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Lots Missing from MacCallum's 'Live Desk'

Reported by Judy - October 4, 2006 -

Martha MacCallum's "Live Desk" covered stories ranging from the Amish school shooting to possible North Korean nuclear tests on Wednesday (Oct. 4, 2006), but it wasn't what she covered but what she left out that is problematic.

MacCallum demonstrated a sly ability to tilt her coverage in favor of Republicans by leaving out key information that would cast the stories in a different light.

On the unfolding scandal involving Florida Republican Mark Foley, who resigned his House seat after suggestive emails he sent to pages were revealed, MacCallum worked hard to portray the scandal as a Democratic-Republican fight, omitting information about conservatives who are unhappy with Republican handling of the matter.

She said, for example, that Republicans "are fighting back," but she never said against what or whom, leaving the implication that it was Democrats. Later, she said, "back in Washington, the sniping continues over the Mark Foley situation," letting pass another opportunity to mention conservative opposition and never mention who is doing the sniping.

Still later, she mentions, "The Democrats are trying to drive that message home that it should have raised a lot more alarms than they did.” And yet again, MacCallum asks Fox News' Brit Hume, “Do you think that they make a mistake not calling for Hastert’s resignation?” Who, pray tell, is "they"? Hume mumbled something about Jerry Falwell.

MacCallum's numerous omissions downplayed the unhappiness that conservatives have voiced about the scandal. If she were having trouble finding names, she might have checked with Sean Hannity, who raked David Bossie of Citizens United over the coals last night concerning his call for Hastert's resignation.

MacCallum's handling of the matter, though, was in keeping with Fox News' preference for pretending that Republicans rarely disagree with each other and that Democrats can never agree. That's why right now, conservative leaders are all over MSNBC and hard to find on Fox News' shows like MacCallum's.