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Feeling of Impending Doom

Reported by Nancy - November 1, 2004 -

FNL this morning (11/1) is desperately flailing to put a good (i.e., pro-Bush) spin on anything & everything. But even their invited guests have that deer-in-the-headlight look.

At 10:12am (ET), Brigitte Quinn showed a clip of Bush, then a clip of Kerry, then interviewed Michael Wesskopf (TIME magazine) & Mark Mazzetti (LA Times). The topic was -- theoretically, of course -- whether this election is about Iraq. Quinn's first question wasn't even close to subtle: she asked whether Bush has been able to link Iraq to the "War of Terror". When that ploy failed to produce enthusiastic endorsements from either guest, she tried again, asking whether the missing explosives (she called them "weapons") story helped or hurt either candidate. Both guests simply straddled again.

At 10:35 am (ET), Quinn interviewed Brad Blakeman (GOP, former asst to Bush) & Kristen Powers (Dem). Blakeman tried to be upbeat, claiming that in the end it will come down to the ground troops (who gets their voters actually to the polls). When Powers pointed out that new voter registrations are traditionally a bad sign for an incumbent & that the massive numbers of new registrations for this election probably don't bode well for Bush, Blakeman didn't have a good rebuttal.

At 11:00am (ET), Steve Brown reported on the Kerry campaign. The most interesting piece of data in his report, IMO, was that Dem strategists say that their analysis of early voting trends shows 60% of early votes have been cast for Kerry. Brown did not expand on this. Immediately following, at 11:02am (ET), Wendell Goler reported on the Bush campaign. Goler had to admit that polls show Kerry is ahead in Ohio, & according to him the Bush campaign responded to that by saying that Bush has never been worse than even in Ohio [comment: not a particularly glowing or confident statement, coming from a candidate's campaign].

At 11:05am (ET), Brian Wilson filed a report on how close the polls are. He sliced & diced the numbers in a variety of ways, but they're not looking good for Bush. So Wilson reassured viewers that Fox has an army of people working on slicing & dicing the polls even more, & promised an update by noon [comment: they should be able to figure out how to spin this by then].

At 11:07am (ET), Quinn interviewed Eleanor Clift (Newsweek) & John Leo (US News & World Rpt). Clift repeated a variation of what Powers had said earlier -- that newly registered voters historically tend to vote against an incumbent, & so do "undecideds". Leo, who is normally very assertive, was uncharacteristically quiet & soft-spoken. He was looking down at the floor much of the time.

Most interesting of all, at 10:18am (ET), FNL aired 4 solid minutes of a Kerry campaign speech in Orlando, FL. They did NOT follow this with the usual parsing by pundits. [comment: looks to me like Fox sees which way this wind is blowing & has decided they'd better try to get on Kerry's good side.]