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FOX Friends insinuate untoward behavior by Democratic Governor

Reported by Chrish - December 21, 2007 -

The chyrons and outraged tone of voice on FOX and Friends this morning 12/21/07 would make you think that the Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, had blatantly thumbed his nose at ethics laws in procuring four tickets to a Hannah Montana concert. Turned out this was not the case but FOX made sure to get the party affiliation (Democrat) correct this time as they insinuated something was not quite right.

The chyrons read "Free Hannah Montana tix - Governor of Illinois didn't pay" and "Need Hannah Montana tix? Gov of Illinois got them for free!" and "Hottest ticket in town - Governor got 'em for free" and "Forget scalpers! Governor scored tickets for free!" and "Free Hannah Montana tickets - Governor of Illinois didn't pay"

Gretchen Carlson noted that people are paying $300, $400, even $500 per ticket, yet the Governor of Illinois apparently has friends in high places, specifically a State Senator, and the State Senator has connections, and before you know it, the Governor has four tickets to see the December 8 show in Rosemeont IL. (Note that this happened almost 2 weeks ago.)

Kilmeade got shrill, saying "Wait a second, the Governor gets special treatment of the most sought-after tickets, an old man (connie? indecipherable.)?" Carlson said she doesn't know why they're so surprised at this; "people in high places, especially in politics, sometimes get favors. oops, except for the fact that there's something called the 'Illinois Gift Ban Act.'"

Doocy chimed in, Exactly right. You can't take anything over 100 bucks - except if you are a personal friend, or there's a personal connection or relationship to the person.

He went on to explain that the Governor and the Senator are long-time friends, and the Senator is friends with the arena owner. The Senator paid for the tickets, and gave them to the Governor. According to state law and the "governor's person," it's "absolutely legal."

Doocy tossed it to his cohorts with a skeptical half-smile and raised eyebrows, and Carlson caught it, saying she had a problem with the law because it "sounds pretty vague - as long as it's a personal friendship? I mean, you could claim a friend with (shrugs) anybody."

Kilmeade reported that the State Senator said he hated it (the concert), all the screaming kids, so not only did he get the tickets (keeping them out of someone else's hands, he implies) he didn't even like it. Doocy said he should have given them to someone else - like him.

Comments: Would this have been a story (two weeks late, remember) if it had been a Republican Governor? The chyrons alone convict the guy. Keep in mind that these three on the couch were all invited to the White House Christmas Party a week ago and as such received "gifts" of food and drink on the taxpayers' tab - nothing illegal there, I'm just saying.

Clearly they all knew the full storyline before they went on the air - that the pre-existing friendship excluded the Senator from gifting rules and that it was all legal. So you have to ask, why air it? Is there any news value? No. Is there propaganda value? Sure - even though he's vindicated, Carlson casts doubts on the law and therefore the transaction. Blagojevich's picture was shown twice, with (D-IL) prominent. A small incident to be sure but that's a primary FOX anti-Democratic tactic - drip, drip, drip.