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Romney and Obama segments on the Big Story - what a contrast in treatment!

Reported by Chrish - February 20, 2007 -

Today the Big Story was mostly all about Anna Nicole Smith - her lawyers, her lovers, her mom, her daughter, her will, her way, her rapidly decomposing body - enough to make you throw up. There were two short segments devoted to politics and they were just bits, not news, and as usual, not a word about Iraq.

Oops, my bad - almost missed it. There was a FOX News Alert announcing Tony Blair's intention to withdraw 1,500 British troops from Iraq over the coming weeks - thirty seconds.

The Romney segment was first and focused on an upcoming commercial, the first to be aired by a Republican in the presidential race. FOX played a sneak preview of part of the ad and promoted his upcoming travels to primary states. Campaign spokesman Kevin Madden defended the early ad, saying it's "only" nine-ten months until the primaries and people need to get to know Romney, and gave strong statements on Romney's campaign platform - he reduced the inherited Massachusetts deficit without increasing taxes, he has "strong pro-family values" (whatever that means), and runs a lean, effective government that people can be proud of.

Of interest: Doro Bush and Jeb Bush's aides are on board the Romney campaign. Jeb himself has said he will not publicly endorse any one candidate, "intend(ing) to stay neutral" just like his brother.

Gibson dared to bring up the flip-flopping problem (will O'Reilly say he's veering left now?) and asked how Romney is going to handle it, giving Madden the opportunity to list subjects on which Romney has NOT flip-flopped. He addressed the abortion flip-flop last, saying Romney admits he changed his position (after he was elected) and his record shows he has been consistently "pro-life" (although he supports the escalation of the war in Iraq).

Througout the segment video was shown of "business legend" Romney in a suit and tie, speaking in front of flags and women holding babies, at one point with a banner reading "Could we see a Mitt Romney/Jeb Bush ticket in 2008?"

The next segment, about Barack Obama, told of a fund-raising dinner tonight in Hollywood being hosted by Dreamworks' Geffen, Spielberg, and Katzenberg. Emphasis was placed on how 2 of the 3 have not yet backed a candidate, and Obama could be elbowing in on Hillary Clinton's Tinseltown territory. During this commentary video was shown of Obama walking through a small parking lot, shaking hands with a few people (not speaking to crowds of men in suits, like Romney, although we know that video is available.) The banner beneath this video read "Obama shines".

The video switched to the famous bathing suit shot, with "Welcome to Hollywood" above it, and Gibson read

"Now that Obama is rubbing elbows with all of Hollywood's bigwigs will his superstar status end up winning over major donors, nabbing a huge share of Hillary's Tinseltown campaign cash? Will he star in some beach movie? We shall see."

So, we had three-and-a-half minutes of serious footage with a polished spokesman making campaign talking points as a slick ad ran for the Republican, immediately followed by one minute, flat, of a puff piece without substance, spokesman, or serious footage, the latter half of which was thinly veiled mockery of the Democratic candidate.

Fair and Balanced? BAH.


Comment: As has been pointed out before, for a lot of us the word "shine" used in context with an African-American has racist overtones and is generally taboo, and when it was brought up before readers agreed that it is insulting. If you find the use inappropriate, write to Comments@foxnews.com