Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

MacCallum Still Pointing Fingers

Reported by Judy - September 27, 2006 -

A day after her "A-List" panel told her that it was time to stop pointing fingers about who was to blame for 9/11, Martha MacCallum returned to the topic to lead off the panel discussion on "The Live Desk" for Wednesday (Sept. 27, 2006). MacCallum got the same response, but will it stop her?

MacCallum used day-old comments from Sen. Hillary Clinton to start off the "A-List" discussion. Clinton said she was certain that if her husband had seen a memo saying Al Qaeda was determined to strike in the U.S., he would have done something about it.

MacCallum's question: "Some people are saying maybe somebody here ought to be taking the high ground and maybe not sort of continuing to keep this story on the front pages, but people seem to be very committed to keeping it there. What do you think Hillary is up to?"

Democratic strategist Kirsten Powers said Senator Clinton was just defending her husband, but that "it has gotten a little bit out of control."

Powers, by the way, was the only Democrat on the four-person panel. The others were: Georgette Mosbacher, former Republican National Committeewoman; James Kallstrom, an adviser to Republican Gov. George Pataki of New York, and the "wild card," Neil Cavuto.

Kallstrom agreed that the "dueling is disgusting" because both sides made mistakes and politicians should focus on fighting terrorism.

Mosbacher, however, opted to keep the dueling going, saying that Bush is trying to fight terrorism, the criticism of him is motivated by the upcoming election, and that President Clinton was "out of control" by design during his interview with Chris Wallace.

Cavuto took the "it was the terrorists' fault" line, and not the fault of anybody here. "Who cares whose fault it was?" he said. (Yes, ultimately, but holding politicians accountable is what elections are for, after all.)

So a majority of the panel told MacCallum again to stop dissecting the interview's contents. Republicans probably have figured how Clinton won this battle and it does them no good to keep talking about it. Will MacCallum find something new to talk about tomorrow?

Some other observations from the show:

--Hiding the flag? Fox News seems to be waving the American flag a little less prominently during the "Live Desk." The predominant color on the screen is blue, rather than red, white, and blue. A portion of the flag flutters in the upper left-hand corner, but it is bareless visible.
--Hiding her legs? MacCallum's legs were less on display. She wore slacks.
--Hiding the truth? MacCallum, in typical Fox News fashion, used her "questions" to assert as fact information that has no factual basis. After Powers brought up the August 2001 memo, MacCallum responded: "There’s a lot of similar memos you could look at under the Clinton administration, too." She failed to name any.
--Hiding the graphics? After blackboard style graphics the first day displaying summaries of guests' comments that filled nearly half the screen, the "Live Desk" is now featuring much smaller ones. Apparently, Fox News wants to be able to use the lower thirds for its "Cavutos" and wants to create another site on the screen for graphics referring to what the guest is saying. But they only stay on the screen for a few seconds.

The show has another strange feature. Although the show is called the "Live Desk" and starts out in the control room where the "raw" news is gushing in prior to broadcast, half-way through the show, there's a news break with the day's top headlines. That seems out of place, but probably is the only thing they could think of to give MacCallum time to get from the control room to the studio where the "A-List" awaits.

So far, MacCallum remains hostage to all the Fox News techniques for slanting and manipulating the news.