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Fox Minimizes a Critical Fact in Order to Imply (Again) That Liberals Hate the Troops

Reported by Melanie - November 16, 2007 -

One of the segments Neil Cavuto (business news my ass) aired today (November 16, 2007) was about a Boy Scout troop in Cambridge, MA, whose collection boxes (collecting for the troops) were removed from polling places on Election Day. One person apparently complained that they made a "political statement," the election commission agreed, and the boxes were pulled. Insofar as polling places are supposed to be free of any politicization, the move on the commission's part was the right one. However, Cavuto didn't talk about the fact that this happened at polling places, which was the crux of the matter. Instead, he insinuated that those liberals in Massachusetts hate the troops.

Cavuto introduced Scoutmaster Jamisean Patterson by asking him to, "Explain this -- it sounds too bizarre for words."

Patterson said the boys had been working on the project since August. Other kids in the area were already collecting food so one of the Scouts came up with the idea of putting collection boxes in polling places come November. (Too bad Patterson didn't nix the idea immediately. Given his position, one would think he would know about laws barring political activity within a specified distance -- usually something like 100 feet -- from a polling place. I thought this was common knowledge.) The Scouts subsequently placed a box at, "each of the 33 polls in Cambridge," but then, "one woman across the whole city complained about it to the election commission...she said it was a political statement."

Over the chyron that appeared throughout the segment: "Boy Scouts Barred from Collection Money for Troops," Cavuto expressed his shock: "It was a political statement to support our troops who are trying to protect her?!" Patterson said yes, the boys are, "Devastated. In shock."

Cavuto again: "So, one person makes a fuss and the commission folds like a cheap suit and agrees with her?!" Yes, said Patterson, "we're still collecting donations, but it was a big blow to us."

Cavuto closed with, "Pass along our best to the boys. It's amazing but you kinda hang through it."

Comment: Again, the fact that the collection boxes were placed inside polling places is critical to this story. If the Patterson hadn't mentioned that important fact during the interview, we wouldn't have known it. The ever-present chyron didn't mention it. Cavuto certainly didn't. Fox's intention was to imply that liberals, like those from Massachusetts (a state Fox has vilified since the '04 election), don't support our troops. The real issue, of course, is that the law states that voters who enter polling places shouldn't be subjected to any political influence or pressure whatsoever. After all, remember the "free and fair elections" we supposedly have? One would think the flag wavers and flag wearers at Fox would care about that, but one would be wrong. Convincing its audience that Cambridge, Massachusetts liberals hate the troops takes priority.

Here's the video.