FOX & Friends ' Republican bias trifecta; Co-host Kilmeade said of some RNC convention protestors: "When is it OK to whack them around?"

››› ››› AVI ZOLLMAN

On July 13, the day after FOX News Channel anchor Jane Skinner, filling in as host of FOX Report with Shepard Smith, reported that FOX News Channel "denies the claim" made in producer/director Robert Greenwald's documentary film Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism that the network has a "bias toward Republicans," the co-hosts of FOX News Channel's morning show FOX & Friends -- E.D. Hill, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade -- provided evidence to the contrary.

Beginning with analysis of the presidential race, co-host Hill noted that "Kerry and groups allied to the Democratic cause have spent nearly 25 million dollars on TV ads in the last thirty days ... 60 percent more than Bush." This is a false comparison. In the Kerry tabulation, Hill included expenditures by groups unaffiliated with the campaign, while in the Bush tabulation she included only Bush-Cheney '04 campaign expenditures. In fact, a comparison of money spent by each campaign shows that the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign has spent $3.6 million more than the Kerry campaign on advertising. While USA Today's Mark Memmott also combined Kerry's and unaffiliated groups' ad expenditures in comparing them to the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign's, the article also reported the Kerry campaign's expenditures alone. According to the July 11 USA Today article, the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign has spent $59.6 million on ads in 17 closely contested states from March 3 through June 26, while the Kerry campaign has spent $56 million in the same states during the same period.

In the same FOX & Friends segment, co-hosts Kilmeade and Doocy questioned Teresa Heinz Kerry's loyalty to her husband's candidacy, referring to FOX News Channel senior political correspondent Carl Cameron's report the previous night on Special Report with Brit Hume, in which Cameron characterized a campaign trail comment by Heinz Kerry:

CAMERON: Teresa Heinz Kerry raised eyebrows with one of her trademarked 10-minute introductions of her husband in which she spoke almost entirely about herself and suggested that because of Kerry's political career, after nine years of marriage, she doesn't yet completely know her husband.

Heinz Kerry's actual comment was that she has "gotten to know John -- not enough -- since I [she] was married nine years ago."

From the July 13 edition of FOX & Friends:

KILMEADE: Did you see Carl Cameron's report on yesterday -- on the stump -- what it was like for John Kerry? Evidently Teresa Heinz ... introduced John Kerry without really talking to him, talked about herself most of the time and said she really -- she hasn't gotten to know him yet. They've been married nine years.

DOOCY: If she doesn't know him, how could she endorse him for president?

KILMEADE: That's a good point. Maybe she is up in the air.

During the same program, the hosts interviewed New York City's police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, about security plans for the upcoming Republican convention, and focused on reports that some protestors plan to disrupt the convention or interfere with security operations. According to the FOX & Friends co-hosts, the reports suggest that some black-garbed protesters might intentionally try to confound bomb-sniffing dogs by wearing clothes with traces of gunpowder, or use marbles to thwart the work of mounted police officers. After a commercial break, the discussion returned with a broader focus, and Kilmeade asked about convention protestors, "When is it okay to whack them around?" Kelly hesitated for a moment before responding, "Never." Apparently unsatisfied with Kelly's response, Kilmeade restated his question, asking, "If they're not moving, if they're threatening you, can you whack them around?" After Kelly repeated his response, Kilmeade made his own view clear: "I hate seeing these protests."

KILMEADE: When is it OK to whack them around?

KELLY: Never.

KILMEADE: If they are not moving, if they are threatening you, can you whack them around?

KELLY: No. No. No. Believe me, we do things according to the Constitution and laws of New York state. So that's not something we engage in.

[crosstalk]

KILMEADE: I hate seeing these protests.

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