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Cavuto Follows Fox News Pattern Of "Forgetting" Republican Party Involvement In Town Hall Disruptions

Reported by Ellen - August 11, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Brian

On Monday’s (8/10/09) Your World, the first topic was the mob rule at health care town halls. Cavuto repeatedly made false analogies to liberal protests while conveniently overlooking the Republican Party involvement in the disruptions. With video.

Guest Steve Leser, of OpEdNews, said, "These town hall protestors, they’re denying the dozens and hundreds of other people who have come to these meetings, to try to get their opinions across on health care, they’re denying those folks their free speech… One of the things you notice is there's a line that they don't cross, and that is they don't protest town hall debates and open forums because those are the opportunities for people to interface their with their elected officials."

Cavuto asked, "When Tom Tancredo had a forum in 2006, he wanted to give a speech to Michigan St. University. He was heckled, there were three violent incidents, he was called a racist, he was spit on, he was kicked… That was not bad, this is?"

Leser answered, "No it was. I absolutely disagree with that. I think that's the point at which we all have to draw the line. Now, it's free speech."

But, Leser added, "There's going to be a backlash against this. People are going to look at this and say, ‘If this is what the anti health care reform movement has to do in order to stop health care, then their arguments must be weak."

Cavuto replied, "I don't know where your rage was in October, 2007 when Condoleezza Rice was heckled by a Code Pink member… Then it was a proper use of protest and a free American right. All I'm saying is what's good for the goose should be good for the gander, right?"

Leser quickly made a distinction. "If they want to go and they want to protest one of Pelosi’s speeches, if they want to go to a hearing on health care on (Capitol) Hill, now they have to realize they're probably going to be arrested… That’s OK. Don't disrupt other Americans’ opportunities to be heard."

It was a point Cavuto either would not or could not absorb. He made his first false analogy. "But free speech is free speech, right? In April 2003, Hillary Clinton was criticizing the lack of free speech." He played a tape of Sen. Clinton saying the Bush administration calls dissenters unpatriotic. "She didn't sound calm."

Leser noted that Clinton’s words did not “conflict” with what he was saying. He later said, "A couple of days before these town halls even started there was a memo leaked from I don't remember which Republican strategy group, but they actually talked that this was going to happen, and they encouraged people to stand up and disrupt the town forums."

Comment: That’s kind of a crucial distinction because not even Cavuto alleged that Code Pink or any of the other “disrupters” were part of an organized Democratic effort. But while continually striking out at Democrats who call the Republicans on their tactics, we have yet to see Fox News deny that Republicans are involved in the town hall disruptions.