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Megyn Kelly Tries To Spin Assault On Republicans As Politically Motivated?

Reported by Priscilla - April 18, 2010 -

While Megyn Kelly’s “America Live” is billed as a “news” show, that doesn’t stop Kelly from reporting the news with the latest right wing spin to it. Friday, in reporting on a vicious New Orleans assault, perpetrated on an aide to Louisiana Governor Bobbie Jindal and her boyfriend, Kelly ran with what’s all the rage (literally and figuratively speaking) in the right wing blogosphere – i.e. that it was, as the title of Kelly’s Cavuto marked video suggests, “a politically motivated attack.” There’s a volcano erupting in Iceland. Hey Megyn, it must be the fault of those darned libruls!

Never mind the fact that the assault took place April 9th. Kelly covered it as “breaking news” on Friday, April 16th. She immediately went into spin mode when she referenced “questions over whether it was politically motivated.” Kelly described the attack on Jindal aide, Ailee Bautsch and her boyfriend, Joe Brown, after they left a GOP fundraiser during the recent Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. While she spoke, the chyron read “New Questions On Motivation of GOP Campaign Aide Attack.” She claimed that there is “early word that the attackers were making political statements during the attack.” After dropping the little bomb, Kelly said that she had not been able “to independently confirm” the report and she cited a statement from Jindal’s office that said that there is no evidence that the attackers were protesters. She added that “protesters were seen outside of the fund raising event.” Kelly then interviewed Bautsch’s mother, Della Burning, who did not feed into Kelly’s spin about the politics; but rather said that the important thing is solving the crime. Burning described the attack as having taken place in a dark area. After she said that “derogatory comments were made,” Kelly jumped right in with the question, “what do you mean?” The woman said that she “didn’t want to impede the police investigation and get into the political ramifications.” She added that the crime seemed to be about money. Kelly still wanted red meat: “One reporter says that he spoke with the public information officer for the New Orleans police and that public information officer said that insults of a political nature had been hurled.” Burning didn’t bite and said that “this is neither a Republican or Democrat problem…” Kelly was relentless: “I know that they’re looking at all those who were outside the event at the time.” (Is Megyn referring to anti Republican protesters? Ya think?) Kelly wanted to know if her daughter got a good description of the attackers. (Was Kelly hoping for a response that indicated a certain “profile?”) According to Burning, the attackers were “average” looking. When she added “who looks like a Republican or Democrat” Kelly wanted to know if there any “identifying marks that could help the police.” (Yeah, Megyn, they had ACORN/SEIU/Obama T shirts).

Comment: Fact Check Time: The “reporter,” cited by Kelly, who spoke with the New Orleans public information officer would seem to be Pat Dollard, a conservative blogger (“The War Starts Here) who posted an article on his site (April 15th) which claimed that this PR officer said that the attack was politically motivated. The officer, Bob Young, told Politico’s Ben Smith that “he had no idea what the motive was.” He also said that Dollard had repeatedly asked him about a political motivation and that he told Dollard he didn’t know. He described Dollar’s comments as being “completely incorrect.” Eyewitnesses described the assailants as looking like anarchists. Andrew Breitbart, sourcing from Free Republic, claimed that the two victims were targeted because they were wearing Palin pins. A Jindal spokesperson has denied that neither Brown nor Bautsch were wearing pins.

As the Ben Smith piece was published on the same day as Kelly’s segment, it’s possible that she didn’t know about the updated information – although the Smith article had an 11:14 AM time stamp and Kelly’s show airs in the PM and it is live, right? One wonders if Kelly will do an addendum this week. But this coverage reminds me of that famous backwards “B” incident which Fox’s John Moody said could be a “watershed event.” One also remembers how the right wing accused the librul media of declaring the Duke Lacrosse team guilty. I’m not an attorney (and I don’t play one on a blog); but Megyn Kelly is. Shouldn’t she know that she shouldn’t be pre-judging a case with circumstantial and, in this case, faulty information? Her show is “news,” right? As the mother of one of the victims said, this shouldn’t be about politics. That Fox “News” reinforces a right wing political spin to a vicious crime appears to show, once again, that they’re really not about “news” – but a right wing political agenda!

Addendum - The New Orleans Police Report was released Friday, April 16th. The entire report can be accessed via the Times Picayune article. The report states that no political comments were made. Too bad Megyn didn't wait a few more days before she "reported" on the situation.