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FOX all over denunciation of MoveOn ad, still ignoring content of that ad

Reported by Chrish - September 21, 2007 -

I counted nine (9) mentions of the MoveOn.org ad (headline) and the Senate's 72:25 vote condemning it, with heavy emphasis on the Democrats who refused to play, on this morning's Fox and Friends show 9/21/07. There were at least as many depictions of the ad - or rather, the big picture of General Petraeus and the controversial headline asking if he was about to Betray us. As has been the case since the ad appeared in the New York Times 9/10/07, the accusation (based on facts presented in the actual ad) that Petraeus presented cherry-picked numbers to support the Bush administration's desire to perpetuate the war in Iraq went unexplored - nay, unmentioned. It's all about the headline; that's all it's ever been.

Five of the mentions were relatively short, 15-25 second teasers that still managed to convey the kernel that MoveOn was condemned by the Senate, with banners and anchors denouncing the group. One item was a report by host Brian Kilmeade that highlighted the big story in all this (according to him), that 25 Democrats failed to denounce the ad (actually, the headline - remember, the content has been completely obfuscated by this faux outraged dog-and-pony show).


Comment: This subterfuge reminds me of the time Bill O'Reilly said the New York Times didn't cover the Fort Dix terror story on page one, and he showed a folded NYT page one that hid the fact that yes indeed, they mentioned it on page 1 and directed readers to the full story within the paper.)

Of utmost importance is that Hillary Clinton and Chris Dodd, both presidential hopefuls, voted against the amendment condemning the ad (headline), and candidates Obama and Biden skipped the vote. Will this hurt their chances in the 2008 election? Of course, no one can predict, but it's fun to speculate that they've shot themselves in the foot.

Guests Newt Gingrich (they promoted his book "Pearl Harbor" blatantly and another of his books, "Winning the Future", subtly, plus plugged his website in case anyone wants to contribute to his possible presidential run) and FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace (plugging his upcoming interview with Hillary Clinton) both took stabs at the ad (headline) as despicable, wrong, etc etc.

The balance would come when they did a segment with so-called Democratic strategist Pat Cadell, who would surely point up the misdirection of outrage - while the headline was provocative for sure, the content of the ad was spot on and unfortunately, General Petraeus did in fact bolster the White House's contention that the escalation ("surge") is working, despite the factual evidence presented in the ad to the contrary.

Cadell not only condemned the ad, he called MoveOn "crazy," said it was run by elites in California who live behind gates eating tofu, and said he was "disappointed but not surprised" at Clinton's and Dodd's votes against the condemning amendment.

The real problem, as he sees it, are that the Democrats are "intimidated" and "terrified" by the crazies at MoveOn - who are not worried about poor people or fighting for economic rights, living as we all are in gated communities and eating tofu. The real problem, he says, is they don't represent the heart of the party. The real problem is not only was it bad taste, it backfired - the Democrats shoot their own wounded. Well, thanks, Pat, for enumerating everything that's wrong with Democrats. Why are you pretending to be one?

He went on to say that Democrats think that anyone who disagrees with them should be suppressed - after all these segments attacking MoveOn.org for saying something that offended the misguided and thin-skinned right wing. He reminded host Paige Hopkins (such a professional - she earlier asked Chris Wallace if he and Mrs. Clinton were going to "play doctor" on FNS) that Clinton's BIG problem is her campaign funding and donor Hsu.

Good grief. So FOX can't find one single Democrat with a backbone who will stand up and denounce this media circus about one ad headline. I wish I could say this is unprecedented, a "news" network leading the charge against an organization for a controversial statement, but we've seen this before. FOX coordinated and led the attacks on Rosie O'Donnell, and they consistently attack NBC and the New York Times. They target celebrities who speak out on liberal causes and former employees who criticize the Bush administration after they leave. They gang up and attack all day long and sometimes for days and weeks on end, brainwashing their audience against liberals and Democrats.

MoveOn (proud member for many years) is a grassroots organization run by 17 devoted staffers and steered by 3.5 million involved, concerned members. It is not run by George Soros, as FOX likes to claim; it is run by members' input and donations. FOX and Republicans are the ones who are terrified of this powerful voice for a better direction for the US and they are doing anything they can to ruin its reputation and intimidate Democrats into distancing themselves.

One more thing: Bush denounced the MoveOn ad (headline) at an infrequent press conference yesterday, after being asked about it by FOX correspondent Wendell Goler. It is not imagination that the presser was called specifically to set up that question and answer - which has been played numerous times on FOX already this morning.

Here's the Pat Cadell segment. Thanks for nuthin' Pat.

*Amended 5:40pm 9/24 : The question was asked not by Wendell Goler but by Washington Times correspondent and FOX News Contributor Bill Sammon - my mistake. ch