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'Live Desk's' Wild Card Stacks the Deck for Conservatives

Reported by Judy - October 9, 2006 -

Fox News always has a political agenda, but sometimes the agenda takes a while to appear. The agenda of the wild card slot in Martha MacCallum's "A-List" segment is now becoming clear as the show has been on the air longer.

Since her show replaced "Dayside" on September 25, 2006, MacCallum has regularly used a segment called the "A-List" in which a group of Fox News analysts and other guests have a round table discussion of "news" events, as Fox defines them.

One of the participants is always designated a "wild card," the qualifications and privileges of which were left vague. Lately, MacCallum has been saying that the "wild card" is free to interrupt other people.

"Wild cards" have included an actor and a comediene, but one of the most frequent types of wild card has been simply Fox News employees: Neil Cavuto, Geraldo Rivera, and Paige Hopkins, for example. And they are there to give Fox News a double shot at promoting Fox News' beliefs, to stack the deck against whatever progresssives might be on the panel.

On Monday (Oct. 9, 2006) the "A-List" was discussing a movie about the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Angelina Jolie, who is portraying Pearl's wife, has said the movie is not about terrorism, but about people seeking truth.

MacCallum commented that "you don't need to understand somebody who wants to attack you."

Hopkins followed up: "We don't need to understand evil. We don't need to accept evil. We don't need to try to analyze it."

This is a theme that comes up frequently on Fox News. Often, Fox News tries to imply that anyone who wants to negotiate with a hostile country is trying to sympathize with them, equating understanding someone else's motives with accepting those motives and approving of them.

MacCallum had made the Fox News' point, but Hopkins rammed it home for her. When a Fox News employee is the "wild card" about it, there's nothing "wild" about the role of the "wild card" slot. It's totally predictable. They are there to spew the Republican line.