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Fox Anchor Leads Audience to Believe a Judge Ruled That the U.S. Does Not Torture People

Reported by Melanie - April 10, 2007 -

Jane Skinner, the anchor of Fox News Live at 2:00 p.m. EDT, hosted Fox's senior legal analyst, Andrew Napolitano, today (April 10, 2007) for a discussion about a federal judge's ruling that torture allegations made by Jose Padilla won't halt his trial. Skinner's introduction misstated the facts and cast the Bush administration in a decidedly good light.

This is what she said:

Well, a federal judge has ruled that the terrorism trial against Al Qaeda suspect Jose Padilla will start next week. He tried to get the charges dismissed, claiming he was tortured while in American custody, but the judge didn't buy it.

From that, you would assume that whether or not he was tortured was the issue and that the judge decided he wasn't, right?

Not so. When he was tortured was the issue. The judge, Marcia Cooke of the U.S. District Court in Miami, ruled that prosecutors were not using evidence collected during Padilla's time in the brig, during which Padilla claimed he was tortured. Presenting evidence collected during that time would have been illegal and it would have been cause for dismissal. However, while deciding that the evidence to be used wasn't collected while Padilla was in the brig, the judge "stressed" that "she was not passing judgment on the torture allegations" Padilla made. Napolitano talked about that during the segment but if all you heard was Skinners intro, you'd have had a very, very different sense of what the judge ruled.

This is the second time in four days that I've seen a Fox anchor introduce a segment with propaganda that didn't hold up after the discussion began -- after the audience tuned out or went to the kitchen for a snack.