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CNN: Fox takes heat from left and right over analyst

Fox takes heat from left and right over analysts
By: CNN Political Unit

(CNN) – It's rare that two media watchdogs – one on the left and one on the right – ever agree when it comes to assessing coverage on the cable news outlets.

But both the conservative Newsbusters and liberal Media Matters are aiming fire at Fox News' Geraldo Rivera and Judge Andrew Napolitano for recently suggesting the third building to fall on September 11, 2001 – 7 World Trade Center- may have collapsed for reasons beside the widely held belief that fire from the two World Trade Center towers nearby was the ultimate cause.

In a segment that aired on his program more than two weeks ago, Rivera reported on those who claim the building's collapse was more consistent with that which would occur from explosive devices.

"I'm certainly much more open-minded about it than I was," Rivera said of the alternate possibility for the building's fall.

Days later Napolitano – a legal analyst for Fox – said of the theory:

"It's hard for me to believe that [7 World Trade Center] came down by itself. I was gratified to see Geraldo Rivera investigating it. I'm gratified to see the people across the border interested.

"I think 20 years from now, people will look at 9/11 the way they look at the assassination of JFK today," he added, in an interview with radio host Alex Jones. "It couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us."

In a post on its Web site Tuesday, Newsbusters said the suggestion lacked any common sense and amounted to "moral repugnance."

"Just so Fox is clear about the people whom they've given soapboxes, Geraldo and the Judge are apparently unconvinced by physics, common sense, and the simple human decency of their elected officials," wrote Newsbuster's Lachlan Markay.

Meanwhile, Media Matters Eric Hananoki wrote: "Napolitano's belief in 9-11 conspiracy theories may make things awkward with his Fox News colleagues – especially Glenn Beck - who have denounced 9-11 conspiracy theories and those associating themselves with anyone making them."

A federal report in 2008 determined fires at the World Trade Center site ultimately spread to 7 World Trade Center and weakened critical floor beams and structural columns of the nearly-50 story building, leading to its collapse. The building– which housed offices of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Secret Service and the Giuliani administration's emergency response center - was completely evacuated at the time of its collapse.

Fox News did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

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