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Sean Hannity as Expert Economic Advisor

Reported by Melanie - July 12, 2005

Subtitle: One of the top ten most propagandistic segments I've seen on Fox News in the year and a half I've monitored it.

Neil Cavuto's first guest today was none other than Sean Hannity! Apparently Cavuto couldn't find anyone else to come on to lay as thick a layer of bulls*it as Hannity did.

Ah yes, Sean Hannity. I didn't know he was an expert at economics but hey, given the drop in his ratings, he might be branching out, right? You know, expanding his BS capabilities.

Cavuto opened the show with a FOX NEWS ALERT. He listed the day's bombings and said, "In the face of all this bad news, Wall Street, defying oddsmakers and moving higher. Day by day, again today. Good news like deficits shrinking [Dollar Declines on Expectations U.S. Trade Deficit Near Record], amid tax revenues rising [Tax Revenues Strengthen State Budgets (read the fine print)], and almost all economic data improving. You're not hearing a lot about Wall Street's resilience, or the economy for that matter, unless you listen to this next guy, who's actually a mini-economy in his own right, but I digress. I'm talking about mega-talk show host, TV star and multiple bestseller, Sean Hannity.

"Sean, you know, you've been talking about these trends that weren't getting a lot of attention, but this is amazing, what's happening both with the economy and with the market. What do you make of it? (From Fox's own web site: Year to date, however, the Dow is still down 3.10 percent, the S&P 500 is exactly flat, and the Nasdaq is down 2.88 percent.)

Hannity: "It is the single most under-reported story in American today, Neil." For example, "Friday, the jobless rate fell to 5% in June. It's the lowest rate since 2001." [Reuters: [U]nemployment rate fell to its lowest since September 2001 as few people joined the labor force. ] The "most interesting number, Federal tax revenues rebounded at a rate of 15%" this year. [Interestingly (wink wink), the White House was pushing this today too. Reuters.] "It is blowing away all the expectations that anybody had coming into this year and in the past two years."

Sean, breathless and jumping up and down in his chair at his radio studio, continued: "The model that Reagan created back in the l980's has been duplicated by George W. Bush." The "very critics that didn't want the President to cut taxes" are "wrong again." Hannity said, "Reagan doubled revenues in eight years," [The Gipper's Economy], and "in three years we're gonna cut red ink out faster than anybody thought we would. The numbers are phenomenal! But, nobody talks about the good news in the economy, the good news in the jobless front, and how this whole nation is prospering."

Cavuto: "Why aren't we hearing the deficit news in particular Sean, political sides notwithstanding? It is very good news. It is encouraging news. We still have these deficits but they're not nearly as bad as we thought, and as a percentage of GDP they're way down from what they were." [What? According to the Congressional Budget Office, the deficit as as a percentage of GDP is steadily climbing.]

Hannity: The problem is that "there's always this lag." With Reagan's tax cuts, "it took the next five years to get the real benefits from those tax cuts because the tax cuts spur investments. It takes a little lag time to create the jobs, the jobs create revenues for the Federal government. In eight years Reagan went from $500 billion to $1 trillion. Similarly with George W. Bush." This year alone, "we'll have a 4% growth rate," even with oil at "60 bucks a barrel, which is a phenomenal feat inside itself." But, "once again, the Reagan model has proven successful."

Cavuto: "Here's what's being duplicated too," and that is congressional spending. "Congress gets and spends everything that comes in."

Hannity: "It is the single biggest problem that this administration faces. If they don't get ahold of spending they risk taking all of this success and ruining it." Reagan had "the toughest time with this as well. The President is having a tough time with this." This is in "large part because we're also at war and that increases spending on the revenue side." Hannity said, "If they control spending, if they reduce the rate of growth to below inflation, you will see economic prosperity for decades to come and this model will now have been duplicated three times, Kennedy [?], Reagan and now Bush and it's something for the history books. Really. It's a profound development." (Paul Krugman: "We've become a Banana Republic.")

Comment: Folks, this pure, unadulterated propaganda. These are a "pack of lies," as George Galloway would say. When history is written about these times, Fox News will be compared to the Pravda of the l950's and 60's. As they say, the Communists had Pravda, the Republicans have Fox.

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