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Not In My Backyard

Reported by Chrish - July 22, 2007 -

NOTE: Guest blogged by Priscilla

While there are news segments on Fox that could be defined as “balanced” in the sense that there is a Democrat and Republican, that still doesn’t prevent them from being unfair or even bizarre and last night’s Big Story (July 21st, 2007) had one such item. Despite the news that did happen this week (one would have thought that the Obama “sex ed” story would have provided titillating tabloid), most of the Big Story consisted of reports of corruption in sports and sports figures who are misbehaving.

Banderas began her program with an in studio discussion, between her and Laura Ingels, about malfeasance in the world of sports. (Comment: While the other news networks have their anchors behind desks, Fox loves the full frontal seating arrangements which show off the ladies’ legs. While short skirts and long legs make a very nice fashion statement, it would seem a bit unprofessional for news anchors – but maybe that’s the closest that Murdoch can get to a televised “page three girl” and Fox is tabloid.)

Banderas did have one political piece which she headed as “Big Security.” Her lead in was that the White House is considering bringing detainees to US facilities. She then went on to say that Bush “wants to close Guantanamo but this week the US Senate said ‘no way’ to moving detainees into the US, calling them a danger to society. I don’t get it. The Democrats are screaming that Guantanamo is inhumane and Bush wants it closed. The Democrats have prepared $460 billion aimed at closing Guantanamo. I’m confused.” (Comment: so are the viewers, Julie. The monetary amount, that you cite, is for the entire military spending bill of which the proposed Guantanamo closing is just a small part).

Banderas then asked her two guests, former congressmen Republican JD Hayworth (still with that buzz cut and intense affect) and Martin Frost. Democrat Frost said that Guantanamo has given the US a “black eye” and that the detainees could be moved to a secure military installation such as Fort Leavenworth. He added that both the Democrats and Republicans don’t want them in their own states. Banderas asked where the money was going to be spent and Frost responded that hopefully it will secure better up armed humvees and body armor for the troops.

Banderas asserted that if Guantanamo were shut down the “terrorists could go to Kansas.” (Comment: but then, depending on the weather, they could get sent to Oz). This provided Hayworth with the opportunity to rant about how the detainees should be moved to a remote and inhospitable part of the United States like the Aleutian Islands. Frost responded that the military should be able to take care of them which launched a classic Banderasism: “Wait a second. Wanted terrorists are not even wanted by their own countries. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq don’t want em. Why should we want em and God forbid there’s a prison break out. That does happen, you know.” (Comment: the terrorists might be coming to wreak havoc in the heartland, so be scared!)

Hayworth reiterated that Guantanamo shouldn’t be closed, but if it is, the detainees should be moved to a remote place. While Frost said that “the president is right. We’ve gotten a black eye around the world," Hayworth shouted “no, no, appeasement and retreat are the wrong thing to do.” (Comment: thank you Arizona voters for doing the right thing.) Banderas' conclusion was that “I don’t want em in my backyard. I don’t know about you guys.”

Comment: This measure that was passed by the Congress is confusing as it happens at the same time that legislation has been introduced to close Guantanamo. It would have been helpful if Banderas has spoken to a senator or a staff person who could have clarified things. Her conflating the defense budget with the Guantanamo closing was also confusing. Real journalism requires clarity of story and questions; but as the Big Story isn’t really real journalism, it’s not surprising that clarity isn’t a priority.

NOTE: Guest blogged by Priscilla