“Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade spent the weekend in Houston enjoying the Super Bowl. On Sunday, he tracked down General Peter Pace, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who recently returned from Iraq, for an interview.

Staged on the sidelines of the playing field, the interview aired on Monday’s edition of “Fox & Friends.” And Fox News tossed “fair and balanced” out the window with this little stunt: As a video montage flashed across the screen displaying images of the Democratic Presidential frontrunners Gen. Wes Clark, Sen. John Kerry, Sen. John Edwards, and Gov. Howard Dean, Kilmeade asked Pace this loaded question:

“On some level when you hear from a candidate that the threat is overstated of terrorism and the threat on the American people, what’s your reaction?”

Cute. But there’s one problem with Fox’s presentation: Not one of the Democratic Presidential candidates in question has ever made such a charge.

This all stems from last Thursday’s Democratic debate when moderator Tom Brokaw asked Sen. John Kerry if he thought the Bush administration had exaggerated the threat of terrorism. Kerry responded that if there was an exaggeration, it came in the Bush administration’s pre-war claims that Saddam Hussein possessed and was ready to use weapons of mass destruction. Since even high-ranking administration officials have been recently backing away from pre-war estimates of Iraq’s chemical, biological and nuclear capacity, Kerry’s statement was hardly surprising.

Sen. Edwards, in particular, went out of his way during the debate to say that, “It’s just hard for me to see how you can say there’s an exaggeration when thousands of people lost their lives on September the 11th.”

Thomas Lang

Thomas Lang was a writer at CJR Daily.