Dick Cheney- Corporate Criminal

Cheney Praises Fox News Channel
Vice President Calls Network 'More Accurate' Than Others

By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 30, 2004; Page A05

Vice President Cheney endorsed the Fox News Channel during a conference call last night with tens of thousands of Republicans who were gathered across the country to celebrate a National Party for the President Day organized by the Bush-Cheney campaign.

Fox News styles its coverage as "fair and balanced," but it has a heavy stable of conservative commentators that makes it a favorite around the White House. It is unusual for a president or vice president to single out a commercial enterprise for public praise.

The comment came as Cheney took questions from supporters at 5,245 parties that were held in 50 states to energize grass-roots volunteers building a precinct-by-precinct army for President Bush's campaign.

"It's easy to complain about the press -- I've been doing it for a good part of my career," Cheney said. "It's part of what goes with a free society. What I do is try to focus upon those elements of the press that I think do an effective job and try to be accurate in their portrayal of events. For example, I end up spending a lot of time watching Fox News, because they're more accurate in my experience, in those events that I'm personally involved in, than many of the other outlets."

Cheney, who recently was chosen by Bush's aides to address the National Rifle Association's national convention, is the leading ambassador to conservatives for the campaign and the administration. The vice president spoke live shortly after 8:30 p.m.

Cheers could be heard erupting behind an insurance representative from Johnson County, Iowa, as she began asking Cheney her question. She complained about "the inconsistencies that we see in the media" and asked him to "clarify some of the things that are happening in Iraq that really are good but just never get through the media."

Cheney told the questioner he has "experienced the same kind of frustration you have."

"The fact is that we spend a lot of time talking to a broad range of people out there to make sure we've got a good fix on what's going on," Cheney said. "You can't simply rely just upon the press coverage. The situation today is clearly -- we've made enormous progress when you think about where we came from a little over a year ago. Saddam Hussein was in power. Tonight, he's in jail. His sons are dead. The government is gone. It's been taken down. The extent to which you had a regime there that hosted terrorists over the years and also pursued and used weapons of mass destruction -- that's all been dramatically changed."

Campaign manager Ken Mehlman opened the call by saying : "Our opponent, John Kerry, has a very different approach than going after the terrorists and continuing forward on economic recovery." Mehlman said the participants can "set up future parties for the president at any time, for any day of your choosing" and said the campaign will organize another nationwide party in mid-July.

Hosts were sent packets that included volunteer signup sheets, bumper stickers, and a video message and letter from Bush. Some organizers served refreshments in their homes, and others hosted events in restaurants, churches and community centers. The roster included 420 parties in Florida, 286 in Pennsylvania, 199 in Missouri, 197 in Wisconsin and 157 in Iowa.

Kerry, a Massachusetts senator, has announced a National House Party Day for May 22.

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