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Guest Calls Fox Propaganda Machine for Israel

Reported by Judy - August 2, 2006 -

A critic of George Bush's policy toward Lebanon and Israel told off the co-hosts of "Dayside" on Wednesday (August 2, 2006), calling Fox News Channel a propaganda machine for Israel. "Dayside" co-host Mike Jerrick responded with hostility to the criticisms of Brian Becker, even as his own introduction to the segment underscored Becker's points.

Becker, national coordnator of Answer Coalition, was on the program to discuss a march on Washington, D.C., demanding that Bush be impeached for his support of Israel during its attacks on Lebanonese civilians. Jerrick and his bosses at Fox News turned the segment into a diatribe against Heabollah.

The chyron at the start of the segment read "Supporting Hezbollah." Jerrick introduced the segment by saying Hezbollah was responsible for the bombing of the barracks in Lebanon that killed 241 U.S. marines and a hijacking that resulted in one American death. "How in the world can you support them and actually are you supporting them?" Jerrick asked Becker.

Throughout the segment, Becker stressed that the coalition was not about support for Hezbollah but opposition to Israeli attacks on Lebanese civilians, 800 of whom have been killed 800,000 of whom are now refugees. The U.S. is supporting the Israeli war to the tune of $15 million a day, Becker said.

"And I think Fox News is doing a disservice to its listeners and to its viewers when it endlessly portrays every crime crommitted against the Lebanese people or the Palestinian people, including the targeting of hospitals and schools and whole villages, and depicting each act , each criminal act, as simply an act of retaliation," he said.

An annoyed Jerrick interrupted Becker, claiming, "Well, you just haven’t been watching the channel. It’s obvious, Brian, you haven’t been watching the channel because that’s not at all what we’ve been doing, especially on this program, especially on this program."

Becker said he has been watching the channel "for the last little bit and I have to say that it’s not fair and balanced."

Interrupting again, Jerrick said, "So there you go, 'for the last little bit.' So you admit you have not been watching on a regular basis."

"I think the people who are watching Fox are well aware that it’s functioning almost as an Israeli propaganda machine at this point," Becker said.

The other guest on the segment was Mike Baker, a former CIA agent, whose job was to keep the focus on Hezbollah and off the Lebanese civilians, and to use the word "terrorist" a lot, aided and abetted by members of the studio audience.

Becker tried to parry attempts to get him to label Hezbollah as a terrorist organization by saying calling Hezbollah terrorists "is simply a way to demonize them so any crime can be committed against them."

Jerrick responded that "the actions that I mentioned at the top also demonized them.” No doubt that's why he mentioned them.

Jerrick may have been thinking of the recent appearances of Wesley Clark on Fox News in justifying the channel's coverage of the war, but a few segments on one of Fox News' least-watched programs in no way offsets the blood-thirsty thrust of bulk of Fox News coverage.