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Tired of that Katrina tape – Focus on Pakistan

Reported by Chrish - March 3, 2006

The car bombing in Pakistan that killed a US diplomat and five other was, obviously, a tragic event. But yesterday, 3/2/06, during the noon to 1PM slot on Fox News Live, it occupied almost the entire hour. There were other events happening in the world which were not mentioned during this news program such as:

The Bush administration, in following the old “fool me once” axiom is investigating Dubai’s takeover of two plants in Georgia and Connecticut that make precision components used in engines for military aircraft and tanks

*The Senate vote on the Patriot Act

*Saudi group alleging that two of its members in Washington were illegally wiretapped

But no, Fox viewers were subjected to endless comment about Bush “decrying violence” and how he supports Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf who is a “key ally.” (Comment: yet another non-democratically elected Middle Eastern ally). Even while Republican Lindsey Graham was being interviewed by Fox’s Bill Hemmer about whether “political bickering was taking the focus off the war on terror,” the sidebar featured information regarding the terrorist attack in Pakistan. Senator Graham stated that we need to “follow the enemy and protect civil liberties.” Just as I was beginning to think that Graham was on the right track, he said (as a good Republican) that we need “to stay the course” and “keep taxes low” (comment: how are going to pay for staying the course with low taxes?).

Midway through the hour, Hemmer introduced a new fun feature called the “Fox Box” – a short segment that presents information that inquiring Fox minds want to know about. Today’s box was all about the area in Pakistan that contains most of the terrorists in Pakistan being 100 square miles or 10 miles by 10 miles. Maps of metropolitan Washington DC and downtown Chicago were shown as examples of this configuration – see it’s not all that big. (Comment: right, and it contains extremely mountainous terrain and tribal groups who are extremely unfriendly to the US).

But for me, the best segment came at the end of the program when Hemmer introduced a topic which, I felt, would be continued through the day; and sure nuff, it was taken up by John Gibson on the Big Story. It seems that a good conservative boy in Colorado, Sean Allen, taped his teacher saying "bad things" about President Bush. Sean’s conservative dad thinks that the comments are “biased and inappropriate” for geography class. The teacher, (Jay Bennish) who in the Fox photo had (gasp) long hair, was discussing Bush’s State of the Union Address and said that "I'm not saying Bush and Hitler are exactly the same, obviously they're not. OK? But there are some eerie similarities to the tones that they use". What Hemmer did not add was the last part of Bennish’s statement: "I'm not in anyway implying that you should agree with me, I don't even know if I'm necessarily taking a position. But what I'm trying to get you to do is to think about these issues more in depth and not to just take things from the surface."

Comment: First we have the War on Christmas and now we have the war on education. The idea of this kid taping the teacher (and I do wonder about the legality of this maneuver) reminds me of stories, told by my teachers during the cold war, of Communist youth who were trained to rat out their parents and teachers if they didn’t tow the party line. I’m sure Sean’s dad would not have had a problem if the teacher promoted the Bush agenda in class. The “little Nazi block watchers” that Ann Coulter refers to are the thought police of the republican right wing. In addition to controlling textbook content, the right wing now wants to control what teachers say. The right wing loves the second amendment but seems to despise the first. And one more thing – the teacher has been put on administrative leave while the school investigates. Imagine – teaching kids to think! What a crime against humanity!


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