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FOX Links Sheehan To Iran

Reported by Deborah - February 5, 2006

Although there was no direct verbal linking of Sheehan to Iran, John Kasich managed to get that message out to his viewers during Heartland last night. Linda Chavez teamed with Kasich and in a few minutes Sheehan and Iran were linked using Hugo Chavez as a middleman. 2/4/06

During a segment tease, a shot of Sheehan and Chavez was shown while Kasich said," The far left can't get enough of Hugo Chavez". In the next tease, with a graphic 'Huggin Hugo', he said " The latest trend for the far left is to go to Venezuela".

Kasich opened the segment with a quote from Rumsfeld who claimed that Hitler and Chavez rose to power in the same way. Linda Chavez and Robert Jensen, University of Texas Professor and author of Citizen of Empire were paired for debate. Cindy Sheehan or the "far left" love of Chavez was never discussed but the desired effect was achieved anyway.

Linda Chavez talked about Venezuela's oil wealth adding that it supplies the U.S. with a large portion of our imported oil. She went on to claim that Chavez had clamped down on the freedoms of Venezuelans and was also not in favor of sanctions against Iran. Kasich added that Chavez had voted with Syria to support Iran at the UN.

Robert Jensen ,who has visited Heartland before, immediately angered Kasich with a claim that the U.S. is technically a terrorist country because of the way we invaded Iraq. Chavez and Kasich pounced on Jensen and Kasich wailed. "Are you crazy?"

From that point Linda Chavez baited Jensen with statements about Venezuela that Jensen felt compelled to clarify or correct. Jensen was made to look like a "far left" extremist who sided with Chavez against his own country. Kasich had an example for his viewers without even mentioning Cindy Sheehan directly.

comment: Kasich acknowledged that Jensen had previously appeared on Heartland so I'm sure Jensen's direct and confident style and progressive theories were known at FOX. It seems to me that Jensen was purposely chosen to provide his base with an example of a "far left," anti-American, liberal academic, who defends Hugo Chavez so therefore sides with Iran, just like Cindy Sheehan. A grieving mother is now being transformed into a treasonous enemy.

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