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Top of the Morning

Reported by Chrish - March 7, 2006

I decided to check out the 9AM Fox News hour today 3/7/06 just to see what hot topics might be on the table as tasty treats for the Fox viewers. Andrew Stack, the Fox Baghdad correspondent opened the hour with some “good” news about a top Iraqi general and 11 other people being killed today. He said that it was “another rough day in Iraq”.

(Comment: I thought that everything was going swimmingly!) While he was speaking, the news crawl mentioned that, according to experts, the Taliban insurgency was growing (comment: I thought that everything was going swimmingly).

Stack then introduced his next topic, “assessing security in Iraq” and guest, Domenic Armstrong, director of AEGIS security – a British company that has a 500 million dollar contract with the US to provide security services in Iraq. AEGIS, according to Daily Kos, has a rather checkered past, but when has that ever gotten in the way of contract awards? Back in November 2005, a video surfaced that showed AEGIS employees in Iraq shooting randomly at Iraqi drivers. (Comment: and they wonder why the Muslim world hates us?)

At any rate, Mr. Armstrong presented a warm and glowing account of Iraqi people “going about their business on a daily basis” (those that aren't getting killed on a daily basis). Scott then asked him if Iraq is on the verge of a civil war to which Armstrong replied that the Iraqi people “stepped away from the brink” and that “the political process is still going on.” He then reiterated the administration’s talking points about insurgents being “foreign fighters and Baathists.” He concluded by saying that Iraq was “staying on track’ and that 100 army battalions have been trained.
That number is misleading, as seen here, but not on FOX.

This rosy scenario was later refuted by Richard Morin, a pollster from the Washington Post, who stated that a recent poll showed that Americans, by a strong majority, felt that Iraq was on the verge of a civil war and that they wanted the troops brought home. He noted that the poll was bi-partisan. Scott then stated that the AEGIS director felt that the country isn’t “anywhere near” a civil war and asked if Americans are “misinterpreting the headlines (yes, blame the media – blame Canada; but don’t blame Bush). Morin responded that Americans were seeing “dim and violent pictures” which would account for the poll findings that show 6 out of 10 people feel that Iraq was not worth the cost.

Comment: While Fox, in this segment, did provide a “balanced” look at the Iraq war and public sentiment (although AEGIS security is hardly credible), one wonders how they can continue to cheerlead for Bush in the face of a growing public sentiment against the war. Oh well, Fred Barnes has always said that he doesn’t believe in polls (except when they’re in Bush’s favor, of course)


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