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Different treatment of different parties on The Big Story - Kucinich and Thune on Iraq

Reported by Chrish - June 21, 2006

John Gibson "interviewed" Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) yesterday 6/20/06 on The Big Story, though "argued with" is a more descriptive phrase of what we saw. The topic was Democrats' calls for getting US troops out of Iraq, and Gibson, rather than conduct a professional and informative interview, resorted to Hannity-like tactics of overtalking, interrupting, and demanding answers to RNC-inspired questions. That served to disrupt the message from the Congressman and denied the viewers their right to hear his side of the Iraq debate.

However, when next guest Senator John Thune (R-SD) was asked his opinions, the tone changed, as was evidenced by Gibson's introductory remarks: "Senator, you may have heard Congressman Dennis Kucinich. He's been screeching that we ought to get out of there for months and months and months..."

Further confusing the Democrat's points was Gibson's mischaracterizing of the two proposals. The Kerry/Feingold proposal sets a deadline for troops to be out of Iraq (drawn down and redeployed to surrounding countries), the Levin/Reed proposal says we should start drawing down this year but does not set a deadline for complete withdrawal. Gibson said "both of these proposals before the Senate set a deadline." There was also confusion on the date proposed by Sen. Carl Levin and ("some others") Senator Jack Reed. Reading at the beginning of the segment, Gibson said Kerry's deadline (actually the Kerry/Feingold deadline) is July 1, 2007 and that the Levin/Reed proposal called for withdrawal beginning December 31, 2006. A graphic a minute later said "a redeployment of troops out of Iraq to BEGIN (FOX emphasis) by Dec. 31, 2007." A check of Internet news sources confirms that they suggest troop withdrawals to begin THIS year.

Questions to Kucinich: (re proposals) that satisfy you? What happens after we leave? Democrats don't even have a consistent plan - it's withdrawal, but they're all over the map. What are the American public supposed to think about the Democrat plan when you can't even pin one down? But what happens - Are you willing to accept a Khmer Rouge-like result the day after we leave? ...we're trying to stabilize so iraqis can take the place of us and then we'll leave. That's Bush's announced plan - what's wrong with it? Did you see Zarqawi's note that says the Americans are the ones who are winning, we're the ones being pressed? (badgering) Do you believe Zarqawi or not? (When Kucinich says we have to get a coalition of forces from neighboring countries to help) - You're kidding! Who? Who? (badgering) Name me one country who's willing to come in and take our place.

You can watch the video:

Questions to Thune: (re proposals) How's that going over in the Senate? Is (getting no more Americans killed as stated by DK) a good reason to go? Do you think it's open-ended...as long as it takes? Does it worry you that there is apparently a substantial part of the electorate who wants to get out, and aren't buying your approach?

You can watch the video:

By my count Gibson interrupted Kucinich 12 times, arguing with him five or six of those times, The Senator was interrupted once and Gibson did not argue with him.

This is a classic example of "fair and balanced" a la FOX News. Although both parties got the same amount of time, the Democrat was treated rudely and insulted by the "host", who made administration talking points in arguing with the guest, while the Republican was treated with cordiality and allowed to make (and repeat) all his talking points without being put on the denfensive.

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