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Why Doesn't Fox Call Chuck Hagel a "Cut & Runner"?

Reported by Melanie - August 1, 2006 -

On Monday, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska "broke" with President Bush in remarks about the Middle East and Iraq. On Iraq, Hagel said that, "the 3-year-old Iraq war is wearing badly on the U.S. military and that Iraq's fledgling democracy needs to take over more of its security responsibilities from American troops."

Also on Monday, senate Democrats sent a letter to President Bush calling on him, "to begin pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of the year, citing an overtaxed military."

Here's how Neil Cavuto treated the two items today (August 1, 2006) on Your World.

The third segment on the show featured Rick Santorum. Cavuto introduced him like this, over a graphic that read, "Sickening Slaughter:"

Well, at least one Republican breaking ranks with the President on the Middle East, calling for an immediate cease-fire. Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel says this sickening slaughter is hurting America's image. Reaction now from fellow Republican, Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Senator Santorum, what did you make of that?

Santorum said, "Well, I couldn't disagree with it more and I think it was an unfortunate comment."

Meanwhile, the chyron at the bottom of the screen read: "Will Israel Cave to Pressure for a Cease-Fire?"

After Santorum reacted, above, to what Hagel said, he and Cavuto spent the rest of the segment talking about how the Israeli-Hezbollah fight is part of the larger war on terror. Hagel, and what he said, wasn't mentioned again.

Approximately six minutes later, as he headed to a break, a chyron appeared at the bottom of the screen that read, "Cut & Run?" and Cavuto promoted the next segment with this:

Well, key Democrats on Capitol Hill are renewing a call to get troops out of Iraq. Republicans say they are waving a white flag of surrender. Or, are Democrats just getting it right?

After the ad, Cavuto continued:

Welcome back everyone. While much of the world focuses on the Mideast, many Democrats are trying to shine the spotlight right back on Iraq, specifically getting our troops out of Iraq. Some top Democrats on Capitol Hill sending a letter to President Bush to bring our troops home by the end of the year, saying, and I quote...

At this point, a portion of the letter appeared on screen. Cavuto read only the part in bold print below:

In the interests of American national security, our troops and our taxpayers, the open-ended commitment in Iraq that you have embraced cannot and should not be sustained... We need to take a new direction.

Again, Cavuto continued:

We've got one of those senators who sent that letter, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois. Senator, good to have you back.

With a chyron at the bottom of the page that read, "Dems Renew Call to Bring Troops Home from Iraq," Durbin said this:

Good to have you, but that's not what the letter said. The letter did not say remove our troops by the end of the year. The letter said, start removing our troops this year.

(Durbin's emphasis.)

Cavuto then proceeded to grill Durbin using the standard pro-war talking points, like what will we say to the families of the troops who have already died, and won't the insurgents just wait us out?

Comment: Note that Fox used the ultra-conservative radical Rick Santorum to interpret Chuck Hagel's remarks. Why didn't Fox invite Hagel to appear? (Ah shucks, we know why.) Why didn't Cavuto mention what Hagel said about Iraq, and why was what Hagel did say about the Middle East dispensed with so quickly? (Ah shucks, we know why.) Also, there were no words like "cut & run," or "so and so attacked President Bush" used in connection with Hagel - phrases always used on Fox in connection with Democrats.

In the segment with Durbin, "cut & run" was used and Cavuto spent the whole segment, as I said, grilling Durbin about the details. Fair and balanced?