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FOX Characterizes Reverend Wright A Liar Without Providing The Facts That Supposedly Contradict Him

Reported by Ellen - April 26, 2008 -

Last night's (4/25/08) Barack Obama smear-fest otherwise known as Hannity & Colmes trotted out a new accusation against Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. On top of all the other excuses that Neo-Nazi sympathizer Sean Hannity has used to turn Wright into an uber African-American boogeyman, now he's a liar. FOX News made a big deal out of accusing Wright of misrepresenting former Ambassador Edward Peck when Wright said he quoted Peck in the now infamous "chickens coming home to roost" sermon. But the "we report, you decide" network didn't bother to tell its viewers what exactly, Peck did say. In fact, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that while he may have used different phrases, Wright was accurately summing up Peck's message. With video.

As CNN contributor Roland S. Martin wrote on CNN.com (where you can find a larger quote from the sermon), Wright quoted Peck as saying that America’s foreign policy has put the nation in peril.

This is similar to what Paul Krassner wrote on September 15, 2001, the same day that Peck appeared on FOX and one day before Wright's now-controversial sermon. Krassner wrote, "On the FOX News Network, Edward Peck, former ambassador to Iraq, was an unusually outspoken guest. He said the terrorists acted as they did not because America is a freedom loving country, but because they feel the U.S. has been treating them the same way throughout the years -- bombing Iraq for the last ten years whenever they felt like it -- and adding to the list (Take Panama, take Haiti, take Cambodia) before he was cut off and dismissed."

Similarly, a Yahoo poster wrote: "(Peck) said the U.S. in its war against terror had better start respecting others' rights. He said the no-fly zone in Iraq was not in the UN agreement that ended Desert Storm; it was simply imposed by the U.S. and "the former Great Britain." He said the U.S. lawlesly imposed its will on Panama, Granada and Haiti."

In the introduction to the first segment of last night's show, Alan Colmes said in an obviously scripted introduction, "The now famous 'chickens coming home to roost' quote has been the subject of some debate today. (the clip was played for the umpteenth time on Hannity & Colmes)." Colmes continued, "Over the course of the past few months, it's been alleged that the sound bite played on television is unfair because it doesn't include Wright's disclaimer right afterwards that he was quoting former Ambassador Ed Peck in an interview from September 15, 2001 right here on the FOX News Channel. But Hannity & Colmes can report exclusively tonight that after reviewing the Peck interview, Peck never used the phrase 'chickens coming home to roost' and that Wright went much further in criticizing U.S. policy than Peck did in his interview on FOX. So if Peck didn't say what Wright insinuates, are the ideas expressed in the sermon really Wright's and were they therefore taken out of context?"

Hannity routinely distorts what people say and FOX News never bothers to correct him. But here they were making a big deal out of correcting Rev. Wright without bothering to tell the viewers just how off Wright was. Even if Peck didn't use the exact phrase "chickens coming home to roost," did Peck say that in so may words? The "fair and balanced" network didn't say. The only guest for the segment was Republican Mike Huckabee. He had no idea what Peck had really said. His only interest seemed to be in attacking Obama.

Even if FOX News were correct and Wright had grossly distorted Peck's views, so what? It's patently ridiculous to think that Wright, a guy who is being vilified for being too outspoken and controversial, had deliberately lied about Peck in order to push his own views under cover of someone else because he knew back in 2001 that his words might one day be used against Barack Obama, who wasn't even a United States senator then.