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Hey, Gang, Let's Play "What I Learned at FOX News Last Week"

Reported by Marie Therese - October 14, 2007 -

GUEST BLOGGED BY BILL CORCORAN

FOX News spends a great deal of its time aiding and abetting the dumbing down of America through the FOX News Channel and its companion website, FOXNews.com. After spending some less-than-quality-time slogging through the sludge in both outlets, I've come up with a new parlor game. It's called "What I Learned at Fox News Last Week." For starters, did you know that a school bus driver cursed out some kids? I kid you not. As soon as FOX News reported this heart-stopping news, anchor Shepard Smith followed with repeated stories about yet another school shooting, this one in Cleveland. Then, we were treated to various important "FOX News Alerts," covering earthshaking stories, such as, "Austrian Man Shoots Colleague, Slices off Penis in 'Honor Killing.'" (Ouch!)

And here for your edification are just some of the headlines that showed up as the MOST READ stories on FOXNews.com:

"Australian Doctors Use Vodka Drip to Save Poisoned Tourist's Life. Tourist drives away from hospital and is given a DUI." (Sorry, I just had to throw that in. The guy is still recovering. Hospital staff call him "Mr. Happy").

"Former Penthouse Pet Dubbed 'Mansion Madam' Pleads Guilty to Prostitution." (This one didn't have video. C'mon FOX News. Where's the video? Has it been a slow week for Britney Spears sightings? There must be someone with a video of the former Penthouse Pet earning a living.)

And finally: "Cops Pull Over Boy, 3, Driving Along Highway in Toy Mustang GT." (Beep, beep!)

It is truly sad is that so many in the FOX News "audience" find these stories to be the most important of any given day. Even though FOXNews.com buries serious stories in a morass of trivia, at least one can say that most of them do get some kind of coverage there. However, FOX News Channel, which labels itself the "most powerful name in news," routinely censors the amount of information its viewers receive and consistently paints a happy face on the bad news that it does cover.

For a better understanding of what didn't make the cut last week or was seriously under-reported, continue reading.

U.S. Forces Kill 15 Iraqi Women and Children

CNN

Fifteen Iraqi civilians -- all women and children -- were killed by coalition forces during an operation targeting senior leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq, according to the U.S. military, which claimed the victims were put in harm's way through the actions of the terrorist group.

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'War on terror' has been a 'disaster': British think tank

Yahoo.com

The US-led "war on terror" has been a "disaster" and Washington and its allies must change their policy in Iraq and Afghanistan to defeat Al-Qaeda, an independent global security think tank said Monday. The Oxford Research Group (ORG) said in a report that Western strategy since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States had failed to extinguish the threat from Islamist extremism and even fueled it. "Every aspect of the war on terror has been counterproductive in Iraq and Afghanistan, from the loss of civilian life through mass detentions without trial. In short, it has been a disaster," report author Paul Rogers said.

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Iraq military coalition withers
If plans stand, Americans will comprise 95 percent of alliance by mid-2008

MSNBC

Britain’s decision to bring half of its 5,000 soldiers home from Iraq by spring is the latest blow to the U.S.-led coalition. The alliance is crumbling, and fast: excluding Americans, the multinational force was once 50,000 strong — by mid-2008, it will be down to 7,000. President Bush, facing opposition to the war from the Democrat-led Congress, also is paring back. He says he is committed to gradually reducing the American force from its current peak of 168,000 soldiers to just over 130,000 by next summer. U.S. troops already are stretched thin trying to contain Sunni Arab and Shiite Muslim extremists. But defense experts say the shrunken coalition probably won’t make much of a difference because most of the non-U.S. forces have largely stuck to non-combat roles.

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Reconciliation Seen Unattainable Amid Struggle for Power In Iraq. Key U.S. Goal Lost

The Washington Post

BAGHDAD -- For much of this year, the U.S. military strategy in Iraq has sought to reduce violence so that politicians could bring about national reconciliation, but several top Iraqi leaders say they have lost faith in that broad goal. Iraqi leaders argue that sectarian animosity is entrenched in the structure of their government. Instead of reconciliation, they now stress alternative and perhaps more attainable goals: streamlining the government bureaucracy, placing experienced technocrats in positions of authority and improving the dismal record of providing basic services.

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Two U. S. Soldiers Killed Inside of Camp Victory

TimesOnline.com

BAGHDAD - Two members of the U.S.-led coalition force were killed and 40 others were wounded in an attack at Camp Victory, a sprawling base near Baghdad’s airport that houses the headquarters of U.S. forces in Iraq, the military said Thursday. Separately, a suicide car bomber struck a busy market in the disputed city of Kirkuk, killing seven and wounding 50 people, most shoppers preparing for the upcoming feast Eid al-Fitr that ends the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The target of the attack in a predominantly Kurdish neighborhood.

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Three U. S. Soldiers Killed in Baghdad

Truthout.com

Baghdad - Roadside bombs killed three American soldiers Friday, and U.S. and Iraqi forces differed in their accounts of an overnight raid on a suspected hide-out for Shiite Muslim militiamen. The U.S. military said American forces backed by attack aircraft killed 25 militiamen in the assault on the village of Jizan Imam, about 40 miles northwest of Baghdad. Some Iraqi officials, though, said most of the dead were civilians mistaken for hostile forces. The U.S. troop deaths brought to at least 3,813 the number of American forces killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003, according to icasualties.org.

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Iraq Embassy Cost Rises $144 Million Amid Project Delays. Planning, Workmanship Cited as Problems

The Washington Post

The massive U.S. embassy under construction in Baghdad could cost $144 million more than projected and will open months behind schedule because of poor planning, shoddy workmanship, internal disputes and last-minute changes sought by State Department officials, according to U.S. officials and a department document provided to Congress. The embassy, which will be the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in the world, was budgeted at $592 million. The core project was supposed to have been completed by last month, but the timetable has slipped so much that the State Department has sought and received permission from the Iraqi government to allow about 2,000 non-Iraqi construction employees to stay in the country until March.

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Elsewhere in the Middle East where U.S. military forces are engaged in war or perhaps heading for war, the following has been taking place with little fanfare on FOX News.

Bombers target U. S. Convoy in Afghanistan

MSNBC

KABUL, Afghanistan - A suicide car bomber attacked an American military convoy Saturday on Kabul’s most dangerous road, killing at least one civilian and wounding seven others, an Afghan official said. Two U.S. and two civilian vehicles were damaged in the attack, police said. Dozens of shops were damaged by the blast.

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And finally, the following was supposed to make military personnel feel better about the "mission that is unaccomplished."

Army Offers Big Cash To Keep Key Officers

The Washington Post

The Army is offering cash bonuses of up to $35,000 to retain young officers serving in key specialties -- including military intelligence, infantry and aviation -- in an unprecedented bid to forestall a critical shortage of officer ranks that have been hit hard by frequent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Army officials said that lengthy and repeated war-zone tours -- the top reason younger officers leave the service -- plus the need for thousands of new officers as the Army moves forward with expansion plans have contributed to a projected shortfall of about 3,000 captains and majors for every year through 2013.