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Fox News Gives In-Kind Campaign Contribution to McCain Campaign via Promotion of Vets for Freedom Ad (Again)

Reported by Melanie - May 29, 2008 -

Today (May 29, 2008), for the second time in less than a week, Fox "business news" honcho Neil Cavuto hosted Pete Hegseth, the executive director of the ultra conservative 527 PAC, Vets for Freedom (VVF). Joining Hegseth was Spc. Kate Norley, a combat medic who served 16 months in Iraq.

Norley is the "star" of a new Vets for Freedom ad titled, Senator Obama: When Will You finally visit Iraq? This is what she says in it (Fox aired the whole thing):

"The last time Barack Obama visited Iraq was in January 2006. Since then, much has changed. Attacks throughout Iraq are down 70%. The civil war in Iraq? Over. The Iraqi government has come together to make political progress. Al Qaeda in Iraq has been decimated and the Iraqi army is taking on rogue militias throughout the country. The surge worked but Barack Obama wouldn't know that because he hasn't been there in over two years. Senator Obama, when will you finally decide to go back to Iraq to see the progress firsthand? And when will you finally decide to meet one-on-one, unconditionally, with General Petraeus? This Iraqi veteran, along with thousands of others, would like to know. I am specialist Kate Norley and I served 16 months in Iraq as a combat medic."

The segment, of course, bashed Obama for allegedly not knowing what he's talking about with regard to Iraq because it has been so long since he's been there. Hegseth said, "It's going to be hard for him to deny the progress once he sees it first hand."

Comment: Vets for Freedom has extraordinarily close ties to not only the White House but to leading wingers like Bill Kristol and Fox News. It is, "a Republican front group managed by Republican-affiliated public relations, media, legal, and political consultants." Its aim is, "to defeat candidates who advocate an end to the US occupation of Iraq."

As of last week, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, both chairs of the McCain campaign, served on the board of advisers of Vets for Freedom. Hegseth said today that they have since taken a "leave of absence."

Again, here comes Fox, hosting Hegseth for the second time in less than a week, giving VVF's new ad national (and international) airtime, just as it did for VVF's first ad, on May 23.

Oh, and lo and behold, yesterday, the same day this new VVF ad was released, McCain Targets Obama for Not Going to Iraq. What a coincidence (I say sarcastically)!

During the 2004 presidential campaign, Fox gave the Bush campaign what was probably millions of dollars of in-kind airtime. And, well, here we go again.