, "it is a gift to the President and I think it will help him in his poll and with his numbers."

Comment: If Fox has anything to do with it - and believe me, it does - it sure as hell will help Bush and he'll sail on into the sunset, scot free, over this issue too.

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