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Fox Infomercial for Donald Rumsfeld

Reported by Chrish - October 1, 2006 -


John Kasich and Heartland was preempted today 10/01/06 by Bret Baier’s tribute to Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, called “Why He Fights.” This “documentary” could have been produced by and for the Republican National Committee, as it painted a red, white, and blue portrait of who “some say” is an American icon.

Baier began his report at the WWII Memorial in Washington DC. Film footage of President Einsenhower was shown as Baier described Ike’s Farewell Address as a warning against the military industrial complex – a metaphor used by future war critics to describe a “sinister force that compels the Pentagon to fight ill conceived wars.” (Comment: Vietnam? Iraq?)

Baier then referenced Eisenhower’s concern about the threat of Communism – the same type of concern, according to Baier, that Rumsfeld has about the “Islamic threat.” Film footage then had Eishenhower giving a speech about the need to “carry forward without complaint the burden of a struggle, with liberty at its stake” with the Ike footage seamlessly morphing into Rumsfeld quoting these same words. (Comment: nice equivalency of Ike and Rumsfeld – sure to grab the older Republicans in the audience).

When describing Rumsfeld’s political ascendancy, Baier described him as “a model of determination”. Baier noted that after the Iranian hostage crisis, Rumsfeld, who felt that the US was not prepared to counter the Islamic threat, was appointed by President Reagan as a Middle East envoy where, as part of his shuttle diplomacy, he met his future enemy, Saddam Hussein. The famous picture of Rumsfeld and Saddam was then shown with no comment about how Rumsfeld was there to sell Saddam military equipment and poison gas.

In the lead up to Rumsfeld’s response to 9-11 (“on the front line”), Baier did a short history of terrorists attacks and cited Clinton’s air strikes as merely “symbolic.” He added that there was no response to the Cole attack. But Rumsfeld had his finger on the pulse because at a breakfast meeting with military officials, the morning of 9-11, he told everyone that there would be a “surprise attack.” (Comment: how prophetic)

Baier showed clips of press conferences where Rumsfeld “parried questions” from the press about Afghanistan, and had everybody laughing at his witticisms. Rumsfeld’s biographer, Midge Decter, described him as a “media star.” General Peter Pace and Newt Gingrich praised Rumsfeld’s management skills.

Iraq was briefly covered with references to the success of the “embedded reporters” and the perfunctory shots of happy Iraqi children and the staged toppling of the statue of Saddam. What wasn’t shown were the questions, asked by American soldiers in Iraq, about their inadequate equipment. To Baier’s question of how “some say we won the war and lost the piece,” Rumsfeld responded, “nonsense.” Prior to a commercial break, Baier said that “US casualties are down and the attacks have become less frequent.” (Comment: that is very questionable.)

Prior to interviewing the only dissenting view in the report, retired general Paul Van Riper, Baier mentioned that despite the group of retired generals who criticize Rumsfeld, there are 7000 who don’t, and that “there is concern” that this small group is “undermining civilian control of the military.” When Van Riper said that Rumsfeld needs to go, Baier asked “even after Bush said he’s sticking with him. What are you trying to accomplish?” Van Riper responded that the debate needs to continue, to which the loyal Baier said, “doesn’t that hurt the war effort?” Van Riper replied that is how “democracy works” and to not engage in the debate would “hurt the country.”

Baier’s last questions, asked while leaning over the front seat of car in which he and Rumsfeld were traveling, were about Rumsfeld’s faith and plans for retirement. Rumsfeld said, not surprisingly, that he and his family are religious and their faith sustains them and that he’s not retiring because “life is there to be lived.” (Comment: for over 2700 Americans, this is no longer an option)

Brett ended the “report” with these stirring words:

“Donald Rumsfeld’s war - America’s war. It is far from over and Fox will be there every challenging step of the way.”

Comment: This piece of propaganda needs no further comment as it stands on its own.