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In Effort to Smear Democrats, FOX Hosts Report Unsubstantiated Rumor as News

Reported by Marie Therese - December 12, 2006 -

On Monday morning (December 11, 2006) the FOX & Friends hosts - Steve Doocy, Kiran Chetry, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade - engaged in the worst kind of yellow journalism. They aired a story carried by WorldNet Daily claiming that an (unnamed) Hamas website reported that prominent Democratic Party leaders secretly met with Hamas leaders in Europe. Despite the fact that a Democratic party spokesperson denied that such a meeting ever took place, the original Hamas source was unnamed and FOX News had no independent corroboration of the WND story, it was given plenty of airplay during all three hours of the FOX & Friends show.

Naturally, as they delivered this "rumor" - which FOX obviously considered newsworthy - the audience was treated to Steve Doocy's snide sneers, Brian Kilmeade's infantile idiocies, Kiran Chetry's suspect sweetness and Gretchen Carlson's saccharine snubs.

So much of the message on FOX & Friends is communicated by body language, tone of voice, visuals and subtle subliminals that is impossible to depict in words.

For instance, how do I describe the dismissive facial grimace that Steve Doocy makes when he wants to make it appear that the words he's uttering are actually untrue? Or the sickening sweetness of Gretchen Carlson's voice as she bashes yet another liberal guest or idea?

For example, here's the first report about the "rumor":

STEVE DOOCY: But first let's talk about this. (reading) Of course, Hamas, as you know, does not recognize Israel's right to exist and yet, according to Hamas, and Hamas spokesmen, they have met, very recently, with some very prominent Americans, in particular (raised eyebrow) some very prominent Democrats.

BRIAN KILMEADE: (reading) You mean Ahmed Jussef, the chief political advisor to Hamas' Prime Minister? Could that be the same guy?

DOOCY: That's the Hamas guy who was doing the talking.

KILMEADE: And did that precede a meeting with European leaders? (looks at Chetry, gets no response)

KIRAN CHETRY (as if she forgot her lines, reading on and off through the following): Yeah, apparently. You know, there were rumblings of this all week and now, apparently, this has been confirmed, at least according to WorldNet Daily, they quoted a website, a Palestinian website, saying this happened and that the big rub is that some of these Democratic leaders, at least according to this report, were willing to work with Hamas despite the fact that, as you said, Steve, they refuse to acknowledge Israel's right to exist. And, of course, if you go back and look at their tenets, the Charter, they wanted to destroy Israel as well.

DOOCY: "Well, now, here's the thing. The DNC - the Democratic National Committee - says (facial grimace, higher-pitched nasal vocal tone) "We don't know anything about this. And ya' know what? I've got a feelin' it didn't really happen" (normal voice) despite the fact that Hamas is sayin' this. Now remember before the midterm elections, we heard from a number of terrorist leaders, reportedly or purportedly, that they hoped the Americans would put the Democrats in power. [video clip of John Murtha] And, now, afterwards, suddenly, Hamas is puttin' this word out (vocal tone change) "Yeah, we met with a bunch of top Democrats" ... (normal voice) I'm not certain - I'm not positive, despite what Hamas says - and why would I be? - that there was actually a meeting with Democrats.

BRIAN KILMEADE: Well, I'll tell you what. The balls in their court now because al Jazeera writing it. It's appearing in a bunch of newspapers. It's appearing on a Palestinian website, a news agency website.

DOOCY: So do you trust Hamas?

KILMEADE: I'll tell 'ya what, though, I would like to know because this is something - it doesn't (sic) say meeting with Democrat - high-ranking Democrats - so, let's name the names. Let's find out the writer. And let's find out who it is.

KIRAN CHETRY: And they also say "high-ranking American figures", so it may not just be Democrats.

KILMEADE: And find out who's traveling of late, find out who's traveling over to the region of late because there seems to be a lot going on.

The lower-third banners read In order:

HAMAS MEETING

HAMAS COONFIRMS MEETINGS WITH GROUP OF DEMOCRATS

REPORT: HAMAS MEETS W/ HIGH-RANKING AMERICAN FIGURES

HAMAS ALSO SAYS THEY HAVEI MET WITH BRITISH PARLIAMENT

There were several other "reports" similar to this throughout the three hours F&F was on the air.

COMMENT

The WorldNet Daily story - from which FOX News drew this piece of trash talk masquerading as "news" - did not give the name of its Palestinian source.

A few Google searches revealed that the source was the Ma'an News Agency. I find it odd that I could uncover the name with a couple of simple searches but all the worldwide resources of FNS could not! Either I'm a great researcher or FOX just didn't want to bother checking out the story.

The very last paragraph of the original report states:

In response to this article, the US consulate in Jerusalem said that, “According to a Western diplomat, reports about American Democrats meeting with Hamas’ officials are completely false.”

As of 8:29 AM EST today (December 12, 2006), FOX News has not followed up on this story.

Could that be because, when they scheduled it yesterday, they did so knowing full well that it was false?