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FOX Friends coverage of Saddleback predictably lauds McCain, including the expert "facial analysis"

Reported by Chrish - August 18, 2008 -

This morning 8/18/08, FOX and Friends did multiple segments and blurbs about the (presumed) candidates' questioning by Saddleback mega-church pastor Rick Warren. None of our readers would be surprised to know that John McCain was given a big thumbs up overall while Barack Obama was awarded the silver.
With video.

Introducing the first segment Steve Doocy asked guests Ralph Reed (Christian Coalition) and Rev. Joel C. Hunter if there was a clear winner. Reed said it was a great night for McCain and there were two winners: Rick Warren and John McCain, who "hit it out of the park." Hunter noted that Obama appeared deliberative, but in front of an evangelical audience you need a lot of "amen" lines, and in that perspective McCain did really well.

Gretchen Carlson found it "very compelling" to hear McCain's personal stories, and Reed applauded McCain's adoption of his youngest daughter.

After a break, they addressed the candidates' answers to the all-important governmental policy question: when does life begin? Again, Hunter was somewhat fair to Obama while admitting he agreed with McCain. Obama was, he said, technically correct because "the Bible doesn't specifically tell us when life begins" and McCain was not being deliberate, merely putting out the talking point (my paraphrasing), but McCain still got the point.

Reed said Obama was esoteric, morally ambiguous, while McCain was strong, firm, and promised to be a "pro-life" president (except for that war tendency, right?) Reed noted that McCain "bridged" the question from "life" to judicial appointments while Obama waited for the follow-up question, unwittingly supporting some contentions that McCain had previous knoowledge of the specific questions. To Reed, however, it was McCain "capitalizing" and Obama missing an opportunity.


Later in the program Gretchen Carlson updated viewers on the candidates' whereabouts. Speaking of John McCain's schedule and apropos of nothing, FOX slipped in video of McCain (at Saddleback) promising to go to the very gates of hell to get Osama bin Laden; no such rousing soundbite was played to promote Obama.

Introducing yet another segment, (did anyone doubt that this event would get enormous coverage and provide a week's worth of "analysis" for the content-starved media beast?) Doocy noted that it was a good night for McCain, and Obama didn't make any mistakes. Attention was drawn to both candidates' answers to Warren on what their biggest moral failings had been. Obama referred back to his drug and alcohol experimentation in high school, and McCain lamented his failed first marriage. Dave Briggs said that since the Edwards' affair has been so prominent in the news, "some people" are asking about McCain's past and maybe this is his "pre-emptive" strike against that issue. (Kind of late for a pre-emptive strike for all but FOX cultists.) Gretchen Carlson noted that McCain was "welling up" from time to time, and that might be a positive thing - where's the mainstream media on that, huh? It was a good thing, though, and shows he is a guy with a heart.

Soon after, FOX and friends introduced their answer to Bill O'Reilly's "body language expert," one Dan Hill, a "facial coding expert" from Minneapolis. Oy, you gotta see this. The "problem" with Obama is, he comes across as an "egghead," talking from his head, and his audience of evangelicals wants talk "from the heart." (Emotion over reason, ayuh, that's how we need to elect a president. No wonder we're in the mess we're in with a huge voting block that scorns thinking.) McCain's confession, on the other hand, speaks to his "authenticity" and that's what this election is about, and he had a very good moment there.

The whole focus was a dissection of the the interviews, very biased of course, with scant attention paid to the controversey over McCain's apparent foreknowledge of the questions and high praise for him, tepid at best for Obama. Look at the language: morally ambiguous, problem, missed opportunity, egghead, for Obama, while McCain hit it out of the park, amen, very compelling, pro-active, heart, authentic... Just looking at the guests we could predict the spin. Heck, just knowing it's on FOX is enough.