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On the January 16 edition of Fox News' Your World, host Neil Cavuto asked if The New York Times is "in mourning again" as a result of the recent hanging deaths of Saddam Hussein's half brother and another Saddam deputy, or as Cavuto put it, "because murderers in Iraq face justice." As Media Matters for America noted, Your World guest host Stuart Varney had suggested on December 29 that The New York Times mourned the death of Saddam Hussein. The conduct of the hangings has met with widespread criticism, including President Bush's statement in a January 16 interview that the Iraqi government had "fumbled" the executions.
To begin the segment, Cavuto introduced Greg Gutfeld "of the dailygut.com" and Brigitte Gabriel, president and founder of the American Congress for Truth, claiming that they "want to know why The New York Times is such a big advocate for convicted mass murderers in Iraq." Gutfeld said that he does not know why the Times "keep[s] calling it a botched execution," adding: "It's not a botched execution if somebody dies." When Cavuto noted that Saddam's half brother's "head came off," Gutfeld added: "But it's not like he's going to need it."
Gutfeld later claimed "that The New York Times is worried about a dwindling readership" because "[f]rankly, almost all people on death row are liberals, so every time somebody is executed, they lose a reader." After Gutfeld asserted that "I don't think it's all right to judge on how they execute their criminals," Cavuto claimed that the executions were a result of "a sovereign government doing its own thing." Yet moments later, Gabriel contradicted their assessments without challenge, saying that "if this was a truly Iraqi execution without the influence of the civilized United States, these guys would be hanged in town square with people throwing their shoes at them."
Gabriel also claimed that "[t]he rest of the Arabic world is not really bothered by" the executions and that it doesn't "give a darn" about them. She claimed to have "looked at all the Arabic media," saying that it is "a nonstory." However, one day later, on January 17, the Times reported that "according to experts across the region":
The botched hanging of Saddam Hussein and two lieutenants in Iraq by its Shiite-led government has helped to accelerate Sunni-Shiite sectarianism across an already fragile Middle East.
Media Matters has also noted that Cavuto falsely claimed that the Times has provided "[l]ots of coverage of his death. No coverage of the deaths that led to it."
From the January 16 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
CAVUTO: Is The New York Times in mourning again because murderers in Iraq face justice? Now, you remember the daily headlines that were whining about Saddam's hanging. It didn't end there, apparently. Now I read today's New York Times, it says that the hanging of two others, including Saddam's half brother, went awry because that half brother, well, he was decapitated in the hanging, which is generally not good for the person who is hanged.
My next two guests want to know why The New York Times is such a big advocate for convicted mass murderers in Iraq anyway. With us now is Greg Gutfeld. Greg is of the dailygut.com, and Brigitte Gabriel, the author of the best-seller Because They Hate [St. Martin's Press, September 2006]. By the way, we did call The New York Times again and again on this issue. They declined an invitation to appear. Greg what do you think of this?
GUTFELD: Well, I don't know why they keep calling it a botched execution. It's not a botched execution if somebody dies. And it wasn't very slow. It was fast. You know, there was a glitch. I'll admit there was a glitch. But, all in all, it was what you'd expect in an execution.
CAVUTO: The glitch where the half brother's head came off. Which generally doesn't happen.
GUTFELD: Yeah, exactly. But it's not like he's going to need it.
CAVUTO: Brigitte, what do you think?
GABRIEL: He made a great comment. And you know, Neil, it seems like this story is a bigger story in the Western media than it is in the Arabic media. The rest of the Arabic world is not really bothered. It seems like The New York Times and the Western press, who just is shocked at this, is making a bigger story of it.
The guy is dead, he is gone, he was a murderer. They just miscalculated the length of the rope and his weight. Mistakes like this happen. He is not the first person to be hung for his head to be severed. Many instances like this happened before. This is usual in the Arabic world, and it's not that big of a deal.
CAVUTO: But I think the paper's point was -- and, Greg, help me with this -- is how it looks in the Arab world. And that it can't look good when these executions seem so disorderly. What do you make of that?
GUTFELD: Yeah. And the thing is, I'm not an expert on executions, so I don't think it's all right to judge on how they execute their criminals. That's, you know, cultural --
CAVUTO: They're doing it. In other words, a sovereign government doing its own thing.
GUTFELD: Yeah, we have no right to judge that. I just think The New York Times has become an apologist for America. They have to apologize on behalf of everything they perceive that America does is bad, and it's just kind of ridiculous.
CAVUTO: Brigitte, is there this feeling of anger that's building in the Arab world that the Times states?
GABRIEL: Neil, there is anger in the Arabic world no matter what. And it's actually the Arabic world when you look at --
CAVUTO: In other words, they hated us before this, they hate us after this?
GABRIEL: They hated us before this, they hate us after. This is not going to change anything. And actually this was very organized considering other executions in the Arabic world. If this was a truly Iraqi execution without the influence of the civilized United States, these guys would be hanged in town square with people throwing their shoes at them.
CAVUTO: Maybe that should have been done. And I think --
CAVUTO: I'm wondering, Gary, in retrospect whether this should have been handled like a Mussolini kind of situation. And the fact that it wasn't is what has made this bad
GUTFELD: I don't know. I just think that The New York Times is worried about a dwindling readership. Frankly, almost all people on death row are liberals, so every time somebody is executed they lose a reader.
CAVUTO: OK. Brigitte, now, The New York Times, I sometimes think, just likes to mess with folks, because they can't seriously think that killing some bad people is going to be globally disruptive, unless they want to mess with guys like you.
GABRIEL: They're not going to be globally disruptive; nobody gives a darn in the Arabic world. I looked at all the Arabic media today, it's almost a nonstory. They expect this. Actually, the executioners of Saddam Hussein begged the American government for 48 hours, these attorneys, begged America not to turn them over to the Iraqis because they knew, they knew what the Arabs are going to do to the other Arabs. So The New York Times needs to get off the story.
CAVUTO: All right, and Greg you're canceling your subscription?
GUTFELD: Absolutely. I've stopped reading it.
CAVUTO: All right. Greg, while we're on the subject, Brigitte, thank you very much. And the folks at The New York Times, you're always welcome on this show. So Gray Lady, come on Your World.