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Fox Glosses Over White House Statements on Walter Reed

Reported by Janie - February 22, 2007 -

Special Report finally decided to file a report on The Washington Post story that revealed dilapidated conditions in which some of our wounded troops are living in while recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. During the segment, however; Fox Correspondent Molly Hennenberg made it appear as though the Bush Administration was deeply concerned about the problem, ignoring the conflicting statements made by Press Secretary Tony Snow.

During the segment, Hennenberg claimed, "The matter has even gotten the attention of President Bush, whose spokesman says the Commander in Chief wants something done about it."

TS (clip): "The President is committed to these people, committed to men and women who have served, we need to make sure whatever problems there are get fixed."

Comment: That's the only information Hennenberg gave on the White House's response, making it appear as though the Administration is the knight-in-shining armor coming to the rescue of the troops. Hennenberg ignored the controversy surrounding what knowledge the Administration did have, and Snow's handling of questioning on the matter - an integral part of a "fair and balanced" story.

In fact, when the story initially broke (days before Special Report deemed it necessary of coverage, or received their talking points) Tony Snow was questioned and claimed the President was aware of the conditions at Walter Reed, and had no plans to discuss the situation any further:

QUESTION: "The White House doesn't want to be on record with a more emphatic expression of amazement and upset about this?"

MR. SNOW: "No. David asked where the outrage -- of course there's outrage that men and women who have been fighting have not received the outpatient care -- if you read the stories, there are many who are happy with it, some who are unhappy, and it's important that we show our commitment to the people who have served. I don't know what more you want me to do."

[...]

QUESTION: "Do you think the President is going to say something about this later?"

MR. SNOW: "No."

Later, the White House transcript was updated to include this message:

"* The President first learned of the troubling allegations regarding Walter Reed from stories this weekend in the Washington Post. He is deeply concerned and wants any problems identified and fixed."

None of this was mentioned during the Special Report segment, making it appear as though the President was the good guy, and ignored anything that would put Bush in a negative light.