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Just Another Day in the Slime of FNL

Reported by Nancy - February 1, 2005 -

On FNL today (2/1) they're essentially already over the Iraq election. Mixed in with mini-blurbs for the short-attention-span crowd about relatively "real" news were endless teasers & even shorter blurbs -- the classic mix of porn-&-corn sleaze to appeal to the absolute worst in people. There was, as usual, worshipful coverage of anything & everything Bush. There was the obligatory Dem-bashing, today focused on Sen Hillary Clinton. And Carol McKinley tried to play the race card, but picked the wrong race.

When I tuned in at 11:00am (all times ET) Orlando Salinas was reporting about Cindy Lynch who has been missing from Savannah GA. A body has been pulled from the river that may or may not be Lynch (clip of local police saying same). Brigitte Quinn added a promo for Greta van Susteren's program for more on this.

Quinn followed this with a series of short blurbs about selected crimes: police arrested a 19yo parolee for shooting a young actress in mugging in NYC; a 7mo baby was found near his dead mom over the weekend, police are trying to figure out what happened; defense to begin in Paul Shandley case. Then at 11:04am Anita Vogel reported on day 2 of jury selection in the MJackson case. When Vogel finished, at 11:05am Quinn did a little blurb about "where did Jackson go for lunch yesterday" -- answer: a townhouse near the court building. [Comment: 6 "stories" plus a self-promo in 5 mins may be a new record for FNL.]

At 11:06am Andrew Stack reported that the Iraqi Pres Yawer says that Iraqi troops are "not up to" providing tight security & they need more training (clip of Yawer saying same). Stack added that Yawer was willing to have "some" US troops could leave by the end of year *if* enough stay security. Stack showed a clip of soldiers "chasing down snipers" in Baghdad. After Stack's short report, at 11:08an Quinn said that US troops rounded up suspects before "the thugs" could do any damage; that "thousands marched" in Najaf for Sistani; that there was a bomb explosion in SW Pakistan.

At 11:08am Quinn said that Laure Bush is bringing the public info about women & heart disease to intro Carl Cameron who "sat down for a 1-on-1 interview" with LBush. There was a short clip of that interview, then Cameron announced that LBush also signed the proclamation of "Heart Health Month" that GWBush signed today [comment: if FNL considers "Heart Health Month" to be newsworthy, why not interview someone who actually knows something about heart health? Why give LBush free air time?].

At 11:09am teasers included: Bush rehearsing SOU speech; "which countries might be put on notice in the War On Terror?" in the SOU speech; & a college prof "compares victims of 9/11 to Nazis."

At 11:12am, showing pix "live at the White House," Quinn commented that "President Bush has had another busy day" talking on the phone. She said Bush "expressing thanks" to NATO & EU leaders for the "strong statements of support" re the Iraq election, that he's practicing his SOU speech, with "sessions scheduled around" photo ops. Then she interviewed Arnaud de Borchgrave [comment: Quinn introduced him as a Director of the Center for Strategic & International Studies, which is true, but she did not mention that he is also a member of Benador Associates, a radical reactionary group that is a source for many FNL guests; nor did she mention that he's an editor at the "Washington Times"]. Quinn asked if we could anticipate "another sort of Axis of Evil speech" & de Borchgrave said "no" it will be in "large part" about Bush's domestic agenda because Bush's attitude is "he's out of here in 4 years" although "some" GOPs have a different timetable because they're thinking about the next elections. Quinn asked what "might he call on allies for?" & de Borchgrave said "obviously more aid" citing some figures about how much we've spent, how the Pentagon is out of money & Halliburton is owed $4M by the Pentagon [comment: neither he nor Quinn mentioned the ongoing multiple investigations of Halliburton's shady practices]. Quinn noted Bush's "ambitious plan" to spread freedom & reworded her question to ask if Bush will "put anyone on notice" in his speech. de Borchgrave said "I doubt it" because he [Bush] knows that "not one size fits all" & that Iraq "has taken one tiny step" & there's "still plenty of obstacles" to be overcome. Quinn pressed on with FNL's warmongering agenda, asking "might the successful election give the President a little help in warning Syria & Iran?" de Borchgrave disagreed with Quinn's assessment of the Iraq election, saying that the "biggest victor in these elections so far is Iran" not the US. Quinn was stunned & could only ask "Really?" de Borchgrave went on to explain that that new National Assembly will probably be "60% Shiites;" that no one really knows at what level if any the Sunnis will participate; & that exit polls show Kurds all favor independence & "that means trouble."

At 11:16am teasers included: MJackson, "Sen Hillary Clinton collapsed yesterday" & "the Fonz" (with a clip from "Happy Days"). At 11:20am Quinn showed a "live pic" of where GA police found a body that may be Cindy Lynch, then live footage at the courthouse in the MJackson case. Quinn then interviewed Flo Anthony (close friend of MJackson). At 11:23am Quinn interviewed Harvey Levin ("Celebrity Justice") re MJackson.

At 11:26am Quinn read teasers: "President Bush getting ready to turn the spotlight on Social Security" -- "what the President plans" & how it might affect you; & the college prof who compared 9/11 victims to Nazis -- "you won't beleive" where he's been invited to speak; holiday honoring bubble wrap. At 11:29am Kiran Chetry read headlines: Bush wants to increase benefits to families of troops KIA; Iraq interim Pres says he doesn't want coalition troops to leave; violence in Hebron after Israel confiscated land to build a road; Israel says this "raises doubts" whether the Palestinians can control the terrorists; & a zoo animal in Israel got a CT scan.

At 11:30am David Asman joined Quinn & said that "President Bush is putting the final touches" on his SOU speech to intro Wendell Goler at the White House. Goler reported that Bush has had a "couple of formal practice sessions today." He said that "of course" Bush "will talk about Iraq" but the "centerpiece" will be SocSec. Goler claimed that the speech is "likely to be warmly received" by Congress even though Bush has given GOPs a tough agenda. Goler explained that Bush's SocSecScam [comment: my word, not his] "may cost up to $2 trillion" & that the White House repeatedly says "benefits will be preserved for folks at or near retirement." According to Goler, Dems say this is "partial privatizaion" but the White House "strongly objects because the public reads it so negatively." Goler added that Bush "will hit the road" Thu to states where Govs have opposed his SocSecScam because he wants "to speak directly to the American people, to enlist their spport."

At 11:33am there was yet another tabloid "report" from Jonathan Hunt about the UN [comment: I will make a separate post about that].

At 11:35am Carol McKinley reported about Ward Churchill, a prof at Colorado Univ who "compared 9/11 victimes to Nazis." She said that Churchill says he's "misunderstood" but now "the NY Gov" says it was a mistake to invite him [comment: do the radical reactionaries hate Pataki so much they won't even speak his name?]. McKinley added that "students are fired up" & that "people around the country are weighing in." She showed a clip of Churchill, then claimed that "he quotes Charles Manson 'what goes around comes around' " [comment: does anyone with a functional brain believe that Charles Manson originated that quotation?]. McKinley said that "some want him [Churchill] fired" but other "students say he makes them think" (with a short clip of student supporting Churchill) while "student GOPs are passing out petitions to get rid of" Churchill (with a longer clip of a radical reactionary ranting). McKinley managed to play the race card, saying that "lots of students" are concerned "because this is another black guy" [NOTE: Please see addenda at the end of this entry] & referencing the previous sports scandal at CU [comment: Churchill is a full-blooded Cherokee]. McKinley added that the CU Board of Regents will have a "special meeting" on Thu & Asman chimed in "I'm sure the alumni will be doing that too." [Comment: neither McKinley nor Asman admitted their own roles in whipping up the lunatic fringe; please see Marie Therese's post about Churchill for more info on this issue.]

Following Janice Dean's weather report at 11:38am, Quinn reported that it's "Bubblewrap Appreciation Day" in Tucson, AZ (complete with a clip of a guy praising bubblewrap & bubblewrap being popped).

At 11:40am teasers included:"questions now swirling about why Hillary Clinton got sick" (from Asman); & M Jackson & the Fonz with a clip from "Happy Days" (from Quinn).

At 11:43am Asman said that HClinton had a "fainting spell" yesterday [comment: in a tone that said he didn't believe it was a "fainting spell" at all] & wondered if it really was "just a virus?" Asman interviewed radio talk show hosts Leslie Marshall & Mark Williams. Williams said he spent hours talking about it yesterday on his show, that the sight of Iraqis "waving the purple finger of freedom" was "enough to make any Dem sick." Marshall tried to be more rational, pointing out that "30 other people" had the same illness, & saying that HClinton was probably just dehydrated, got Gatorade & moved on. Asman immediately picked up on that & asked incredulously "30 people?" Williams jumped in to say "that's a pandemic," "where's the CDC?" & where's WHO. Asman backed off a little, saying it "happens on cruise ships" but Williams said then the health dept investigates. Marshall again tried to stop the wild hypothesizing, asking "were the Japanese trying to kill" GHWB "with sushi when he puked?" Asman & Williams both laughed, then Asman steered the discussion to a new tack, saying that "Dean is taking over" the DNC, the "Clintons don't like him" so "how will they get along?" Marshall had a good retort: the "same way GOPs get along." Asman insisted on playing out his Dean-v-Clinton scenario, & Williams went off on another rant, saying that Dems are "just drifting further & further," that "she's trying to distance herself from these people," that she wanted to "take the spotlight off" Bush's "triumph." [comment: both Marsall & Williams have been "guests" before on FNL; they may very well be funny or effective radio talk show hosts, but what credentials do they bring to this kind of bloviating? The ability to spew wild conspiracy theories?]

At 11:45am Quinn read a teaser for MJackson & Asman read one for the Fonz. At 11:51pm, following yet another clip from "Happy Days" Quinn interviewed Henry Winkler who is getting together for a Happy Days 30th reunion on ABC. Winkler wanted to talk about his new book first ("Help! Somebody Get Me Out of the Fourth Grade!") but then joined Quinn in gushing about the program, the actors, the roles, the fans. Winkler got in a plug for "Arrested Development" on Fox which Quinn laughlingly expanded & added to by saying that she hadn't asked him to plug the show.

ADDENDUM 020205 at 3:55pm: Some claimed that McKinley said "black eye" rather than "black guy". I have relistened (multiple times) to her segment from FNL & I think you could interpret her mumbling either way. Interestingly, she dropped this line in the report that she filed later on the same day during "Special Report with Brit Hume", which was otherwise essentially the same.

ADDENDUM 032005 at 8:24am: I have heard directly from C McKinley regarding the phrase in question. She confirms that she said "black eye". I apologize for my misinterpretation of what she said.