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FOX News Tries To Rewrite History By Suggesting Palin Won Debate

Reported by Ellen - October 5, 2008 -

FOX News made a blatant attempt to suggest that Sarah Palin won last week's vice presidential debate while overlooking and distorting poll results that showed otherwise. On 10/3/08, the night after the debate, FNC trotted out Ann Coulter and “former Democratic pollster” Pat Caddell as the guests to discuss the Palin/Biden match. FOX rigged the discussion by choosing Caddell as a guest. Just like “former Clinton advisor Dick Morris,” Caddell can be relied upon to attack Democrats more often than advocate on their behalf. But FOX News didn't just leave it there. A series of banners across the screen gave the misleading impression that Palin won. FOXNews.com gave an extra boost to Palin by titling the video of the segment, Palin's Night?

Caddell falsely claimed that he had not been properly introduced in the segment. But what was really unsaid in the scripted introduction was that two out of two (CBS and CNN) post-debate polls showed Senator Joseph Biden won the debate. Alan Colmes later made that point on his own but it was obvious that FOX News thought that information optional. Nevertheless, the "fair and balanced" network cherry-picked the pro-Palin poll results and used them as banners on the lower third of the screen.

These are the banners about the poll, in the order they were shown:

Who won the debate?

CBS Poll: 55% say they now have better opinion of Palin

CBS Poll: 14% say they have a worse opinion of Palin

CBS Poll: 30% say opinion of Palin hasn't changed.

Poll: 66% see Palin as knowledgeable, up from 43%

Poll: 55% uncommitted voters say Palin prepared for the job


There was no banner heralding that the CBS poll found that Biden was seen as the victor by a greater than two-to-one margin. Also not on the screen: 97% saw Biden as prepared for the vice presidency while only 55% saw Palin as prepared. 91% thought Biden could be an effective president, if necessary, compared to Palin's 44%. CNN also conducted a poll in which Biden handily won.

Meanwhile, “Boombox” Coulter and Sean Hannity developed a sudden interest in the truth. Predictably, their truth squad focused more on attacking Biden and Obama than in shedding light on the issues or bringing much information to their viewers. The middle-aged Coulter engaged in her usual name calling. Tonight's insult, repeated again and again no doubt so that everyone could admire her clever wit, was calling Biden a “delusional nutcase.”

The only knee-slapper for me was Boomie's hyperactive insistence that “delusional nutcase Joe Biden said... there are no vice presidential duties in relation to Congress.”

Colmes told her, “That's not what he said... He said you break the tie.”

Coulter was almost hyperventilating as she huffed out, “That is a total lie. I will ask the viewers to look it up.”

OK, Boomie, if you insist. Here's what Biden actually said: “And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote.”

By the way, it's worth reminding people that Coulter has been caught on camera longing for something to snort.