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Biased John Kerry Flap Continues on "Special Report"

Reported by Janie - November 3, 2006 -

For the last two episodes of "Special Report" (11/1 and 11/2), Brit Hume used his "Two Minutes of Hate" (AKA "Grapevine") segment to blast media coverage of the John Kerry botched joke. According to Hume, the lack of coverage of the incident proves the Main Stream Media has a liberal bias. However, Hume is not reporting to his viewers that the Kerry statement really was a botched joke, and that there is proof to attest to this fact.

From Wednesday's episode:

"The John Kerry flap may have been the major political story yesterday, but you might not have known that from the newspaper coverage. Not a single front-page headline in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal or USA Today. The Times cast it as a chance for the President to attack Kerry. Not until the 15th paragraph, on page 18, does a reader learn what Kerry actually said. The Washington Post put the whole story on page 8.

Both the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal put the Kerry flap on a par with the incident in which some of Virginia GOP Senator George Allen's supporters roughed up a heckler after an Allen event. And on ABC News, the Kerry flap was described as 'an object lesson in how in this day and age an idle political remark gets seized upon.'

Meanwhile the non-partisan Center for Media and Public Affairs has analyzed stories about the elections during the seven weeks since Labor Day on the evening newscasts of the three broadcast networks. It reports 77 percent of on-air evaluations of Democratic candidates and members of Congress were positive — and 88 percent of the references to Republicans were negative. The study says there were 167 election stories during that time — compared to just 35 during the same period in 2002.

And the ABC News Political Director Mark Halperin says well over 70 percent of the people working on his network's political coverage are liberal, and would vote Democratic. Halperin tells radio host Hugh Hewitt that the preponderance of liberal thought in media organizations is an endemic problem. And he says it is why, 'for 40 years conservatives have rightly felt that we did not give them a fair shake.'

Comment: Hume uses statistics from Center for Media and Public Affairs, which he claims is "non-partisan", is far from it. As a matter of fact, almost 86% of its funding comes from three conservative sources: the John M. Olin Foundation (American Enterprise Institute, Project for the New American Century), the Scaife Foundations (American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation), and the Smith Richardson Foundation (American Enterprise Institute, Hudson Institute).

The President of the Center for Media and Public Affairs is S. Robert Lichter, a former AEI fellow, and a paid consultant to Fox News.

None of this, as you can see, was mentioned in Hume's story.

From Thursday's episode:

"John Kerry's apology for remarks interpreted by many as demeaning to U.S. troops in Iraq did better in the major newspapers today — with page one coverage in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today.

But it again failed to crack the front page of The New York Times — which had only a passing mention of the apology in an inside page story about the president's support of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.

A subsequent column called Kerry a 'punching bag' and blamed the flap on 'a single word left out' of a joke."

Comment: Well, it was more than one word left out of a joke, but Hume isn't sharing that with his viewers during these segments.

The prepared remarks read: "Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush."

Hume is intentionally left this out of this report, attempting to keep a non-story on the front page, rather than actually discuss real events that are hurting the GOP: the war, Republican scandals, the economy, etc. To discuss the real issues would spell doom for the GOP, so Fox and much of the media outlets have deemed this THE story to run with, to keep the bad press off the front pages.

Sorry if all the actual news outlets aren't following your lead Hume, but most actual journalists have figured out by now that this is a non-story - one that contains zero newsworthiness.

To contact "Special Report" about their preposterous coverage of the Kerry incident, please email special@foxnews.com