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Two Week "Grapevine" Review - Some Sour Grapes In The Harvest

Reported by Priscilla - June 30, 2008 -

One of our posters (Hoode?) recently suggested that I review a sample of the Fox Special Report “Grapevine” to see if there is a pattern which shows a preponderance of negative stories about Obama and democrats. I thought that was a good idea and reviewed all the “Grapevines” from the last two weeks. While what I found wasn’t a “smoking gun,” I did notice what might be considered a definite “trend.”

There were 41 items in total; as all but one “Grapevine” had four stories while one had five. Of the 10 “Grapevines,” 7 had reports on Obama which, while mostly “informative,” did tend to portray him negatively or in one case, show that Obama and the democrats are not in synch (according to “Hill” article, Obama bit his tongue during the campaign, June 27th) Disgruntled democrats were also the theme of a June 27th piece about how the Wisconsin Democratic Party may strip a party delegate of her credentials because she is supporting McCain. Another report (June 17th) tied Obama to Virginia Democratic Governor Tim Kaine’s perfectly legal attempts to restore voting (and other) rights to former convicted felons. Criticism of Obama, through a surrogate, was shown in June 27th piece about how one of advisors, retired Air Force Chief of Staff, General Merrill McPeak told the Washington Times that McCain was “fat.” And who can forget the discredited report on Obama’s brother’s bogus comment about Obama’s “Muslim background.” Of course, “Grapevine” had to report on the Muslim women (June 18th) who were barred from sitting behind the podium at an Obama campaign appearance.

While not noting the many “flip flops” of John McCain, “Grapevine” (June 25th) said that Obama “contradicted himself” when he declined McCain’s invitation to join him at Town Hall meetings. This allegation was based on a quote, from Obama’s book, “the Audacity of Hope,” that indicated that Obama loved Town Hall meetings. As noted by Media Matters, Obama was not referring to Town Hall events with opponents. And while FactCheck.org’s analysis of an Obama campaign ad was done (omitting some key points) there was no “fair and balanced” report on a FactCheck critique of a McCain ad. While another FactCheck was used to critique Obama’s proposal to save money on health care through the use of electronic records, there was no mention of what McCain would do in this area. (Comment: what is McCain’s health care plan?)

And now, you may ask, how many segments were devoted to John McCain? In two weeks of “Grapevine” – just one. On June 19th, there was a report on McCain’s secret service code name, “Phoenix.” The question was asked if this was because Phoenix is in McCain’s home state of Arizona or if it was because McCain’s campaign “rose from the ashes.” (Comment: as the “Church Lady” would say, “isn’t that special?”) There was one piece about the “accusation” that Cindy McCain stole a recipe from the Hershey’s website. It was noted, however, that the McCain campaign blamed it on an intern. There were also two reports on things getting better in Iraq ( June 16th, 20th) which were interesting as they were written during an upturn in violence in Iraq; but who was noticing?!

Comment: If you were doing a “Grapevine” what kind of scathing or cute things would you include – for the sake of “fair and balanced?”