FOX News Channel chief political correspondent Carl Cameron worked overtime on August 30 to quell conservative anxiety, after President George W. Bush commented earlier that day that "I don't think you can win" the war on terror.
On FOX News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume, while reporting Senator John Edwards's response to Bush's remark, Cameron qualified the president's statement in an apparent attempt to soften its implications:
CAMERON: [Senator John] Edwards seized on the president's suggestion this morning that he doesn't think that the war on terror can be won militarily, but that the U.S. can make it harder for terrorists to succeed worldwide.
But the president did not qualify his assertion with the word "militarily" when he delivered his remarks on NBC's Today show. During the August 30 interview, Bush said of the war on terror: "I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the -- those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world." The statement flatly contradicted an assertion he made just a month ago.
In contrast, Cameron overstated Edwards's criticism of Bush's comment. From FOX Report with Shepard Smith:
CAMERON: Senator Edwards ... specifically targeted the president for the suggestion that the war on terror cannot be won per se, and in an interview with FOX News he stopped just short of suggesting that the president's remarks constitute aiding and abetting the enemy. Here's how he put it:
EDWARDS [video clip]: It's a terrible thing to say. I mean, to suggest to terrorist groups around the world that America's president doesn't think we can win this war, it's just dead wrong. We can win this war. But we have to be aggressive, and not just aggressive rhetoric -- we have to be aggressive in a way that is strong and smart.