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Fox News: Dems are 'Demagoguing' Port Issue

Reported by Judy - February 22, 2006

Brit Hume's All Stars panel on "Special Report" Wednesday (February 22, 2006) picked up the theme of blaming the port controversy on Democrats, even as the show featured video of Republican leaders Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert criticizing the deal.

Charles Krauthammer, syndicated columnist, repeated what he said earlier in the day on "Your World with Neil Cavauto" -- that he would have opposed the deal in secret but once it was public the U.S. has to go through with it to avoid offending Arab nations. He admitted there "is an increased risk of leaked information" about security if Dubai Ports World runs the six major U.S. ports, but claimed blocking the deal "will hurt us in the larger scheme."

Mort Kondracke picked up the Fox News spin that opposition to the deal is based on racism, claiming that the controversy proved the "default prejudice" of American politicians is "Arab-a-phobia."

Hume belittled the Democratic opposition (but not the GOP) by saying that it allowed Democrats "to appear, at least," to be tougher than Bush (who did not even know about the deal until he read about it in the newspapers) on a national security issue. But Krauthammer insisted Democrats will not reap any political advantage from the controversy. "It looks like demagoguery on the part of the Democrats and it surely is," he said.

Mara Liasson, National Public Radio correspondent, retorted, "Well, they've got a lot of company. When you've got Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert, I don't think the Democrats are leading this charge at all."

Krauthammer claimed that Republicans will fall in behind Bush and approve the deal after holding some hearings, but Democrats will continue to oppose it, apparently believing that is demagoguery even though he thinks the deal is a bad idea.

Kondracke said as a result, Republicans will in the position of saying, "There are Arabs and there are Arabs" while Democrats "will be in a position of being anti-Arab across the board."

This segment signaled to Republicans that they should look and sound tough, but not really do anything -- sort of the way they've run the whole war on terror. (How many days have we been looking for Osama bin Laden?) And that this administration, that used the FBI to round up hundreds of Arab men for questioning after 9/11 for no reason other than their nationality, is really the friends of Arabs. At least, the friends of rich Arabs who have $7 billion to spend to buy a British company.

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