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FOX News Marginalizes Giuliani Critics And 9/11 Victims As “Campaign Crazies” And Democrat Kirsten Powers Helps

Reported by Ellen - June 1, 2007 -

A group of New York City firefighters and family members of 9/11 victims, upset with the faulty radios and what they called a lack of coordination at Ground Zero, have been protesting at Rudy Giuliani’s fundraisers in an effort to challenge his media image as a 9/11 hero. But rather than air the allegations in a fair and balanced forum, FOX News marginalized the critics as “campaign crazies” and equated them with a man who said he would never vote for Romney because he’s a Mormon. Sadly, “Democratic strategist” Kirstin Powers declined the opportunity to advocate for the other side. With video.

The discussion on last night's (5/31/07) Hannity & Colmes opened with Sean Hannity playing a clip of Romney politely approaching a potential constituent. “I’m one person who will never vote for a Mormon,” the man told Romney and refused to shake his hand. That was followed by a clip of Giuliani telling an unknown but aggressive questioner, “The fact is that I never realized the towers would collapse.” Hannity followed that up by repeating an old falsehood, that Republican guest Michael Steele “(was) hit with Oreo cookies” during a 2002 gubernatorial debate.

Powers seemed to have spent all her prep time on her appearance and none on any substantive issues. She either didn't know or didn't care that Hannity had just misrepresented the Oreo cookie incident. Her main interest seemed to be in flirting prettily with Hannity. She looked absolutely gorgeous but seemed to have nothing to say other than “this kind of stuff happens all the time on campaigns… A good politician, a good campaigner knows how to react.” It never seemed to have occurred to her that here was an opportunity to point out the vulnerabilities of a top Republican presidential candidate or even mention that there are plenty of real 9/11 heroes who take issue with Giuliani’s actions and his heroic image.

It was Alan Colmes who brought out the fact that Steele was not pelted with cookies but, as Steele later admitted, “when I looked at my feet, someone had rolled Oreo cookies in my direction.”

Colmes continued to make all the points Powers should have. He asked Steele, “What’s wrong with asking someone like Rudy Giuliani questions… there are some questions about, for example, the decision to put the emergency bunker on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center…. Those are legitimate questions to ask a candidate.”

Steele said it’s legitimate but attacked the off-camera questioner, first by saying that it was “after-action questioning” and then complaining about “the accusatory nature or tone… If you come to the question presuming the answer, then it’s not a fair question because anything the candidate says, you’re not gonna accept.”

Colmes turned to Powers and said, “Rudy Giuliani is being presented in this campaign as America’s mayor, the hero of 9/11, there are some people who take sincere issue with that. Is that not a fair line of questioning to ask him?”

Powers agreed it was “absolutely fair.” But the feckless Democrat quickly blew the golden opportunity to advocate for her Party that Colmes had just dropped in her lap. Instead, she changed the subject back to the same talking point she had already made and for good measure, she threw in a barb at Hillary Clinton. “I think the candidates should expect people to – some people are frustrated, this is where they have their outlets, I’ve even defended people who have heckled Hillary Clinton for her vote on the war.”

So once again, Colmes did Powers’ job for her. He brought up how Giuliani had “a frozen zone” where he was speaking. Turning back to Steele, Colmes said, “I understand the need for security and protection but these people should be approachable. If they’re going to be our representatives, we should be able to approach them and ask them questions.”

At first, Steele tapdanced, saying that since Giuliani doesn’t have the same Secret Service protection Obama has, the buffer zone is needed. But, when Colmes pressed further about what level of approachability there should be, Steele admitted he had been very approachable as a candidate. Steele then backpedaled further by saying that both Clinton and Giuliani knew how to deal with these situations. “You don’t need to create such a buffer where the candidate is unapproachable. You want to give them the chance to show how they handle pressure.”

That sounded to me like a concession to Colmes' point. But Hannity broke in to end the segment. Powers, of course, said nothing.