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Clinton Climbs in Polls But Fox News Fails to Notice

Reported by Judy - June 14, 2006

Fox News is based in New York, but apparently its staff never bothers to read the New York newspapers to find out what's going in that state. As a poll showed Senator Hillary Clinton unbeatable right now in her bid for a second term in the U.S. Senate, Fox News' "Dayside" clowns on Wednesday (June 14, 2006) proclaimed that no one would vote for her.

Co-hosts Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy were interviewing two politican strategists: Democrat Doug Schoen and Republican John Leboutiller, a former New York congressman.

First, they tried to create a disagreement among Democrats over the war in Iraq by playing video of Clinton and Sen. John Kerry speaking to a Democratic group (which was never identified) about Iraq. The video showed Clinton saying, "Nor do I think it is smart strategy to set a date certain (to withdraw from Iraq). I do not agree that that is in the best interests of our troops or our country." Speaking about the resolution authorizing the war in Iraq, Kerry said, "We were misled, we were given evidence that was not true. It was wrong and I was wrong to vote for that Iraqi war resolution."

The chyron for the segment was "Dems vs. Dems on Iraq."

So where was the disagreement? There may have been one, but it was not obvious in the quotes played. Maybe Clinton said something earlier about the war resolution vote, or Kerry said something about supporting immediate withdrawal. But it wasn't in those segments. Huddy or Jerrick should at least have paraphrased what they said. But they didn't bother. (A chyron flashed briefly saying Kerry in April suggested setting a date for withdrawal, but the audience easily could have missed that. Maybe they didn't trust Huddy or Jerrick to get the information right.)

Instead of reporting what the disagreement was, Huddy turned to Leboutiller and said, "Do you think the Democrats' disagreeing kind of which plane to go on is going to be helpful to the Republicans?" I'll spare you the suspense regarding what Leboutiller said and note that he agreed. Surprise, surprise.

He added that it would be helpful because Clinton "is someone you really can’t believe and can’t trust. … I think even a lot of Democrats don’t buy Hillary. They think she’s basically insincere and will say whatever the polls tell her to say.”

Later, he said Americans are unhappy with both parties, but noted, "How could you look at Hillary and Kerry and want to vote for them?”

Instead of acting like a journalist, Jerrick said, "I think you’re right. This dissatisfaction in America. II think you’re absolutely right.”

If Jerrick had checked "Newsday," he might have learned that Republicans can't even find anyone to run against Clinton for the New York Senate seat. The poll found Clinton winning with either 59 or 60 percent of the vote, depending on which of the two losers currently in the race the GOP manages to nominate. And party leaders want one of them to drop out.

Regardless of what Jerrick and Leboutiller say, a lot of New Yorkers do "buy" Clinton. She has represented them for six years and they probably know her better now than any other group of Americans. They like her. They trust her. They're going to vote for her. And Fox News doesn't like it one bit.

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