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Senator Mitch McConnell misrepresents Democrats, Gibson lets slide

Reported by Chrish - March 29, 2006

Of course, the misrepresentation is one that Gibson and many others on FOX are themselves guilty of so it's not surprising.

Today 3/29/06 on The Big Story Gibson interviewed McConnel for his take on the Democrats' National Security Plan which was released today and which, Gibson tells us, Republicans are calling "a stunt.". Proving himself a partisan hack and not statesman-like at all, McConnel dismissed it as "laughable."

Asked by Gibson why he called it a stunt, McConnel said well, it's almost laughable. This is the crowd, for example the Democratic chairman says we can't win in Iraq, the Democratic leader of the House says we ought to bring the troops home, and we have a Democratic Senator here in the Senate saying we ought to censure Bush, for goodness sake, over the highly successful terrorism surveillance program. That's their idea of strong national security and the war on terror? It is really quite laughable.

Gibson didn't correct him on the continuing mischaracterization of the Democrats' stand on terrorist surveillance - they are for it. What they and many conservatives and libertarians and undecideds are against is illegal warrantless spying on American citizens. That the Republicans continue to equate the two is evidence of their concern that MOST Americans would agree with Senator Feingold that Bush should be taken to task for operating as if he is above the law. McConnell made the deliberate "mistake" again later and of course it was allowed to stand; Gibson does it himself frequently.

McConnell continued to disparage Democrats and praise Bush his entire segment, saying Democrats were as likely to catch OBL as they are to not raise taxes, though there's been no lack of effort on that front (but that wouldn't end the war on terror anyway). When Gibson asked him if he construed the Democrats' stated desire to hold Bush accountable for misleading information to mean that they would seek impeachment, , McConnell said Republicans would love to have that debate (Bring it on!!!) and "that's what we get from the Democrats"; instead of fighting the war on terrorism they want to embarrass Bush.

He says we have to watch what they say, like Dean saying we can't win in Iraq, Pelosi saying bring the troops home, and Russ Feingold saying we ought to censure Bush "as a result of implementing the highly successful and completely Constitutional (his emphasis) terrorism surveillance program."

Democratic Senator Carl Levin was on immediately following to "defend the plan from its critics", but as he said, "It wasn't a criticism of the plan, it was a criticism of some statements that were made by some Democrats." He then laid out the basics of the plan: to change course in Iraq, to gain energy independence much more quickly, to ensure that all containers that come into this country are inspected, to give fuller funding to first responders, to make sure that different agencies (local, state, federal, international) can communicate. That is what our plan is, and of course the Republicans will try to change the subject.

Gibson asked for and got some depth to three major points: re-deployment, container screening, and holding the Bush administration accountable for "manipulative pre-war intelligence, poor planning, and contracting abuses." Levin spoke knowledgeably and professionally in stark contrast to the desperate rhetoric from McConnell .

Comment: My sole complaint about Gibson's role in this was his failure to correct McConnell on the misleading interchanging of the two very different issues, legal wiretapping of terrorists (which we ALL want done) and the illegal warrantless spying on Americans which Bush has admitted to. The record shows that FOX is anxious to keep these two issues muddled in its viewers' minds and the reasons are clear - taint the jury pool of public opinion.

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