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FOX News Continues Its “Happy News Only” Policy About Iraq On Hannity & Colmes

Reported by Ellen - December 15, 2006 -

Instead of a real discussion about Iraq, “real journalism” FOX News delivered its umpteenth glowing report from Oliver North in Ramadi last night (12/14/06) on Hannity & Colmes. North has been reporting from Ramadi all week without offering perspective or news about the rest of the country. In fact, North’s “special guest” last night, one of our troops in Ramadi, repeatedly emphasized that he couldn’t speak for what is happening elsewhere. What is happening elsewhere – mass abductions and sectarian murder, according to Lieutenant-General Raymond Odierno, who just assumed day-to-day control of U.S. troops in Iraq, was completely overlooked. With the exception of Alan Colmes, who had the opportunity to ask just one question, the Iraq Study Group report was overlooked and, by implication, dismissed by FOX. With video.

In North’s Happy Iraq, everyone gets along and is making good progress as they work together happily. The Governor of Anbar Province (where Ramadi is) is "one of the bravest people" who, North said, was “effusive… in his praise for the courage of the Marines and the police, who are out there living together, training together and fighting against the terrorists. He went on to say that three more schools had been opened since the marines helped his police open new substations out in this provincial capitol."

North then turned to guest Lt. Col. William Jurney and asked one of his leading questions. "Opening police stations is a big deal in this city. It's a big deal because it's such a dangerous place, right?"

Of course Jurney agreed with him.

North went on to remark how well the Sunni police and Shia army work together.

Jurney said, “I can't speak for the rest of the country but I can tell you here in Ramadi, that has not been an issue. You have the Iraqi army supporting the Iraqi police.”

North made no attempt to discuss the level of sectarian warfare elsewhere in the country (that some call a civil war) but waxed rhapsodically about a new school and then asked another leading question. "Is that a model for how things can go elsewhere in this city, elsewhere in this country, where schools open because police departments open a substation?"

Jurney, perhaps unaware what his new commander had just said, answered, “I think it's a sign things are turning normal.”

As he has every night that this tripe has been presented as truth, Alan Colmes asked an excellent question designed to give a truer perspective. Last night, Colmes asked, "The Iraq Survey (sic) Group says there's significant under-reporting of the violence in Iraq. How do we get a bead on the truth on how violent it truly is?"

As happens every night when Colmes asks these kinds of questions, there was a long pause following. North turned to Jurney as if to say, "You answer."

So Jurney responded, but did not answer Colmes’ question. "Well, again, it's – it is a dangerous place uh, however (pause) you don't often hear of the progress. I don't understand why. I can just speak for Ramadi. It's one step at a time."

Hannity, of course, didn't have any curiosity about the larger picture. He was only interested in knowing "What does (Jurney) say" to the "liberal media" reporting "we're losing in Iraq." Comment: The Iraq Study Group, a bi-partisan group that included the incoming Secretary of Defense, is hardly “the liberal media” but Hannity conveniently “forgot” about their “grave and deteriorating” assessment.

Another pause. Tellingly, Jurney didn't say "We're winning" but that the troops are "absolutely doing a marvelous job," and "I would absolutely disagree with (the media)."

North wore the same look of awe as when he lied to Congress during the Iran-Contra hearings. "I will tell you this, my friend,” he said to Hannity. “I stood next to one of his corporals out there in the street and I asked him what he was doing there and he said 'We came to win' and they believe in it."