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Israeli Protesters? A-OK! US Protesters? Not So Much.

Reported by Nancy - August 18, 2005 -

Today (8/18) the last hour of FNL was another exercise in distraction, with wall-to-wall coverage of the evacuation of Israeli settlers from Gaza settlements. Apparently, nothing else of importance was happening anywhere else in the world. David Asman anchored this last hour & was his usual self, salivating over the prospect of violence & injecting his opinion into comments & questions.

When I say "wall-to-wall" I mean that the entire hour was devoted to this one story, without even a commercial break. Here's the breakdown:

12:00pm - Jennifer Griffin in Gaza reported on settlers being evicted from the roof of a synagogue
12:15pm - Asman interviewed Aaron Miller ("former adviser on Mideast affairs to 6 Secretaries of of State") by phone
12:20pm - Asman said Fox is getting "emails ... wonder[ing] are we [the US] paying for resettlement", then interviewed Dennis DeConcini (former Senator, D-AZ) & Rick Lazio (former Representative, R-NY),
12:24pm - Griffin interviewed Shai Iskovitx, spokeman for & commander of the Israeli police involved in the synagogue evacuation
12:29pm - ALERT - "looking at the scene as night sets in the Gaza strip"
12:31pm - Griffin repeated the info obtained from her earlier interview with Iskowitz
12:33pm - Asman interviewed Ambassador Arthur Hughes ("vast experience in the Middle East") by phone.
12:36pm - Griffin reported that one "infiltrator" who had come to Gaza to support the settlers was wanted by the police for stealing from empty houses
12:38pm - Asman continued the interview with DeConcini, Lazio & Hughes
12:44pm - Griffin interviewed General Dan Harel, commander of the IDF's Southern Command, who was very critical of the settlers & especially of outsiders who had come to support them, for desecrating the synagogue & going beyond non-violent protest by injuring some of the police & IDF
12:47pm - Asman interviewed Ambassador Dennis Ross by phone
12:53pm - Griffin interviewed Renan Giesen (spokesman for Israeli PM ASharon) who said that the "lines of legitimate protest were crossed today" by the settlers & praised the IDF's behavor
12:57pm - as the coverage of the situation was wrapping up for the hour, Asman wondered what might happen "if the Palestinians do take up the cudgel once again"
12:58pm - Last Observer because Asman is going to go "indepth" on Fox documentaries & specials

Comment: Yes, MSNBC & CNN were doing the same. Two (or, in this case, three) wrongs don't make a right. How does it serve the public interest to cover one story to the point of excluding coverage of all others? Yes, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is of critical importance, the withdrawal from Gaza is an incredbily brave & positive step towards a peacful resolution, & the US has a very significant stake in all of that. But how often does FNL devote an entire hour, without a commercial break, to a single story? Why this?

Curiously (or maybe not), neither Griffin nor Asman expressed, directly (in words) or indirectly (tone, body language, etc) disapproval of the civil disobedience being done by the settlers -- on the contrary, the tone was uniformly one of admiration & sympathy. Compare & contrast with Fox's coverage of dissent -- never mind acts of "civil disobedience" -- here in the US.

In case you've forgotten, here are some examples of how Fox demonizes protesters in the US:
*Smearing Protesters
*Demonizing the Protesters
*Is Fox Spreading Rumors About Anti-War Protesters?
*"Representative" Protesters?
*Wildly Distorted Picture of Protesters
*Fox Turns Protesters Into Terrorists

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNL's choice of which story to cover). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks. Special note: Anyone who even *suggests* that my comments are anti-Semitic will be banned for the rest of the week.