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Grapevine Whine - A Foul Foursome

Reported by Nancy - January 16, 2006 -

Friday night (1/13) on Special Report, Jim Angle substituted as usual for anchor Brit Hume. The Grapevine segment included 4 items targeting the usual suspects: liberals, democrats (small "d") as well as Democrats (capital "D"), "political correctness" (as defined by Fox) & of course anyone critical of the Bush administration. For good measure, Angle threw a little Friday-the-13th humor into the mix. Yes, it was another fine example of the Distractorama Machine (TM) in full swing.

The Grapevine consisted of the following 4 items:

"Picking" #1 was ostensibly about some nasty remarks made by "a notorious Russian politician" about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Angle made sure to mention that Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the "notorious" pol in question, is the "leader of Russia's Liberal & Democratic Party" & repeated a few of his most recent remarks about Rice.

Comments: While it's technically true that Zhirinovsky's party's name is best translated as "Liberal & Democratic Party," the fact is that Zhirinovsky is an ultra-ultra-reactionary (even Pat Buchanan refused to accept his endorsement when Buchanan was running for the GOP nomination for President in 1992) & uber-nationalist. Because of Angle's phrasing, however, viewers were left with the impression that Zhirinovsky is a liberal democrat making nasty comments about Rice. I suppose I should be grateful that Angle didn't throw more fuel on the fire by citing some of Zhirinovsky's other statements (e.g., that the 2005 riots in France were sparked by the CIA in order to "weaken Europe"); on the other hand, I suppose Fox wouldn't want to plant that seed in viewers' minds.

Angle also remarked that "the State Department says Rice will not dignify his comments with a response" -- too bad Fox didn't follow her lead on this.

"Picking" #2 was about former Rep Jim Traficant (D-OH) who is serving an 8-year prison sentence for bribery & tax evasion, & how he's painting pictures of horses & barns.

Comments: I can't wait to hear the "picking" about the jailhouse activities of former Rep Duke Cunningham (R-CA). Or GOP operative & lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Or current Reps Bob Ney (R-OH) & Tom DeLay (R-TX). Or Scooter Libby (unless his new job at the Hudson Institute proves more interesting) or anyone else involved in Traitorgate.

Gee, do ya think Angle was just trying to distract viewers from the crimes, corruption & scandals engulfing the GOPs?

"Picking" #3 was about how the Seattle Times has banned the word "Redskins" from headlines & captions "to avoid offending Native Americans" & how this "is creating headaches for some Seattle media" in writing about this weekend's NFL playoff game between the Washington Redskins & the Seattle Seahawks.

Comments: Oh, boo-hoo. Really, is it possible to get much whinier than this?

"Picking" #4 was about a fringe candidate for Governor of Minnesota -- Jonathan Sharkey, leader of the Vampyres, Witches & Pagans Party, who calls himself "The Impaler." Angle described Sharkey's platform as having "an emphasis on education, tax breaks for farmers, & better benefits for veterans, along with a rather unique plan to personally impale terrorists, rapists, & drug dealers on the state Capitol grounds."

Comments: Angle failed to mention that Sharkey also proposes to impale child abusers, repeat drunken drivers & anybody who preys on the elderly -- perhaps because those groups include a large number of FoxFans? Wouldn't want to alienate the base. Anyhow, one self-styled "vampyre" politician shouldn't worry us; we should be more worried about the blood-suckers currently in DC who are quite willing to spill the blood of thousands of US mlitary men & women.

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

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (any of the above "pickings"). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.