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Joe's got issues
By Joe Scarborough
My first issue has to do with Michael Moore. He's blurring the lines, of course, between documentaries. Now there's a new strange brand of filmmaking around. It's called "attack-filmmaking."
And I have issues with a new entry in that category. It's a film called “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism.” It was created by yet another guy, as reported in “The New York Times” yesterday, who doesn't hide behind any claims of objectivity. Instead, the director states I wanted to use Fox's own words and images to show exactly what they do. Fox is a Republican, not merely a conservative, network.” Like Michael Moore, this filmmaker used what information fitted his thesis and cut everything else out, such as Fox memos that are in his possession which promoted balanced coverage. One in particular reminded staff members to balance times for speeches by Bush and balance speeches for Kerry. Another memo, about a guest critical of John Kerry’s service record, reads “Let's not overdo the appearances by Kerry's swift boat mate John O'Neill. He represents one side of the 30-year recollection of what Kerry did or didn't do in uniform. Other people have different recollections.” The news here doesn't have anything to do with the content over at Fox News. The real news is that “The New York Times” is getting an exclusive story with an organization that billionaire George Soros put out on one of his pet projects to do a hit job on a media outlet. Who's kidding who? Traditionally, have the media people gone left or gone right? It's not even a close call. This is what Murdoch had to say today. He said: “Some of the sources for this documentary never worked for Fox News Channel. Some left because of incompetence, and none expressed concern about editorial policy while they were employees.”
I have also got another big issue with media's double standards: “The New York Times” editorial page today called on Vice President Cheney to release all of his medical records because his doctor was hooked on prescription drugs. Yes, they actually devoted an editorial to this pressing national issue. They're champions for disclosure, right? But what about John Kerry's refusal to release his wealthy wife's tax returns, which could help him buy the presidency of the United States? I have yet to see an editorial about that issue.
And what about “The Chicago Tribune” and the local ABC station that went to pry open the sealed divorce records of a little-known Senate candidate named Jack Ryan, saying the public had the right to know? What about John Kerry's divorce records? Even though this guy is running for president of the United States, I guess “The Tribune’s” right to know doesn't apply to John Kerry. Either of these private sealed records being opened is wrong, I think, but the hypocrisy is unbelievable.
One last thing: Why don't the champions of disclosure call on Kerry to give up a copy of the video his friend Whoopi Goldberg had in her nasty Bush tirade and when all the others joined in bashing Bush, called him "a thug," "a murderer," a "hate-monger"? Of course, Kerry got up and said they represented the best that America had to offer. We need to see the videotape and we need to see “The New York Times” demanding that videotape on the editorial page. If you are for full disclosure for Republicans then you are for full disclosure for Democrats. I do it that way here. You should do it that way too.
And you know what else? I have got issues with the Philippines. Late today, word came that their government caved in to terror demands by announcing the pullout of their 50 troops from Iraq. Al-Jazeera reported that the Philippines' deputy foreign minister said his country would remove its humanitarian contingent in Iraq as soon as possible in response to the threatened beheading of a Filipino truck driver, this just a day after the Philippines' president said the country wouldn't give in to the terror threat. There appears to be some confusion over the pull-out promise, and the government is neither confirming or denying Al-Jazeera's report. Talk about setting a gold standard in flip-flops. Let's hope here that we have denial. Otherwise, we are going to have to score it another victory for the terrorists.