Monday, August 6, 2007

Fox News Markets War Supporters as War Critics

During an August 5 interview on Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday with Brookings Institution scholars Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, authors of a July 30 New York Timesop-ed that argued in favor of continuing the Bush administration's Iraq war escalation "at least into 2008," host Chris Wallace introduced O'Hanlon and Pollack as "two critics of the way the Bush administration has conducted the war." But, as Media Matters for America has noted, both were influential proponents of the Iraq war before the invasion, and O'Hanlon wrote a column in support of President Bush's troop escalation, as Media Matters has also documented.

O'Hanlon wrote that, while "[c]ritics rightly argue that it may well be too little, way too late" for a troop increase, "for a skeptical Congress and nation, it is still the right thing to try -- as long as we do not count on it succeeding and we start working on backup plans even as we grant Bush his request." O'Hanlon added: "However mediocre its prospects, each main element of the president's plan has some logic behind it." O'Hanlon further argued that "the president wants to move in the right direction on economic reconstruction" and that he "is rightly telegraphing to Iraqi leaders that they must reach compromises with each other." O'Hanlon concluded that "for now, Congress should also give the president the money and support that he requests."

This is not the first time a Fox News host has asserted that O'Hanlon and Pollack were Iraq war critics who have now become more supportive of the war without noting their early support of the Iraq war or O'Hanlon's January 14 column. As Media Matters documented, during the July 30 broadcast of Fox News' Special Report, host and Fox News Washington managing editor Brit Hume described the two as "[a] pair of longtime opponents of President Bush's policies in Iraq."

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