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Big Story Has More Republican Campaign Ads

Reported by Chrish - January 19, 2008 -

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla

In the tradition of giving air time to Republican candidates, FOX also provides free campaign ads from their surrogates. Last night’s Big Story with John Gibson and Julie Banderas (January 18th), in between the usual tabloid material, included two such interviews which, in one case, also involved some trashing of two candidates - one who doesn’t seem to be a fave with “Beltway” types trumpeting the “true conservative” message such as FOX News and the other a popular choice for evangelicals.

The first interview was with Ann Coulter who was shown against a Florida backdrop. It seems that Coulter has changed her allegiance from Duncan Hunter and is now supporting Mitt Romney. But rather than saying why she supported Romney, she immediately went into a denunciation of John McCain because McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts. She said that “she didn’t like McCain” because he wasn’t a conservative. She claimed that Democrats praise McCain and Huckabee while they “consistently denounce Romney.” She implied that Romney’s reputation for being a flip-flopper was the fault of the mainstream media. Naturally, neither Gibson nor Banderas asked her about the specific flip-flops.

Banderas does get props for saying, with a degree of sarcasm, that she had read Coulter’s column which was very “Ann-like” and “entertaining” before she asked about Coulter’s assertion, in the column, that “I had no idea that Republican voters in Iowa and New Hampshire planned to do absolutely zero research on the candidates and vote on the basis of random impulses.” Banderas asked if Coulter were saying that the FOX poll researchers and those who answer the questions aren’t doing any research. Coulter responded that the snow in Michigan kept away the Democrats who were planning to vote for McCain in the Michigan primary.

She claimed that the mainstream media attack Huckabee for being Christian (comment: after having said that the MSM heap praise on Huckabee). She said, as a Christian, if that “were all I knew, I’d vote for him, too.” But according to Coulter, if Huckabee’s supporters knew his immigration stance, they would change their minds. She concluded that voters should do as much research on politics as they do about buying a new car. (Comment: as usual, Coulter’s rambling stream of consciousness didn’t really answer the question posed. While blaming the mainstream media, she seemed to be saying that Republicans voters are stupid.)

The second political ad was for Rudy Giuliani who, despite Fox’s affection for him, still has zero delegates and is no longer the clear front runner. John Voight, who has endorsed Rudy Giuliani, was interviewed. Voight heaped great praise on Giuliani who, according to Voight, as “proven energy of great strength and character… was a leader for 9-11.” Banderas showed her support for Giuliani when she said that “I believe he was a true leader after 9-11 gaining the title of America’s Mayor.” She said that Giuliani has fallen in the polls and that Florida is “where he has pretty much thrown all his eggs.” (Comment: hope he didn’t hit anyone.) She showed a poll in which Giuliani was last in a question about leadership. Voight said that the polls are shaky. Gibson then said something that we suspect to be true, “Rudy’s got a lot of fans here,” before he asked Voight if Rudy “waited too long” as he has been “out of the game until now.” Voight said that Giuliani was “the greatest…people remember that he stood for America…we were so proud…he’s someone who can solve problems…and he’s doing that and bringing people together.” (Comment: if Sean Penn or anyone else on the Fox Hollywood “black list” made a similar endorsement of a Democratic candidate, they would be mocked and pilloried by Fox.)

Comment: Despite its claim of being “fair and balanced,” the Big Story brought us two first person interviews with Republican supporters of a Republican presidential candidate and no interviews with Democrats. And to use the term “interview” is a bit like putting lipstick on a certain barnyard animal.

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla