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Fox pushes debunked info in 'Osama' editorial cartoon
David Edwards and Jason Rhyne
Published: Monday September 17, 2007


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Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends morning program introduced a segment about MoveOn.org's controversial ad in the The New York Times by running a pointed--and inaccurate--editorial cartoon from the Sunday edition of the New York Post.

The cartoon, by Sean Delonas, depicts an ad-toting Osama Bin Laden, asking for "the same discount you gave MoveOn.org," from the Times advertising sales desk. The line refers to a complaint from Rudy Giuliani, who purchased an ad rebutting MoveOn's in the paper on Friday, suggesting that the liberal group got a sweetheart deal by paying only $65,000 for a full page at standby rates.

Advertising Age , however, reports that the MoveOn received no discount. "[A]t the end of the week, when he took out an ad in the Times advocating the opposite point of view, Giuliani paid the going rate for a full-page standby ad in the Times: $65,000."

"Catherine Mathis, a spokeswoman for the Times, said the paper does not set or adjust rates based on the political content of any ads," Advertising Age reported.

Later in the program, conservative Newsday columnist Jim Pinkerton clashed with Fox News contributor Ellen Ratner, trading barbs about the MoveOn and Giuliani ads.

Conceding that MoveOn's original ad, which read "GENERAL PETRAEUS OR GENERAL BETRAY US?," was not "necessarily sensible" for MoveOn "in terms of moving the middle of this country," Ratner suggested that the same went for Giuliani's response ad, published last Friday in the Times, which criticized the online group, as well as Sen. Hillary Clinton, for her questioning of Petraeus during the general's testimony before Congress.

"I don't think it accomplished what it was supposed to do," Ratner added.

"It was interesting," Pinkerton shot back, "that Ellen tries to conflate MoveOn, which trashes America and savages the US military; and Rudy Giuliani, who is running a political campaign; and tries to make those sound like the same thing."

"MoveOn trashed the US military in wartime," he continued. "That's kind of akin to treason...any Democrat with any brains would be the first to denounce them, even John Kerry can do that--although Hillary Clinton can't."

Referring to Giuliani's response ad, which cited Sen. Clinton's quote that Petraeus' report required "[t]he willing suspension of disbelief," Ratner asserted that the ad "took Sen. Clinton's words completely out of context...and made her look like a jerk..."

"True or false," Pinkerton bit back, "Hillary Clinton said to Petraeus, 'it requires a willing suspension of disbelief to believe you?"

After Ratner insisted that Clinton stood by Petraeus when it came to his honorable military service, Pinkerton interrupted, saying "I support you, Gen. Petraeus--but you're lying."

"Hillary voted for the war," he said later, "so she's gotta kinda keep on to that, but then she wants to play to the MoveOn base by trashing the war and trashing Petraeus."

This video is from Fox's Fox & Friends, broadcast on September 16.