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What They Don't Cover Is As Revealing As What They Do Cover on Special Report

Reported by Nancy - January 17, 2006 -

I made a bet with myself Monday morning that I could predict which stories Special Report would & would not cover that night (1/16). In order to keep the list manageable, I limited it to 4 picks in each category -- 2 national & 2 international. I made my initial list between 8:30am-10:00am (ET), & updated it around 5:00pm (ET), just before the program airs, to make sure there weren't any late-breaking stories I had missed. I deliberately did not go to the FOX News website to avoid getting any hints. How did I do? Read on ...

Before you look at my lists, think of some stories that YOU would predict Special Report would or would not cover.

Here are the stories I picked that they would NOT cover (& why I picked them):

National:
1. Hurt by scandal, Ney leaves committee post (because he's a GOP)
2. Bush Tells Insurers to Aid Ailing Medicare Drug Plan (because it would mean admitting that there's something wrong with the GOPs' Medicare drug "plan")

International:
1. Southern Afghanistan bombs kill dozens (because Afghanistan is so 2002, as far as Fox is concerned)
2. Chile gets first woman president (because Michelle Bacehelet a -- gasp! -- center/left politician, & a woman)

And here are the ones I picked that they WOULD cover (& why I picked them):

National:
1. Al Gore's speech on the Limits of Executive Power (negatively, of course)
2. Bush's speech on MLKing Jr Day (because it's Bush)

International:
1. Inauguration for Africa's first elected female head of state (only because Laura Bush attended Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's inauguration; I predicted no mention that UN peacekeepers stabilized Liberia or that Pat Robertson's pal, former President Charles Taylor, is under indictment for war crimes)
2. Kuwait mourns emir as new ailing ruler takes over (only because VP Dick Chenery is scheduled to arrive in Kuwait on Tuesday)

Comments: So how did I do?

Stories I predicted they would NOT cover -

National - 2 for 2
1. Ney resigns as committee chair - not a peep
2. "ailing Medicare drug plan" - not a peep, although there was a headline touting how millions of people have signed up for it & the Bush admin says "more people than expected have enrolled."
International - 1 for 2
1. Afghanistan - not a peep
2. Chile - reported by Steve Harrigan in Santiago. Hume introduced the report by noting that the "White House praised the people of Chile." Harrigan's report included some good background info on President-elect Michelle Bartelet, noting that the Pinochet regime had killed her father & tortured her & her mother, that she had obtained a medical degree & then "began working her way up the socialist party." He also noted that she is a "single mother of 3 & professd agnostic." Harrigan also discussed Chile's pension system, noting that Bush has praised it but Bartelet says it needs reform. He summed up by saying that "few would put her in a class with Bolivia's Eduardo Veltze or Venezuela's Huge Chavez," calling both Veltze & Chavez "hardline Washington bashers."

Stories I predicted the would cover:

National - 2 for 2
1. Al Gore's speech - oh yeah, & I'll post about that separately
2. Bush's speech - yep, reported by Carl Cameron, who showed a clip of Bush in DC, a clip of King's "I Have a Dream" speech & immediately segued into an attack on the King family & on public education, noting that the family charges a fee for the re-broadcast rights of that speech so King's "message [is] often not heard in the nation's public schools" (as though students can't read the speech & discuss it). Next target: Sen Hillary Clinton (D-NY); Cameron showd a clip of her speech in NY & said she "accused Bush of ... showering the rich with tax cuts>" This was followed by a clip of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez's remarks. Cameron then reverted to talking about Bush, saying that Bush said he would support reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act & that "aides say" this & other initiatives will be part of his State of the Union address.
As if that weren't enough, when the "All Starts (Mort Kondracke, Charles Krauthammer & Nina Easton) tppk up the topic of King, Kondracke used the occasion to lump Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton & Kwame Mfume together as unworthy successors to King who "have taken over various civil rights organizations" & claim that the Bush administration "acknowledges" that there's still much to do, & bash public education, saying that we need to "get the teachers unions on the case to improve the schools which they don't do." Easton said that what we "saw after Katrina" was an "insular culture of poverty." Krauthammer was the only one on the panel who actually talked about Kind & his "I Have a Dream" speech ("one of great speeches in American history:). He got in a little bashing of course, but for him it was minor: he said that King "spoke in American cadences" & was succesfful because he "appealed" to us "not as an alien, a protester" bur as someone who was so "embracing of the American ethos & dream." Krauthammer also compared King to Gandhi but got carried away with the flag-waving; calling King's success a "grat triump of ... America itself" & a "tribute to our society." He claimed King & Gandhi only succeeded because they opposed the US & the UK; adding that non-violence is "not exportable" & couldn't succeed elsewhere, citing China & the protesters shot in Tien an Men Square (& conveniently forgetting Nelson Mandela in South Africa). Hume, of course, then turned the discussion back to an attack on the King family & on public education (that Cameron had started) & Kondracke chimed right in, saying that King would be "against profiteering."

insternational - 2 for 2
1. Sirleaf inauguration - mentioned only in passing, in Hume's intro to Harrigan's report about Bartelet (& yes, Hume noted that Laura Bush & Confoleezza Rice attended)
2. Kuwait - mentioned only in passing in a headline about VP Dick Cheney "touring" the Middle East

Not bad: 7 out of 8. How did you do?

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

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (which stories Special Report does & does not cover, & why, with emphasis on the stories above). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.