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FOX spotlighting Iran, ignoring our allies who are as bad or worse

Reported by Chrish - January 12, 2008 -

NOTE: Guest blogged by Ana Coachella

Last night 1/11/08 on RedEye, in an unusually non-satirical moment, Greg Gutfeld and crew used the show to highlight (bash) Iran for increased executions and amputation.

Reporting that Iran has increased both the number of executions and the number of physical punishments including hand and foot amputation, Gutfeld ventured that Iran was "living in the past" but harbored "weapons of the present." Guest Mike Baker, 14 year CIA veteran of counter-terrorism, added that Iran was "one foot away from the crazy button." After a round-robin selection of jokes and pointed criticism of Iran for its policies, Baker hastily added that Iran and we are joined together against abolishing the death penalty. The segment ended with a blatant swipe at Islam from Gutfeld elucidated "it really is the religion of peace there, isn't it."

Comment:
Red Eye is a comedy show on a news network which makes it difficult to comment on without looking like criticizing laughter for the sake of political correctness, but I find this case different. FOX News is a network that has in the past advocated for war with Iran - seen here and here and also here.

It is also worth noting that Mike Baker, through his work with his intelligence for hire through his two current holdings - Prescience LLC, and Veritas Global, and through his former holding Diligence LLC, all of which he founded, has incredible motive for wanting war with Iran. For instance, diligence LLC chairman Richard Burt exclaimed "The opportunity for business growth in the Middle East has never been better." It is also interesting to read Diligence's connection to the Bush administration, including associations with his brother, Neil. Frothing for war aside, there is more at work here within the report on Iran. Some basic research on Iranian executions show that while Iran is second in the world for executions, the US is fourth in the world - something about "throwing stones in glass houses" comes to mind here.

It gets better, however, when one goes further into the report. The claim that Iranian amputations are frivolous is mirthful at best when compared with countries that the US has strong command and control over such as Iraq, and Afghanistan. The claim is made that Iran amputates for crimes such as stealing but this is incorrect. Iran seldom uses amputation as a form of punishment with up until recently no reports of its usage, and the recent use accounting for the amputations of five men who were found guilty of armed robbery, hostage taking, and firing at police, though officially they were convicted of "acting against God" and "corruption upon this Earth". It is worth noting that US allies Yemen and Saudi Arabia both carry out frequent amputations. There was no mention of this on the "fair and balanced" network. Probably more striking however is that these same crimes of kidnapping and armed robbery committed in Afghanistan resulted in executions - arguably a fate much worse than amputation by any means, all this while a ward of NATO.

Taken in context, it appears Iran is not the vast amputating monster RedEye would have you believe, and this bellicose posturing that seems to permeate FOX News shows, whether serious news or not, is damaging at best, and dangerous at worst to our nations image and security.

Or on a final note, if we really want to throw stones from our glass house, maybe we could remove the umbrella of torture from detainees in the war on terror.

NOTE: Guest blogged by Ana Coachella