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Fox Uses The Cavuto To Try And Tell The Republicans Story

Reported by Donna - September 18, 2006 -

Today on Fox On Line with BIll Hemmer he went in search of what was going to be the most framed issue in the midterm elections. He had two guests, Republican stategist, Edwina Rogers and Democratic strategist, Mark Mellman.

Of course it began with the question (a banner on the screen) that ended with the Cavuto --
'Reframing the Issues: Will the GOP Surge Into November? (Check out the Cavuto at the end of the statement, making it a question as Jon Stewart would say)

Edwina Rogers said that the Democrats had hit a 9/11 speed bump and President Bush has come out swinging and he's up in New York doing his best and Ken Mehlman over at the RNC is geting out the vote. (Comment: Notice no interruptions from the Democratic guest)

Hemmer asked Mark Mellman what he thought about that.

Mellman said that there was no question that framing the election was an important thing to do and both sides were trying to do that. He said that obviously this election was about terrorism and national security and they've got two problems. First, what used to be a 35 point lead for Republicans on terrorism/national security is down to 8 points because people don't trust this President anymore to protect this country. (Interrupted by Republican guest, "I completely disagree, overtalks Democratic guest). Secondly Democrats are talking about the importance of change in this election and we have over 60% of Americans who think we need to change course in this country and that change in course is fundementally the frame that the Democrats are applying in this election. So, it is a competitive election, both sides trying to frame it.

Then another Cavuto question on the screen: 'Pres Bush Talks Terror: Does the GOP Benefit?

Then Hemmer tried to ask a question but Rogers interrupted by saying that markets were defintely moving in their direction. She commented how you couple the security issues with the economy that's going realy well. Gas prices are down and the American people believe the Republicans are better able to keep them safe.

Mellman added that the reality is that most people don't think that the economy is going that well, people feel sqeezed between prices that are rising and incomes that aren't. They see this administration and Republican Congress giving tax breaks to oil companies while gas prices were at record highs. (Rogers interrupts by saying 'no') He continued that people this administration and the Republicans giving tax breaks to HMO's and drug companies while health insurance costs are sky rocketing. (Rogers interrupts by saying 'no' again) Mellman said that most people just don't feel very good. (Rogers interupts and says 'That isn't true') Mellman continued that the American people look at Iraq and they say look, we need a change in course (Rogers keeps overtalking) in Iraq in a very fundemental way. And they're also looking at the failure of this administration to implement the 9/11 Commission's recomendations.

Hemmer says he's hearing a lot of no's so Edwina can go ahead. She says, No, no, no and laughs. Then Edwina Rogers says the economy is going well, that if you came down from Mars today the U.S. would be the best place to live and invest and our unemployment is lower than just about any country in Europe. The gas prices are falling, it's moving in the right direction.

Hemmer said he had to move along but he wondered (to Mark Mellman) if the President's speech this weekend at the UN further crystalized the argument that it's no longer just about the war in Iraq but it's also about keeping the American people safe? (Comment: Hemmer's way of taking the attention off the war in Iraq, like all of a sudden after 5 years the president is going to get serious about Homeland Security)

Mellman answered that that question has been on the line since 2001. People now believe that this President has now made us weaker rather than stronger because of the way he's alienated our allies and because of the failure to take basic steps to improve security at our ports and....

Overtalked by Hemmer who said he had to run.

Comments: Fox tried to reframe the issue, tilting it toward the Bush admistration by putting the two banners up with the Cavuto (question mark) at the end of each statement. However, they probably didn't count on a Democratic strategist (Mellman) totally out debating the Republican strategist (Rogers). And he did it all without interrupting her once.