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Fox Fails to Disclose Important Background Information on Anti-Ahmadinejad Guest

Reported by Melanie - September 21, 2007 -

The #1 issue today (September 21, 2007) on Fox News is the visit Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will make to Columbia University on Monday. Without saying so, Fox is trying to instigate an email and phone call attack on Columbia for allowing Ahmadinejad to speak there. Fox's "business news" anchor, Neil Cavuto joined the chorus too. He hosted an anti-Ahmadinejad guest, but he didn't reveal her extremely relevant background.

Per the chyron, the topic of the segment was, "Columbia Alumni Vow to Hold Back Cash if Ahmadinejad Speaks." Cavuto introduced his guest this way:

Columbia University in New York says it will not stop Iran's president from speaking. Some alumni now say the school won't see another penny if it does not. Carolyn Blashek is one of them. She is a very big contributor, but no more if this guy steps foot on campus.

Blashek said she was, "[O]ffended and frankly ashamed," that Columbia would invite someone, "who is a professed killer of American troops in the battlefield." She said she understands this is about free speech, but she doesn't "understand where the free speech is then, that the university still will not allow our military to be on the campus. They won't allow ROTC or military recruiters to be on campus," and, "that is a denial of free speech to our students who would like to serve our country." She said she and her family, "will not give any more money." She said she wrote to the president of Columbia but hasn't heard from him, so she will, "speak with her pocketbook," unlike some other alumni who are "afraid" of retribution in the form of their children being denied admission there.

Comment: Turns out, Blashek's husband was, and possibly still is, in the military, and she is the founder of Operation Gratitude, which sends care packages to soldiers overseas. Now, don't get me wrong. There's nothing whatsoever wrong with either of these things. As a matter of fact, I think Blashek's work to get care packages to our soldiers is wonderful. My beef isn't with her. My point is that clearly she brings more to the table than merely being a Columbia alumni and I believe Fox's audience should have been told about that. And frankly, as for Fox, it ticks me off no end that they constantly pull so many of their guests from their little clique of like-minded people. Couldn't they find a plain old regular Columbia alumni to appear here instead? Makes me think not.

On a personal note, I think that, more than anything, Fox (and the Cheney administration) are freaked out that, heaven forbid, if Ahmadinejad is allowed to give his speech, we might actually see him as a human being, which might make it harder to gain public approval to bomb the hell out of his country, which Cheney is itching to do. More than anything, the Bushies want to make him into a villan and damn, if he makes points we agree with -- especially in this climate of Bush at 29% -- what then?!

September 22: UPDATE - Carolyn Blashek contacted me privately and said that the claim on the website I linked to above, regarding her husband being in the military, is false.