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Scant reference to party affiliation of former Congressman indicted on terror ties

Reported by Chrish - January 17, 2008 -

FOX and Friends had a couple of segments this morning 1/17/08 on former Congressman Mark Siljander (R-MI), who has been indicted on charges related to a charity he's affiliated with which allegedly funds terrorism. His political affiliation and even his name was somewhat difficult to find, as is the article on the FOX News website.

In the first hour he was not referred to by name by the hosts, although it was mentioned by guest Debbie Schlussel, a former legislative aide to Siljander in the 1980s. It appeared in small print in the lower third under the larger type "Debbie Schussel," three times for 5-6 seconds each; the rest of the time he was the "former Congressman" or "indicted Congressman."

At the top of the second hour there was a graphic as the teaser was read (<10 seconds) with his name, (R-MI), and an old picture. In the segment 15 minutes later with Congressman Peter King (R-NY) neither he nor the hosts identified Siljander by name at all, again referring to him as "the congressman," "ex-lawmaker," etc..

The article on the website was found by following a link in from Associated Content, which in turn was found via The Google. Looking at the "U.S." page on FOXNews.com we see that the Siljander scandal has been quickly replaced by other news of national interest:

Arizona Teen Uses Baseball Bat to Fight Off Burglar

Twins Get Perfect Scores on College Entrance Test

Mich. Teens in Love Take Off in One Family's Van

Cops: Teens Traded Nude Pics of Themselves on Phones

The buried article reports that

"A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday on charges of working for an alleged terrorist fundraising ring that sent more than $130,000 to an Al Qaeda supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.

Mark Deli Siljander, a Michigan Republican when he was in the House (cute - ed.), was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about being hired to lobby senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.

The 42-count indictment, unsealed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., accuses the Islamic American Relief Agency of paying Siljander $50,000 for the lobbying -- money that turned out to be stolen from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The charges paint "a troubling picture of an American charity organization that engaged in transactions for the benefit of terrorists and conspired with a former United States congressman to convert stolen federal funds into payments for his advocacy," Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein said.

Siljander, who served in the House from 1981-1987, was appointed by President Reagan to serve as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations for one year in 1987."

Brian Kilmeade asked the former aide if perhaps Siljander needed the money, and she speculated that was part of it, plus his desire to bring his born-again evangelical Christian beliefs to others. Steve Doocy introduced the possibility that it was inadvertant, he didn't know it was being funneled right into the pockets of Al Qaeda. King turned it around, and denounced American Muslim leaders who are (he says) failing to denounce these organizations who support Islamic terrorismin the Middle East - nice diversion!

Can you imagine this sympatheic, understanding treatment had he been a Democrat? We'd be hearing it 24/7, with calls for firing squads for treason.