Friday, April 11, 2003

D'oh! Well, so much for the weapons-grade plutonium. The Fox News Channel -- which yesterday was breathlessly hyping a report that US Marines may have found "weapons-grade plutonium" in a facility south of Baghdad -- is now running an AP report on its website that puts the matter in a very different light.

It appears that the Americans, with Homer Simpson-like regard for the hazards of nuclear material, may have broken the seal on a cache of low-grade uranium that was already known to the UN weapons inspectors.

Fox News's source yesterday was Carl Prine, an embedded reporter for Richard Mellon Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Here's his story today, which seems to be a measured and responsible account of the situation.

As far as I've been able to tell, Fox News is the only major news outlet to hype this inflammatory piece of non-news. Is this fair and balanced reporting?

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