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Lower third banners undermine Democrat, support Republican messages

Reported by Chrish - July 28, 2008 -

Back to back segments on FOX and Friends this morning 7/28/08, with Democrat Chris Kofinis (of the Edwards campaign) and Republican Brad Blakeman (Bush I&ll) was pronounced fairandbalanced, but program structure and lower third chyrons helped to undermine the Democrat and reinforce right wing talking points.
With video.

Some things to note: McCain's 30-second anti-Obama attack ad was played in full; no such ad was played on Obama's behalf. Alisyn Camerota and Steve Doocy described another McCain ad attacking Obama for "not visiting the troops at Landstuhl when he was in Europe" "and played basketball instead;" they noted the Obama camp called that ad "out of bounds." As Kofinis was responding he was told to "hold that thought" and they went to commercial break. When they returned the mic was turned to Blakeman instead, with the banner asking and answering "Will Voters remember? Obama declined to visit troops."

Camerota said that Obama is making good use of the Internet and cited his ad, 100 days, 100 ways, that McCain is like Bush. She said they'd play a part of it but it never happened; all viewers saw was a screenshot of the webpage, and were told to go to "the website." No URL was given and damned if I can find it on Obama's campaign website, or on the DNC website, or with the Google - fail.


Regardless, as they discussed how effective and cheap web ads are, (note: not if you can't find them!) the screenshot stayed incongruously juxtaposed over "Will Voters remember? Obama declined to visit troops" for about 20 seconds. After identifying banners ran under Kofinis as he lauded the Obama tactic of tying mcCain to Bush, the banner changed to "Is there heat on Obama? Did not visit wounded troops," and stayed there for forty seconds as Kofinis and Blakeman overtalked and argued over who is making McCain the "heir apparent" to Bush, Obama or McCain himself?

Brian Kilmeade jumped in with the "maverick" misnomer and asked why McCain isn't playing that up; after Blakeman revisited some older instances of independence, Kofinis reminded them that McCain has changed over the past eight years and now pretty much toes the party line. During this topic, too, the banner reiterated "Will Voters remember? Obama declined to visit troops," and after ten seconds changed to "Is there heat on Obama? Did not visit wounded troops," where it stayed for five; after identifying Kofinis again we were back to "Will Voters remember? Obama declined to visit troops" again, where it remained for the rest of the segment.

It's only subtle if you don't notice it; once you're wise to the techniques it is in your face brainwashing.