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Grapevine Whine - Your Civil Liberties Don't Matter

Reported by Nancy - January 12, 2006 -

Wednesday night ((1/11) on Special Report, anchor Brit Hume used a "picking" on his Grapevine segment to reinforce an ongoing theme: government spying on Americans trumps "personal privacy" (which used to be known as the Bill of Rights, but then when did Fox ever let picky little details like that get in the way). Hume mentioned some (but not all) of the findings of a Washington Post poll -- curious how the reactionaries at Fox routinely smear the WaPo as part of the mythical "liberal media" unless & until they publish something that can be spun as meshing with Fox's pro-Bush agenda, & then the WaPo is proudly cited as a source. Of course, in order to spin this properly, Hume had to omit most of the other findings of the poll, & completely ignore another poll reported in the same newspaper on the same day.

Here's "picking" #3:

Sixty-five percent of Americans think investigating possible terrorist threats is more important than protecting personal privacy. That according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, which also shows that 48% are worried that President Bush won't go far enough to investigate terrorism because of concerns about constitutional rights. What's more, while 64% of respondents believe federal agencies are intruding on some Americans' privacy rights, 49% of those say those intrusions are justified, 46% think they're not justified.

Comments: Here's the article describing the WaPo poll Hume referenced, which is called Differing Views on Terrorism &, more importantly, subtitled: Americans Divided on Eavesdropping Program, Poll Finds . Here's the opening paragraph of that article:

Americans overwhelmingly support aggressive government pursuit of terrorist threats, even if it may infringe on personal privacy, but they divide sharply along partisan lines over the legitimacy of President Bush's program of domestic eavesdropping without court authorization, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

And here's an article about the poll Hume did NOT reference, also in the WaPo on the same day, called Poll: Americans Want Warrants for Spying. And here's a paragraph I found interesting:

Yet 56 percent of respondents in an AP-Ipsos poll said the government should be required to first get a court warrant to eavesdrop on the overseas calls and e-mails of U.S. citizens when those communications are believed to be tied to terrorism.

Aside from the utter inanity of pretending that questions of law should or could be decided by poll results, isn't it interesting that Hume cherrypicked only those results that favor Bush's spying on Americans?

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

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Hume's selective reporting, Special Report's pro-Bush spinning, the polls themselves). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.