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It's The Little Stuff That Will Make You Crazy Watching FNC

Reported by Nancy - January 18, 2006 -

It's easy to spot the excesses on FNC -- the ranting hosts, the foaming-at-the-mouth guests, the channelling of Bush admnistration propaganda, the lies & spin (if you're even moderately well-informed, which you won't be if you watch FNC). That doesn't mean the excesses aren't important; they are critical pieces of the puzzle. To carry that analogy a little further, they're the frame of the puzzle, what holds it together. But the pieces in the middle -- those are the pieces that will complete the picture, & they're also the ones that will drive you nuts, precisely because they're more evanescent. The smirks, the hideous music keyed to drive emotions like fear & hate, the nasty chyrons that flash almost too quickly past, the subtle deference shown to some guests ... they all come together to make an ugly picture. Here's an excellent example of something that's been bugging me for a long time.

If you've ever watched Special Report with Brit Hume, you know that at the end of each program Hume shows a very short, intended-to-be-humorous video clip, generally from a TV comedy show like The Daily Show , or Saturday Night Live , or one of the late-night talk shows like Leno or Letterman. Occasionally he'll use a web-based animation like the ones that Jib-Jab does.

The clip Hume showed at the end of the program on Monday night was a snip of a sketch from Saturday Night Live . The sketch itself was mildly funny, with one of the SNLcast members portraying Mrs Alito at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. While actual clips of various Senators asking questionsw were shown (that of SenJoe Biden, D-DE, was the longest), "Mrs Alito" reacted with a range of emotions, yawning & falling asleep, scowling, shaking her fist at the panel. Hume & the "All-Stars" (Nina Easton, Mort Kondracke & Charles Krauthammer) pretended to be amused.

Innocuous? Comic relief after a serious news program? Not hardly.

The REALLY important detail is how Hume framed this for his viewers. First he read a teaser: "Find out why those Senate Democrats wanted to make Mrs Alito cry." He read this the way he reads everything, with that smirky sneer he's perfected. After a break, he introduced the clip by saying "It was not the first time she had made her feelings known."

The message; "Senate Democrats wanted to make Mrs Alito cry."

Hume (or his substitute anchor) does this every night. And FoxFans believe him & his cohorts.

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

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (this segment of Special Report, Hume's intro/teaser for this clip, the clip itself, Mrs Alito's crying episode). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.