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Al Gore's Speech Instantly Trashed On Special Report

Reported by Nancy - January 17, 2006 -

Former VP Al Gore gave a speech on Monday (1/16) on "The Limits of Executive Power," co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society for Law & Pollicy & by the Liberty Coalition. . FOX News didn't cover the speech. but they're sure in a lather about it. By early Monday night, FOX had had time to react, & devoted the bulk of Special Report to denigrating both Gore & the speech itself. At the top of the hour, Hume announced that Gore's speech would be one of the top stories, & it certainly was. The program included multiple teasers, a report from Jim Angle & a segment of the "All-Stars" on the topic.

At 6:09pm (ET) Hume read a teaser: "Al Gore sounds the alarm about electronic eavesdropping & calls for a federal investigation."

Comments : Read on & note how Hume's rhetoric becomes more intense as the program goes on.

Following an ad break, at 6:11pm Hume said that Gore "launched a broadside" to intro Jim Angle who opened by saying that Gore launched a "broad assault" on Bush & "accused" Bush of "criminal activity." Short clips of Gore were included. Angle also said that Gore "did not mention that President Clinton authorized eavesdropping without a warrant" & claimed that Bush "did inform ... key members" of both parties "some of whom raised questions but did nothing more." Angle also claimed that unnamed "experts" say would be legal - clip of GOP "strategist" Ron Kaufman) & smugly concluded that "so far the public doesn't seem" upset about this, citing unspecified polls allegedly showeing "3:1 support" for "eavesdropping on terror suspects wherever they are."

Comments : Hume has progressed from saying that Gore "sounds the alarm" to saying that Gore "launched a broadside."
Note how Angle's report, rather than focussing on Gore's speech, veers off to the "blame Clinton" line. Not to mention "blame Congress." And then there's always the "nobody cares" excuse, bolstered by unspecified polls, as though the issues were to be decided by popular opinion rather than by law.
As for "strategist" Ron Kaufman, WhiteHouseForSale has a profile of him that includes the info that he's actually a lobbyist, who is married to Andy Card's sister; he directed the campaign of GHWBush, who appointed him deputy White House personnel director. Kaufman is an “informal advisor” to GWBush & a former finance chair of the Republican Governor’s Assoc. He raised $100,000 for GWBush's 2000 campaign & was a "Pioneer" fundraiser ($100,000 or more) for his 2004 campaign. Gee, do ya think Kaufman might be just a tad biased?

At 6:36pm Hume read a teaser for the upcoming "All Stars" segment: "Al Gore came out swining" in speech today."

Comments : Hume has progressed from saying that Gore "sounds the alarm" to saying that Gore "launched a broadside," to saying that Gore "came out swinging."

At 6:40pm Hume showed a clip of Gore, & the "All Stars" (Mort Kondracke, Nina Easton, Charles Krauthammer) were off & running.

Hume first opined that "mellow" Al Gore wasn't much in evidence, & asked Krauthammer for his opinion. Krauthammer said that the first half of the speech "soundd fairly reasonable" because there is a "case for the President overstepping his powers." Then he went off on a style tangent, saying Gore should have used "fewer adjectives." He said that in the second half Gore was "wound up" & that he "threw the kitchen sink" at Bush. He described the second half as "undisciplined" & went back to his argument that "there is a case that Bush has overstepped" but to "call for criminalizing this is what's wrong with our politics & with him [Gore]." He claimed that this is a "Constitutional dispute" that is "unadjudicate" because the Supreme Court "has not spoken on this."

Kondracke said "I think he's talking about impeachment" although he admitted Gore "didn't say the 'I' word." He said that Gore described Bush as "persistently breakig the law." He characterized the speech as "overstepping & exaggeration itself." He also said that Gore "quotes the Dean of the Yale Law School" & called those quotes "wild stuff."

Easton said she thought the speech was a "leading indicator of where Democrats are going in the 2006 elections." Hume interrupted to mutter that Gore "did say something about that." Easton was distracted & said that [House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi also was talking about this. Hume interrupted again, but Easton tried to maintain the flow of her comments, saying that "nefarious overstepping, mixed with scandals, is a strong stew" that GOP strategsists think will work & that polls support this, so GOPs are trying "to trap" Dems on national security vs personal liberty.

Krauthammer jumped in to say that would be a "loser" for Dems because "the American people have common sense" & understand the "trade-off in time of war." He pointed out that we have more freedom now than during WWII (citing, e.g., internment, censorship, execution of German saboteurs) so there was "no Golden Age" in the past & there is "infinitely more openness today." He repeated that it's a "small trade-off today" that kept us from having another 9/11.

Kondracke chimed in that "most remember 9/11 ... Al Gore seems to have forgotten it."

Comments : Interesting that Krauthammer -- the most ideological of this Gang of Four -- was the only one who actually addressed the substance of what Gore said, & admitted that there's a case that Bush overstepped. Kondracke should (but won't) be ashamed of himself. And Easton should (but won't) get a spine transplant so she can stand up to Hume.

Which brings me to something that has been bugging me for a long time: Hume always interrupts the "liberal" on the panel. Easton could barely finish a sentence. Hume's interruptions are more or less on topic, but they break the flow of whatever the interruptees are saying, possibly breaking their train of thought & certainly making it more difficult for them to get their point across. In this particular segment, Krauthammer held the floor far longer than Kondracke, who spoke longer than Easton. So much for "fair & balanced" (a bogus concept anyhow, but it IS Fox's own tagline & they should at least make an effort to live up to it).

If you'd like to complain to Fox about Special Report's of coverage, email: special@foxnews.com

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Gore's speech, Special Report's coverage of it). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.