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A Tale of Two "Apologies"

Reported by Janie - March 2, 2007 -

After Senator Barack Obama stated the Iraq war "should have never been waged. And to which we have now spent $400 billion and it's seen over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans wasted," the right was aghast and on the offense, despite Obama's immediate apology. Senator John McCain made a very similar comment this week, and as Chrish reported morning, McCain is receiving very different treatment on Fox.

On Wednesday's (2/28) Late Night With David Letterman, McCain stated, "Americans are very frustrated, and they have every right to be. We've wasted a lot of our most precious treasure, which is American lives over there."

The comments, which were very similar to Obama's were handled quite differently on Special Report.

Just days after Obama's comments were made, Fox Correspondent Steve Brown filed a report and refused to mention that Obama apologized just moments after the statement was made.

According to Brown, "Use of the word wasted about American Iraq wars dead prompted strategists from the Republican National Committee to say, quote 'The families of these fallen heroes should be outraged and deserve better than to have someone describe the lives of their lost loved ones as 'wasted.' Not only is Obama hearing it from Republicans, he's even hearing it while surrounded by Democrats."

Yet, during last night's Special Report, host Brit Hume stood up for McCain during the "All Star Panel."

BH: "Now, the Senator was quick to say today that he had misspoken, and that the word he normally used, and has used many times in this context is the word sacrifice, and he did not mean to say that and, but there it was."

Charles Krauthammer: "On this issue, on the wasted, he knows he made a tactical error, you don't use that word."

BH: "I think he quickly.."

CK: "He quickly.."

In fact, McCain never actually apologized for using the term "wasted." In response, McCain released this statement:

"Last evening, I referred to American casualties in Iraq as wasted, I should have used the word, sacrificed, as I have in the past. No one appreciates and honors more than I do the selfless patriotism of American servicemen and women in the Iraq War. We owe them a debt we can never fully repay. And America’s leaders owe them, as well as the American people, our best judgment and honest appraisal of the progress of the war, in which they continue to sacrifice."

"As I have said many times, I believe we have made many mistakes in the prosecution of the war. With a new Commanding General and a new strategy, we are now trying to correct those mistakes, and I believe we have a realistic chance to succeed.

"That does not change the fact, however, that we have made many mistakes in the past, and we have paid a grievous price for those mistakes in the lives of the men and women who have died to protect our interests in Iraq and defend the rest of us from the even greater threat we would face if we are defeated there."

Compare that statement, with what Obama said in an interview immediately following his comment:

"In an interview following the rally, Obama, who said he has visited with the families of military personnel who have been killed in the war, said he regretted saying the lives had been 'wasted.'

'I was actually upset with myself when I said that, because I never use that term,' he said. 'Their sacrifices are never wasted.... What I meant to say was those sacrifices have not been honored by the same attention to strategy, diplomacy and honesty on the part of civilian leadership that would give them a clear mission.'"

Once again, Hume is caught providing a pass for the Republican, while harping on a Democrat for the exact same faux pas.