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FOX Friends amplify anti-NBC messages

Reported by Chrish - May 20, 2008 -

FOX and Friends this morning 5/20/08 continued the story of Ed Gillespie's letter to NBC in which he accused them of deceptively editing an interview by Richard Engel of Bush. This furthers the meme pushed by Bill O'Reilly that MSNBC, NBC News, NBC, and General Electric are part of the liberal media and shouldn't be trusted, the biggest Talking Point of all: Don't trust 'the media,' just US.

Doocy introduced that the interview aired, he believed, on the Today Show on Monday, neglecting to tell viewers it had already aired twice, once with the edited remarks, on Sunday. Alisyn Camerota appeared momentarily to be defending NBC, saying that Bush gave a complicated answer (actually a non-answer) to interviewer Engel and NBC "boiled it down" for the presentation. That said, she added that she thought if you have an exclusive sit-down with the president, you air the whole thing. Oh really? When Bill O'Reilly has had his "exclusives" with Bush they were pre-recorded and edited, as is everything O'Reilly says. (And we know why, don't we?)

Geez, even Brian Kilmeade understood what Bush was saying, and voiced another inadvertant truth: if Bush had just answered the question directly (was he talking about Barack Obama when he made the "appeasement" comments?) this wouldn't be an issue. But like Camerota before him, he didn't let it stand; he added that "there's a problem with the NBC track record and
there's a problem with the cable network. It leans way to the left."

Steve Doocy enthusiastically agreed and dredged up another issue, courtesy of Gillespie's enumeration of FOX talking points in his letter to NBC pres Steve Capus, specifically NBC labeling Iraq's internal fighting a civil war. Doocy also noted that David Gregory's program is simulcast on AirAmerica - helloooo! And if you've been watching the Factor, you know O'Reilly has been taking parent company GE to task for doing business with Iranians.

They didn't mention that the interview originally aired on Sunday's "Today" show, including the sentences edited out. It was (still is) available in full on the MSNBC website. The edited version to which Gillespie objects appeared on "Nightly News" Sunday and the "Today" show Monday. Why this is any different than FOX using edited clips of the Hillary Clinton or John McCain interviews has not been made clear. It seems the White House is fully immersing itself in the 2008 election process and using its considerable power in the media for partisan purposes. Just as FOX News has long been the mouthpiece for the administration, the White House is now returning the favor. Distort and amplify, the echo chamber now includes the Oval Office.

How much of this recent ramping up is in response to Howard Kurtz's expose of the scope of the hostilities between the two corporations? Unfortunately for democracy, this kind of narcissistic infighting passes for news and gets good ratings, and it IS sweeps month.