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Fox New's 'Dayside' Has Delay-ed Reaction

Reported by Judy - April 4, 2006

Wounded politician? Lame duck? Fox News must be talking about Tom DeLay and George Bush, right? News Hounds' video shows otherwise.

DeLay announced Monday night that he would not be seeking re-election to Congress, but by early afternoon on Tuesday (April 4, 2006) it was old news to Fox News.

"Dayside" chose to ignore DeLay's downfall for more than 45 minutes at the start of its programming, focusing instead on youth protests in France against a new law that would allow young workers to be fired without any reason in the first two years on the job. The co-hosts, Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy, announced at the start of the show that they would talk about DeLay's decision not to seek re-election with John Kasich, former Republican congressman from Ohio, but they put it off as long as they could.

Instead, "Dayside" kept the camera trained on the streets of France, focusing on the disorder there rather than the disarray within the Republican Party. Jerrick called President Jacques Chiraq a "wounded politician" and a "lame duck" and attempted to analyze the intricacies of French politics. The demonstrations were mostly a repeat of the events of last week, while DeLay's announcement was a bomb shell so fresh the smell of gunpowder was still in the air.

Yet Fox News chose to ignore the DeLay announcement for most of the Dayside show. Not even the news ticker on the bottom mentioned DeLay until Jerrick and Huddy finally got around to talking to Kasich about DeLay with less than 15 minutes to go in the show. Fox News, however, kept video of the French protests on the screen while talking about DeLay. Was Fox hoping that the images of students in the street would overwhelm the uncomfortable truths its audience was hearing about DeLay?

Not that Fox News got very close to the truth about DeLay. Kasich spoke only in generic terms about the troubles that forced DeLay to announce that he will give up his seat before June, focusing instead on Kasich's aides who have been indicted rather than on the indictment of DeLay himself and depicting DeLay as a lonely figure under siege rather than symptomatic of the culture of corruption into which the Republican Party has sunk.

Kasich termed DeLay's decision to resign a "personal decision" and claimed the toll on DeLay's family, rather than any difficulty getting re-elected or the possiblity of further indictments, might be behind the decision. Kasich even dismissed the possiblity that DeLay's corruption troubles were a sign of broader problems for a Republican Party that reeks of corruption and is sinking in polls of American voters.

"They may have hit bottom," he said of GOP prospects.

All in all, "Dayside" managed to devote four minutes to the DeLay topic versus about 56 minutes to the French protests. You would never know from watching this hour of Fox News that a key supporter of George Bush and the architect of unfair gerrymandering schemes designed to permanently muffle the political voices of Texas Democratic voters had resigned in disgrace rather than be booted out of office by voters or convicted of a felony while still holding office.

"Dayside" co-hosts Jerrick and Huddy could not even bring themselves to mention that his decision came just a few days after a key former aide pleaded guilty to conspiracy and agreed to cooperate with the federal investigation into DeLay's corrupt political machine that promised political influence in exchange for cash.

And although Huddy had promised at the start that the discussion of DeLay would be "fair and balanced," "Dayside" confined its discussion of DeLay to an interview with the Republican Kasich.

Watch the video of Kasich trying to spin DeLay's resignation as a personal matter rather than a matter of a political party's corruption.

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