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Democratic And Border State Reaction to Bush’s Speech Eliminated From Hannity & Colmes’ Analysis

Reported by Ellen - May 15, 2006

It was another example of the FOX News version of “fair and balanced” on Hannity & Colmes tonight: two Republican guests, no Democrats or border-state representatives providing analysis of Bush’s speech on immigration. First came Senate Majority Leader (and possible presidential candidate) Bill Frist, from Tennessee. He called Bush’s speech “balanced… specific… reasoned.” Then came Virginia Senator George Allen (also a possible presidential candidate) who also praised Bush’s speech but opposed the “11 year pathway” to citizenship for those here illegally because it “rewards illegal behavior.” Democratic Senator Dick Durbin issued a response (not aired on H&C) raising a number of concerns – none of which were addressed on Hannity & Colmes.

For example, Durbin asked, “If securing our borders is our highest national priority, why will it take two years to hire and train the new Border Patrol agents?” Durbin also said, “The 9/11 Commission recommended -- and Congress authorized -- the hiring of 10,000 new Border Patrol agents two years ago. Each year since, the president's budget requested and his Republican Congress funded fewer agents than we knew that we needed.” Neither of those issues were addressed.

According to Reuters, reaction in the border states has been “more bitter than sweet.” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, said, "I am concerned asking National Guard troops to guard our nation's border is a Band-Aid solution and not the permanent solution we need." According to the Washington Post, the mayor of border town Laredo, Texas, who has been asking Washington for more help on the border for years said, “We have over 300 Border Patrol officers from here serving in Iraq. Why doesn't [President Bush] bring them home to do the job they were trained to do? …The National Guard is trained to protect us from deadly people… People crossing over here to work are not our deadly enemy. . . . I think this is all about discrimination and nothing else."

In his recent interview, FOX News president and CEO Roger Ailes defended his network from allegations of bias by saying, "Bias is not what you say; it's what you eliminate. We don't eliminate anybody. Everybody gets equal time. They do eliminate a conservative voice at many of these other networks, therefore we appear to be more conservative, because we treat the conservative point of view with as much respect as we treat the liberal point of view.”

If you’d like to contact FOX News and ask them why, if they don’t eliminate anybody, they didn’t include a Democratic or border-state response to President Bush’s speech, you can use the following emails:

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

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