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Fox News Hides Arab Faces

Reported by Judy - July 20, 2006 -

Are there any refugees in Beirut? Are there any people whose homes have been bombed, who have lost loved ones, who have been buried under rubble? Apparently not because Fox News' Greg Burke can't seem to find them.

Reporting from Beirut on Fox News' "Dayside" on Thursday (July 20, 2006), Burke failed to show any real impact of the war on people in Lebanon.

Burke noted that a protest occurred in Beirut and that one protest sign read, "Lebanon, 4 million hostages," and he added, "To a lot of people that's what it feels like right now."

Burke never explained why people feel like hostages and left the viewer to figure that out. Couldn't he have stirred himself from his office and gone to the protest and interviewed a few people about what they have been living through in the last week?

Apparently Burke's bosses at Fox News are not interested in that information. But Juan Cole has information on the desperate situation. A colleague from Beirut writes him:

"Short of a massive ground invasion, Hezbollah cannot be destroyed; and Isreal has backed itself into a corner; if they stop, Hezbollah can claim victory. Hence the madness goes on. Eventually, people will have to talk to each other, but apparently only after a great deal more bleeding."

"Dayside" had interviewed a student who left Beirut yesterday, but neither hosts thought to ask Ryan Burnette if he had seen any bombs fall, any buildings destroyed, anybody killed, or what the conditions were like there. Instead, it was all about how happy he was to be home.

When "Dayside" went to a segment on a House non-binding resolution supporting Israel, the co-hosts interviewed two members of New York's congressional delegation Republican Peter King and Democrat Gary Ackerman -- both of whom supported the resolution. No members of Congress opposing the resolution were interviewed, although co-Host Mike Jerrick noted most of the small number of no votes came from Michigan members who represent large Arab communities. Might Fox News have picked up the phone and called people from some Arab American communities to ask how they felt about the resolution?

King let Arabs know that the vote means the U.S. embraces Israel's bombing, saying "Israel is serving America's purposes," a statement that will no doubt recruit many more Arabs into radical activism against this country.

Meanwhile, "Dayside" co-host Juliet Huddy denigrated the people of the Mideast with poor word choice, calling the region a "rat's nest of conflict." Is she stupid or just insensitive?