Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Fox News Memos: The Whole Batch

Fox News Memos: The Whole Batch


Every one of these paragraphs contain something untoward and/or unbecoming for a news organization. See if you can spot it. I will help out in a few instances...

Nominees who both sides admit are qualified are being held up because of their POSSIBLE, not demonstrated, views on one issue -- abortion. This should be a trademark issue for FNC [Fox News Channel] today and in the days to come.

At the UN, Catherine Herridge will follow the US sponsored resolution calling for the lifting of sanctions against Iraq. Not surprisingly, we're facing resistance from our erstwhile European buddies, the French and Germans.

The terror alert continues to affect the way Americans live their lives, both as consumers, participants in public events and citizens. Let's explain to viewers that while prudent precautions need to be taken, the disruption of the American way of life is in itself a terrorist goal and should not be conceded to our enemies.

The tax cut passed last night by the Senate, though less than half what Bush originally proposed, contains some important victories for the administration. The DC crew will parse the bill and explain how it will fatten -- marginally -- your wallet.

Imagine the glee of Fox employees at the prospect of a fatter wallet!

Heads of state don't leave G-8 meetings early unless they have good reasons. President Bush has two: he has to get to Egypt, and he doesn't like the French. Let's explain to viewers that despite the tepid handshake, Bush and Chirac are far from reconciled, as are the US and Germany. The early departure from Evian should take the sparkle out of the bottled water spa.

Imagine Brokaw, Jennings or Rather telling their underlings: "Remember...we don't like the French and Germans."
Adolescents leading the infantile...

We have good perp walk video of Eric Rudolph which we should use. We should NOT assume that anyone who supported or helped Eric Rudolph is a racist. No one's in favor of murder or bombing of public places. But feelings in North Carolina may just be more complicated than the NY Times can conceive. Two style notes: Rudolph is charged with bombing an abortion clinic, not a "health clinic."

Abortion bad. Health good.

It's a distinctly skeptical crowd that Bush faces. His political courage and tactical cunning are worth noting in our reporting through the day.

FOX: A Republican Propaganda Machine

The national forest as pot field story is pure Fox.

That's right, FOX. Go after those evil National Parks!

For our purposes, as a story, it's very important to know whether ETA or Al Qaeda was responsible for the Madrid bombings. For the victims the distinction is minimal. Terrorism is international, and the United States is the leader of the coalition to stamp it out. That's the tone we want to impart throughout the day.

Or is that what the White House told you to tell them to say?

Scary thought of the day: what if it's a consortium of terrorist groups working together?

Fear-mongering again? Oh yeah...fear sells news and products. Who cares that it diminishes one's quality of life...and health?

Spain's neighbor, the ever-superior France, had its own spate of railway terrorist warnings last week, though it's not clear that those were in any way related to the Madrid bombings.

Ever-superior France? Got an attitude problem?

Gas prices are at all time highs in the US. There are reasons for the surge, some economic, some mere business tactics. Remember: US prices, while they seem high to us, are a half or less the cost of gasoline elsewhere.

Why is gas so high? Business tactics of course! But will you tell US this? In memos maybe, but not in the news.

Kerry, starting to feel the heat for his flip-flop voting record, is in West Virginia. There's a near-meaningless primary in Illinois.

The birth of the flip-flop talking point?

Attention mice: the cat is back.
(My thanks to Ken and David for filling in.)

Fox employees are not even rats. They are merely mice! Well done!

The so-called 9/11 commission has already been meeting. In fact, this is the eighth session. The fact that former Clinton and both frmer and current Bush administration officials are testifying gives it a certain tension, but this is not "what did he know and when did he know it" stuff. Do not turn this into Watergate. Remember the fleeting sense of national unity that emerged from this tragedy. Let's not desecrate that.

For everyone's information, the hotel where our Baghdad bureau is housed was hit by some kind of explosive device overnight. ALL FOX PERSONNEL ARE OK. The incident is a reminder of the danger our colleagues in Baghdad face, day in and day out. Please offer a prayer of thanks for their safety to whatever God you revere (and let the ACLU stick it where the sun don't shine).

Offer a prayer?
To whatever God you revere? Really? Allah even?

As the witness list indicates, today is likely to be the apex of the so-called 9/11 commission hearings. Tenet, Clarke, and Clinton NSC advisor Berger all testify. We will carry their statements, along with he Q&A, live. Remember that while there are obvious political implications for Bush, the commission is looking at eight years of the Clinton Administration versus eight months (the time prior to 9/11 that Bush was in office) for the incumbent.
We also have an interview with chief of staff Andrew Card from Fox and Friends, where he makes the administration's case on the hearings and other things.

Blame it on Clinton!

SCOTUS considers if students can be required to say the pledge of allegiance, including the words "under God." The case is on of the more significant ones the court will have before it this session.

Priorities, kids! Priorities!

Five American GIs killed in Iraq in a bomb and an attack represent one of the grimmest days there in months. There is also footage of a mutilated body being dragged down a road which WE WILL NOT AIR UNTIL IT HAS BEEN CLEARED.

The US military has said its response to the Fallujah massacre will be measured but forceful. Be prepared to get on this when it happens.

MONDAY UPDATE: Into Fallujah: It's called Operation Vigilant Resolve and it began Monday morning (NY time) with the US and Iraqi military surrounding Fallujah. We will cover this hour by hour today, explaining repeatedly why it is happening. It won't be long before some people start to decry the use of "excessive force." We won't be among that group.

...whatever happens, it is richly deserved.

Even a hundred nuclear bombs? Anything?

The Sharon interview with Israeli Army radio leaves little doubt that Yasser Arafat should not buy any green bananas. It's going to be a tricky road for Sharon who has previously promised not to harm the Palestinian figurehead

By the way, Israel will also be extra vigilant today as Passover begins. To all our collegues about to celebrate it, Zissen Pesach.

I wonder if they wish their employees a Happy Kwanzaa or Happy Ramadan?

Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of US lives and asking out loud why are we there?

Indeed! That would mean that you have a conscience, and we know we screen you better than that!

We'll start to preview Dr. Rice's testimony before congress on Thursday. Angle is the point man for this story.

Point man? So they score points for flawless cheerleading?

Kerry's speech on the economy at Georgetown is likely to move onto the topic of Iraq. We should take the beginning of KErry's speech, see if it contains new information (aside from a promise to create 10 million jobs) and see if other news at the time is more compelling. It is not required to take it start to finish.

Yawn! Show economy. Busy Iraq.

The hearing on Rush Limbaugh's medical records could be a death blow to the case against him. If the 3 judge panel rules that his doctor's records cannot be used bythe prosecution, the case is likely to go away.

Today is Patriots' Day. Let's be very alert to the events that have occurred on this day in past years: Ruby Ridge, OKC, Waco, and, one day later, Columbine.

Patriots magnetize misfortune.

The time for talking in Fallujah is nearly up. Let's follow this as long as possible before talk turns to a new firefight.

Yeeeeehi! Shoot 'em up!

If Michael Jackson is indicted on sex charges, it's a big story for us...

Priorities, children!

THURSDAY UPDATE: let's rock n roll with the korean train explosion. korean websites are speculating freely that it was a mistimed hit on kim. that gives us the right to quote them, and let guests etc speculate. it is eerie that it happened just hours after the dear leader finished his business in china and pointedly took the train home.

Ooh! Rock n Roll! How 50s!

Let's not get lost in breast-beating about the sadness of the loss of life. They had a chance.

Conscience? What conscience?

Ribbons or medals? Which did John Kerry throw away after he returned from Vietnam. This may become an issue for him today. His perceived disrespect for the military could be more damaging to the candidate than questions about his actions in uniform.

And so it was!

TUESDAY UPDATE: Let's not overdo the appearances by Kerry's swiftboat mate John O'Neil. While his appearances so far have been OK, he represents one side of the 30 year recollections of what Kerry did, or didn't do, in uniform. Other people have different recollections.

Do not ignore the Oil for Food story, please. Fox News is making steady progress in investigating what could be, without exaggeration, the biggest ripoff of all time, the House Intl Relations committee holds more hearings today.

The president and VP are MEETING with the 9/11 commission. They are NOT testifying before it as did witnesses last week. It is an important distinction that we need to make.

We'll get to the electronic voting machine debate, making the point that it has the POTENTIAL to delay elections in many states.

A delay of the election? Imagine that!

And in Oregon, Dennis Kucinich is making his final stand -- so he says -- in his quest for Democratic party respect. Springer is there.

Thursday update: the pictures from Abu Graeb prison are disturbing. They have rightly provoked outrage. Today we have a picture -- aired on Al Arabiya -- of an American hostage being held with a scarf over his eyes, clearly against his will. Who's outraged on his behalf?

It is important that we keep the Abu Graeb situation in perspective. The story is beginning to live on itw own momentum. The facts of the story may develop into the need to do much more in the days ahead. For the moment, however, the focus appears to be changing to finger pointing within the administration and how it plays out as an issue in the presidential campaign.

Learn to spell. And talk. And think. And feel.