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Jim Angle Has The Fox Angle On The Presidential Debate

Reported by Priscilla - September 28, 2008 -

Last night (September 27th) Fox ran a special “Special Report” in lieu of the usual Saturday fare featuring Greg Jarrett and Julie Banderas exchanging smarmy smears. Not surprisingly, Friday night’s presidential debate was covered and not surprisingly, there was some spin. In propaganda, words do matter and Fox’s Jim Angle crafted his words well, in his debate coverage, to portray John McCain in glowing terms. In constructing this little piece of Fox “truthiness,” Angle took an Obama debate point and then used Henry Kissinger’s comment made to Fox News, after the debate, to show that Obama lied and that McCain was "right" about the issue in question. To say that this was “slick” is grossly understating it!

Angle’s entire piece was basic Fox Propaganda 101 from the very beginning when Angle said that the debate was about foreign policy and “Obama knew he had his hands full debating McCain, one of the most experienced and outspoken voices on such issues.” (Comment: So Jim, your abilities extend to divining Obama’s thought processes?) He said that while McCain rarely reacted to Obama (Comment: what were those facial tics about, then?) Obama reacted with an impatient smile. Angle played several sound bites of Obama agreeing with McCain without showing the rest of the commentary in which Obama showed how McCain didn’t practice what he preached. Angle played a little loop of McCain saying that Obama was inexperienced and naïve. (Comment: Propaganda needs to be repeated). After noting that some of the debate included a discussion on “the success of the surge,” Angle played video of McCain criticizing Obama’s position on it. Obama’s response was cropped. While including this: “John, you like to pretend the war started in 2007, the war started in 2003. You said we knew where the weapons of mass destruction were. You were wrong,” the rest of the comment: “You said we were going to be greeted as liberators. You were wrong. You said there was no history of violence between Shia and Sunni. And you were wrong” was missing. Also missing was McCain’s mispronouncing the names of the leaders of Iran and Pakistan.

But Angle saved the best for last. He said that there was a “scuffle over Obama’s comments during the campaign about meeting without pre-conditions” after which he played McCain’s little screed about how Obama is willing to sit across from the man who wants to “make Israel a stinking corpse.” Angle played both of McCain’s references to Ahmadinejad and Israel. He played a brief quote of Obama saying that the notion that we don’t negotiate is absurd. Angle asserted that “Obama insisted that even Henry Kissinger, a McCain advisor, favored meeting without preconditions.” He added that Kissinger told Fox News “that is incorrect. McCain had it right.”

According to the Los Angeles Times factcheck:

“Obama was right when he said that Kissinger, in a recent appearance with other secretaries of State in Washington, said U.S. officials should talk to Iranian officials without preconditions.McCain, in response, mischaracterized what Obama had just said. He implied that Obama had said Kissinger approved of presidential level contacts with Iran. The Democrat did not say that. Nevertheless, Kissinger later issued a statement to the Weekly Standard as if Obama had misspoken. "Sen. McCain is right. I would not recommend the next president of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Sen. John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality."

Comment: So Angle morphed the argument about pre-conditions to the lie that Obama had misquoted Henry Kissinger who, being the loyal Republican operative, reinforced it. Slick! But as Maureen Dowd says about Kissinger: "who cares what Henry Kissinger thinks? He was wrong 35 years ago, and it’s only gotten worse since then." One more thing is worth noting about the debate analysis. Fred Barnes wasn’t his usual giggling, twitching self. He was very serious when he said that McCain’s performance was very good; but not really good enough. Charles Krauthammer said that it was a “draw” in which case it goes to Obama. The absence of spin was suprising!

Note: my link to Obama's comments came from "The Times Online." This is a Murdoch publication. The title of the article "Cool Obama Wins Debate." Very suprising!