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Hounding Hillary, Chapter 24/7

Reported by Chrish - November 12, 2007 -

FOX and Friends was riddled with remarks this morning 11/12/07 about Hillary Clinton's campaign's admission to trying to get an audience member to ask a specific question of the candidate. The story broke Friday and unlike Bush administration "Friday dumps" was rejuvenated bright and early and as expcted, blown way out of proportion.

Clinton has said she was not aware of it, disapproves, and will make certain it doesn't happen again. FOX, on the other hand, made sure to refer to the incident in the plural (because of a similar happening alleged by someone who saw her in April of this year.)

Steve Doocy teased "Is Hillary Rodham Clinton planting friendly faces along the campaign trail to toss up those easy soft-ball questions? We're going to bring you the startling new claims - that's right, perhaps another question planted in the crowd for Mrs. Clinton."

Doocy read the question allegedly provided to an audience member in Iowa and Clinton's response, saying it's embarrassing now that it's known that her campaign had prompted someone to ask a "softball" question ("how does your plan combat climate change?") Of course, on FOX we'll never hear the answer provided, just snarky comments about the genesis of the question.

Doocy marvelled that this isn't the only time either, and turned it over to Greg Kelly who said that from all the way back in April there has arisen an allegation that someone from her campaign approached an Obama supporter to ask a question and he refused. Ooh la la, what a scandal!

Carlson picked up the ball and elaborated on the April non-incident, and said "it's going to cause a bit of a flurry because now everyone is going to be looking at everyone's campaign."

Doocy mentioned that the April accuser is a minister so he's above reproach, (Ted Haggard, Henry Lyons, Fred Phelps.... just pointing out that the title doesn't automatically confer purity), and Greg Kelly said that John Edwards sort of came to Clinton's defense by pointing out that Bush's audiences are carefully screened - the question's aren't planted but they know they'll get generally supportive questions.

Carlson reiterated that she thinks all the campaigns will be scrutinized; it doesn't really surprise her, yet Hillary Clinton said she had no knowledge of it (with a hint of a sarcastic smirk).

Later, the issue was revisited with Joe Piscopo, whose perspective the Friends were eager to hear (unlike, say, Sean Penn or Natalie Maines or Rosie O'Donnell or ...). Answering Gretchen Carlson's planted question, he called it unacceptable, amateurish and said in response to Doocy's ludicrous comparison that he would never, as a stand-up comedian, ask people before the show to laugh like crazy at his jokes. After a tangent about the FOX and Friends crew attending a recent show of his in Atlantic City, he opined that it's disengenuous and unprofessional. Carlson repeated that Clinton said she didn't know about it, but now there have been two incidents and.... it'll be interesting to see what other campaigns may be doing this.

Still later, when Senator McCain appeared for a Veteran's Day segment the lead question referred to Clinton's "plant." He sniped that she can run her campaign any way she sees fit, but he thinks it's wrong and it will harm the "town hall meeting" style of campaigning, which he uses, because it's supposed to spontaneous.

Banners included "Question-gate: Hillary in hot water;" "Easy Question: Aides plant question in Iowa," and "Cooked-up questions: Hillary feels the heat."

It's "drip, drip, drip" news delivery of a non-story to demonize the Democratic front-runner.

Two words: Jeff Gannon.