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Subtle, Oh, So Subtle

Reported by Judy - March 8, 2006

Got to hand it to Neil Cavuto. He can be mighty tricky when he puts his mind to it, as he did Wednesday (March 8, 2006) in a segment on the Dubai Ports World deal. For a minute there, Cavuto had me thinking Democrats were the ones using American soldiers as political pawns.

During "Your World with Neil Cavuto," Cavuto reported on an effort by House Appropriations Committee Chair Jerry Lewis to attach an amendment killing the DPW deal to a bill budgeting money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and rebuilding the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. Lewis' strategy was that the money for those efforts is so badly needed that even supporters of the DPW deal would not dare vote against the bill with the amendment and that George Bush will have to sign it, even though he foolishly threatened to veto any effort to kill the bid by a foreign country to operate six American ports..

Cavuto built the segment around the question: "Do you think it's rigjt to have our soldiers as pawns in this sort of legislative bruhaha?" (Note that he chose not to cast the poor victims of Hurricane Katrina as potential pawns in this legislative bruhaha.)

Now Lewis is a Republican (from California), as are all committee chairs since the House (and Senate) is controlled by Republicans. And Republicans are running from Bush on this issue like rats from a sinking ship. Yet Cavuto found a Democrat to defend Lewis' tactics from complaints by Col. David Hunt, Fox News military analyst, that the Lewis tactics endanger troops. Hunt argued that Bush might veto the bill and American troops would be left without the funds to fight the war.

If that happens, Bush flat out deserves to be impeached for that alone. But that's another matter.

Anyway, Beckel reassured Hunt that Lewis' strategy won't hold up money getting to soldiers in the field. "George Bush is in an impossible position. This thing is going to pass. The Lewis amendment on that bill is going to pass overwhelmingly. I mean, who in their right mind is going to go into an election year voting for Dubai. It's a bad deal. ... This thing is going to fly through. ... George Bush is not going to veto that bill," he said.

Nevertheless, Hunt moaned, "This is taking a chance with soldiers' lives." And he went on to say what a good guy Beckel is and how he really does like soldiers, not like a lot of other Democrats.

When Beckel reminded Hunt that "It's the Republicans that are taking the lead on this," Cavuto promptly pointed out, "There are quite a few Democrats against this."

And that was Cavuto's strategy in having Beckel as a guest -- make a Democrat defend the Republican's dirty deed and you leave the impression that it's Democrats who are playing politics with soldiers' lives.

That's balanced journalism, Fox News style.

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