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Fox News Morning Show Stresses Clinton Losing Lead

Reported by Judy - March 15, 2007 -

Fox News' morning show has been fixated with Sen. Hillary Clinton losing her lead to Sen. Barack Obama for several weeks. The co-hosts of "Fox and Friends" made the point to viewers again -- but only by cherry-picking polls.

The co-hosts decided to hype a poll showing Clinton's lead over Obama shrinking, with Brian Kilmeade claiming Obama is gaining "big-time."

Although they didn't say so, the three were apparently relying on a story in Rupert Murdoch's New York Post summarizing a Time magazine poll. That poll found that Clinton's lead over Obama had gone from 12 points in February to 7 points in March.

Co-host Steve Doocy said the poll showed that southerners were "scrambling away from Hillary," language that was strikingly similar to the Post's story, which noted, "The Time poll reveals southerners scrambling away from Clinton."

Co-host Gretchen Carlson noted there "is another poll out today that shows she has a bigger lead over Obama." Although Fox News displayed a graphic showing Clinton's lead shrinking in the Time poll, the CNN poll Carlson referred to was glossed over without specifics being mentioned, much less displayed on screen, even though the Post story references it.

The CNN poll shows Clinton with a 15 percentage-point lead over Obama, which could grow if former Vice President Al Gore stays out of the race.

Polls at this point are a little silly since voters are still getting to know the candidates, but if you're going to draw conclusions from them, you ought to look at a broader range of them than what Fox News did. However, they know their audience hates Clinton, hates Democratic women in general, and they will never pass up a chance to slime her.

David Brock, in his book Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative, tells a story about how circulation at the right-wing magazine American Spectator surged after he wrote articles attacking Anita Hill. Brock recalled a magazine executive asking him whether he couldn't find another woman to attack.

Fox News knows what the American Spectator executive did -- attacking women sells with the right-wing.