FOX's Special Report tag team made false claims about missing explosivesOctober 28, 2004 5:14 PM EDT ››› GABE WILDAU
On the October 28 edition of Special Report with Brit Hume, FOX News Channel reporters and commentators continued to distort the facts surrounding missing high explosives at the Al Qaqaa military installation in Iraq in order to bolster President George W. Bush's claim that "the explosives may have been moved before our troops even arrived at the site."
During Special Report's "Grapevine" segment, FOX News Channel managing editor and chief Washington correspondent Brit Hume chastised CBS News for failing to report a detail that allegedly supports Bush's claim. CBS's 60 Minutes collaborated with The New York Times on the original report on October 25.
Hume said: "CBS knew about a search of the Al Qaqaa complex on April 4 of last year, a search that was thorough enough to find a suspicious white powder and that found no apparent sign of the locked materials or IAEA-marked weaponry. But CBS has not mentioned that in its reports this week." In fact, one of the types of explosive in question -- RDX -- is a white powder, according to GlobalSecurity.org (as journalist and blogger Joshua Micah Marshall noted on October 28), so the "suspicious white powder" Hume mentioned could have been RDX.
During Special Report's concluding "FOX All-Star Panel" on October 27, Roll Call executive editor Morton M. Kondracke accused Senator John Kerry of distorting the facts about when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) informed the United States about the high explosives:
KONDRACKE: Kerry is misstating when this supposed warning came from the IAEA. He is saying that it came before the war, that the IAEA warned us on the way in that we had to secure these weapons. That's not true. According to The New York Times, this warning came in May, after the war was already over.
In fact, the Times reported that the IAEA warned of Iraq's possession of the high explosives both before and after the U.S. invasion. According to the October 25 Times article: "The International Atomic Energy Agency publicly warned about the danger of these explosives before the war, and after the invasion it specifically told United States officials about the need to keep the explosives secured, European diplomats said in interviews last week."
FOX News Channel reporters and commentators were also among the conservatives who distorted an October 25 NBC News story into a defense of Bush against the Times article, as Media Matters for America has documented.