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Fox News Helps Bush Do Damage Control After Coulter's Attack on 9/11 Families

Reported by Judy - June 15, 2006

The mean side of conservatism demonstrated by suspected felon and possible plaigirst Ann Coulter's attack on 9/11 widows as people who were enjoying their husbands' deaths has the potential to rub off on the Bush administration, so Fox News Thursday (June 15, 2006) was busy helping the administration do damage control.

"Dayside" interrupted its programming with a Fox News Alert about Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld presiding at the groundbreaking at the Pentagon for a memorial to the people who died in the 9/11 attack on U.S. military headquarters.

The ceremony is hardly earth-shattering news deserving of an "alert." Fox News could have run tape of the ceremony in its news shows later in the day. Instead, "Dayside" co-hosts Juliet Huddy and Mike Jerrick broke off a segment on animal attacks and went to the groundbreaking live so that its viewers could hear Rumsfeld list all the members of Congress and cabinet who were there and then deliver a few comments about the memory of the 9/11 victims.

Rumsfeld struck a decidedly different note in his comments about the 184 9/11 victims at the Pentagon than Coulter has in speaking about families of 9/11 victims. He offered a "special welcome" to the families of those killed and promised that the memorial's individual benches each engraved with the name of a victim "will remind visitors that every one of these lives was special, with hopes cut short and with loved-ones left behind." Gee, I thought Coulter said their husbands might have been going to divorce them anyway so they don't automatically deserve our sympathy.

Rumsfeld said the ground was "sacred" and said that when family members return, "you'll be flooded with memories, of your loss to be sure, but also of split-second images of love, of laughter, and of joyous times. This memorial was meant for you, to offer some comfort."

Rumsfeld did not mention the Coulter comments. He could have taken the opportunity to condemn Coulter, but he passed. Perhaps he doesn't really mind if critics of the administration are getting attacked. He'll speak of the victims kindly, but let their families step out of line and he may think they're fair game just as Coulter does.

Neither Huddy nor Jerrick bothered to mention the controversy stirred by Coulter's cruel remarks, but you can bet if a Democrat had said those words they would have been brought up.

After all, this segment was meant to help the Bush administration rehabilitate conservatives as sympathetic to victims, while still reaping the benefit of having critics of the administration denounced by administration allies.

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