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'Dayside' Loads Up On Conservatives

Reported by Judy - August 31, 2006 -

Fox News lined up three conservative commentators and no liberals Thursday to comment on developments surrounding Iran's nuclear enrichment program and George Bush's speech in Salt Lake City defending his administration's conduct of the war on terror and the war in Iraq.

The "straight news" portion of the reports on the two stories included plenty of cynicism from Fox News reporters. Speaking from the U.N., Todd Connor concluded that despite the deadline for Iran's response on nuclear enrichment, "all it's going to result in is more talk," hardly an objective statement.

"Dayside" followed up Connor wiith a segment featuring the editor at large from the conservative Washington Times, Arnaud de Borchgrave, and a so-called Iranian expert, an expatriot named Gazhal Omid, who is a frequent guest on the program.

De Borchgrave predicted the Bush administration will take military action against Iran before leaving office, possibly using two B-2s to attack nuclear sites in Iran for two or three days. Omid repeated her weekly call for U.S. help for Iranians who want to overthrow the mullahs in charge in Iran.

After a brief recap of Bush's speech by Greg Kelly, "Dayside" went to conservative No. 3 -- retired Col. David Hunt, a Fox News military analyst and another program regular. Hunt threw his support to the concept of an Iranian coup. Though he talked tough about Iran "not feeling any pain for all the people they've been killing" in Iraq, Hunt did not support military action. Air strikes would only delay, not derail, Iran's nuclear program, and the U.S. cannot afford to enter a ground war with a third country, he said.

Then Hunt admitted that the evidence that Iran is working on a nuclear weapon is far from ironclad, noting: “The case has not been made by the intelligence community yet and the reason for that problem is the WMD issue and 9/11. I think the intelligence community has a long way to go to convince the American people of what I believe Iran has, which is very close to having the bomb. Otherwise, why are we paying so much attention to them?”

One reason why U.S. intelligence on the Iranian nuclear program is so spotty may be that the Bush administration blew the cover of the agent the CIA had working on that issue -- Valerie Plame -- and caused severe damage to U.S. intelligence capabilities in that area.

Another reason intelligence is so spotty is that the Bush administration doesn't really care if Iran actually is working on uranium enrichment for nuclear weapons purposes. Fox News' coverage and the Bush administration assume that Iran is, and evidence to the contrary, such as this item from Informed Comment, would only get in their way.