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FOX Hosts Upset That Lebanese-American Evacuees Will Get Assistance from Their Own Government

Reported by Marie Therese - July 21, 2006 -

Now I've heard everything! Yesterday morning on FOX & Friends Steve Doocy, E. D. Hill and Brian Kilmeade just couldn't stop whining about all the help Lebanese-American evacuees will receive from the government. After listening to their infantile, carping tripe, it finally hit me that the toxic trio was deliberately creating the impression in its viewers that Lebanese-Americans are soft, spoiled, weak complainers. This seems to be FOX News' standard approach to emergency situations involving people of races other that Caucasian. (Cf. Bill O'Reilly's rants about the sluggardly, pilfering African-Americans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina).

Here's a sampling of the drivel dispensed by Snivel, Whine and Sob

6:30 AM EDT

STEVE DOOCY: The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services says its refugee resettlement program will provide assistance to evacuees up to 90 days after they return the United States. Remember a lot of them got on the plane after bein' on the boat - didn't have anything with them

E. D. HILL: Uh ...

DOOCY: ... and so now the U. S. government is gonna give them some assistance for up to 90 days.

HILL: Yeah, well ...

KILMEADE: And they waived the $150 fee that was normally required for that.

HILL: I - I - OK.

DOOCY: As stated by law since 1956 - that's the law. If you have to be evacuated out of a war area, you should be responsible for whatever costs are incurred. That's - that, that's the law.

HILL: Of a commercial ticket. So why aren't we following the law? And why, if we're evacuating Americans, would they need housing and financial assistance for 90 days, if they're - if we've already paid taxpayer funds to get them back to America?

BRIAN KILMEADE: We don't know. I mean, maybe some of those people lived in Lebanon and haven't been here in a long time.

HILL: Um-hmm.

DOOCY: Sure.

KILMEADE: They don't know that we don't use pay phones as much. We now use more cell phone technology. Maybe they need adapting to our new culture

DOOCY: They're ahead of us on that.

HILL: Lebanon is a very modernized country. That just strikes me as odd.

6:35 AM EDT

DOOCY: In the meantime a number of Americans who were in the Middle East are now in Baltimore Washington International Airport ... The resettlement staff apparently is there on site. They're gonna provide mental health crisis counseling. They're gonna arrange transportation for the travelers to their home states - that's a great deal.

HILL: Sure is.

DOOCY: Meanwhile we understand that the Red Cross is going to provide assistance and the USO is going to open its lounge to the evacuees.

HILL: That's nice.

DOOCY: ... So you know what ...

HILL: Maryland is steppin' up and payin' ...

DOOCY: Everybody is.

HILL: Yeah.

KILMEADE: Hey, you know, as more and more evacuees go to the safety of their home countries, some think that Lebanon is going to be even more ripe for targets, being that Israel will not have to worry so much about hitting innocent civilians and tourists, so it could spell more trouble for Hezbollah.

Comment: And just what, pray tell, are the native Lebanese? Cannon fodder? Kilmeade has got to be one of the stupidest people on the face of the planet!

HILL: But, Israel has been telling everyone in southern Lebanon for now eight-plus days to move out of that area, telling all civilians, basically, this is a war zone. Move away and many of them don't or can't.

6:47 AM EDT

DOOCY: ... A lot of them are there in Cyprus. Every hotel room on the island has been booked. Also, United States government, I understand, has contracted with local convention center that does have AC. They've got tents up. They're trying to make people as comfortable as possible.

KILMEADE: Well, Cyprus is nice. I mean, this is not like a run-down community.

DOOCY: It's beautiful.

KILMEADE: So you could go in there - you got a credit card, then you're OK. And, if you're in Lebanon, more than likely, you have some financial wherewithal, wouldn't you think, if you could travel to Lebanon on vacation?

HILL: One would think.

KILMEADE: 'Cause that's not cheap.

HILL: One would think that.

KILMEADE: Right. So, and just have a ship pick you up. I mean, that must be a great feeling.

DOOCY: To get out!!

KILMEADE: 'Cause Senator Harry Reid yesterday was tryin' to make this political 'when he came out and said this was a mini-Katrina, 'cause he felt as if the evacuation process was too slow

DOOCY: And, in fact, there were some people who were involved over in Lebanon sayin' - once they arrived in Cyprus ' (derogatory tone of voice) "Oh, you know what, we had to sleep on hard floor and there wasn't any food." (normal tone of voice) And you know what? The Navy Seals - there were Navy Seals delivering food to some of the ships!

HILL: But wait. They're leaving Lebanon.

DOOCY (loudly): They're alive!!!

HILL: The stores are open.

DOOCY: Yeah!

HILL: They've certainly - they've got to eat if they're in Lebanon. Whatever money they would have been spending, whatever food they would have been eating there ...

DOOCY: I know it.

HILL: ... they know how far it is to Cyprus. They could have brought food with them.

DOOCY: They coulda.

HILL: If they were concerned about where they were gonna sleep - and I would imagine you would be, if you're being evacuated - why not bring a pillow and a blanket?
I mean, stop complaining!!

KILMEADE: And if you live in a Middle East country, at least bring the Saltines. They're free and they come with the soup.

DOOCY: You know what? I bet folks there on Omni International [Airlines] wound up with some salty cashews for the long flight home.

7:00 AM EDT

HILL: It's just the commercial cost of a ticket, which - I mean, think about it. We're all payin' for this. You know this. We're all payin' for this. If someone is in an area where nothing is expected, you know. where there is a natural disaster ...

DOOCY: Sure.

HILL: Where there is - all of a sudden a fight erupts - whatever.

KILMEADE: A tsunami.

HILL: That's a different thing. But when you go into a place where the State Department specifically warns you against traveling and you have the option to buy travel insurance, to buy all sorts of insurance to protect yourself - you go there anyway - I just don't - and all their - the government asks you to do is reimburse them for the price of a commercial flight ...

DOOCY: Right.

HILL: ... everything else they'll pick up - I don't see that that that is unreasonable, yet a lot of politicians in Washington started complaining, you know, that the administration was lax on this and they weren't compassionate, it was a mini-Katrina and all that - and all of a sudden they go "OK, we'll pay for everything. Don't worry about. We'll pay for everything." I'm not sure that's right.

DOOCY: Alright.

KILMEADE: And by the way this flight came in a half hour early, so you know it's a charter.

***************

A few minutes later they interviewed Sandy Choucair, whose husband was evacuated from Lebanon, where he had been visiting his mother for a month. Mrs. Choucair did not have many good things to say about the whole process.

BRIAN KILMEADE: Was your husband aware of the possible danger and risk of flying to Lebanon?

SANDY CHOUCAIR: Well, you know, it hasn't been - he goes every couple of years and, when he went a month ago, things were fine and, you know, nobody was expecting this to happen, so he had no idea and I don't think anybody else had any idea that this was gonna happen.

E. D. HILL: You mentioned other relatives - did you say? - that are traveling with him. Are those people who were also on the trip with him?

CHOUCAIR: Well, he has his nephew's children that were trav - that were there visiting their grandmother and he was staying with them, so he was able to bring the children back with him but the children live in Texas.

HILL: Uh-huh.

STEVE DOOCY: Sandy, are you pleased with the way the State Department and the federal government handled the evacuation?

SANDY CHOUCAIR: No. Not at all. I think they took too long. There was a lot of unnecessary things that happened that I think personally could have been avoided. Everybody else in the world was evacuating their citizens, except us, and I think they took way too long and my husband, like everybody else, went through a lot of unnecessary circumstances that, that didn't have to happen.

HILL (curtly): Like what?

CHOUCAIR: So I'm not - I'm not pleased.

HILL: Like what?

CHOUCAIR: Like, like living on the street for several days, going to the American Embassy and asking for help and being told at the gate that you need to go home and listen to the news. But if he had a home, he would listen to the news. And, he was turned away.

HILL: But your husband didn' t have ...

CHOUCAIR: So, that was very ...

HILL: I'm sorry. I'm not understanding. So your husband didn't have - wasn't able to stay with his mother?

CHOUCAIR: He was staying five minutes from the airport, which is the prime area.

HILL: Uh-huh.

CHOUCAIR: And he left that area and went to the Embassy to seek some help and he wasn't offered any.

COMMENT
Mrs. Choucair was a class act.

The people interviewing her were not.