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No Retraction On Hannity & Colmes Of False Attacks On Moyers

Reported by Ellen - April 26, 2007 -

There was no acknowledgement on last night’s (4/25/07) Hannity & Colmes that the repeated attacks against Bill Moyers the night before for using “taxpayer dollars” to make his Buying Iraq documentary were false. There’s no way FOX News was unaware of the truth. I emailed Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes and FOX News with the information earlier in the day. Also, as Deborah posted, Bill O’Reilly retracted the same claim on his 4/25 show prior to Hannity & Colmes. But not only was the correction missing from H&C, the video of the original discussion remains on FOXNews.com with the baseless charges intact.

The 4/24/07 discussion on Hannity & Colmes accused Moyers at least five times of using public funds to make his PBS documentary critical of the media’s role (including FOX News) in the run-up to the Iraq war.

During the introduction, Alan Colmes said, “The fact is, (Moyers’) work is done on the taxpayers’ dime.”

Sean Hannity: I gotta be honest here. What’s wrong with all this – I don’t really care a - nobody cares what Bill Moyers says. He’s irrelevant. But it’s the fact that tax dollars are gonna be used here, Brent Bozell.

Guest Brent Bozell said, “That’s right.” Bozell is president of the Media Research Center, which put out its own false and as-yet unretracted claim about the funding of Moyers' project.

Hannity: Let him go do it on his own. I don’t want to pay for his left-wing propaganda film here.

Bozell, after claiming that Moyers can’t find work anywhere else other than PBS said, “What he’s doing is, he’s making the American taxpayer, that wants nothing to do with him, pay for him to go on the air with these kind (sic) of stuff.”

Nevertheless, the vain Hannity couldn’t resist playing a clip from the film he never stopped complaining about. “Again, taxpayer dollars paying for him to do this… He cuts up the tape anyway he wants it and we pay for it.”

Bozell also complained that Moyers did not allow “the other side to have a voice.”

In fact, the very next day, Moyers told Amy Goodman, during an interview on Democracy Now, “I asked to be interviewed, people who had gone along with the war, who helped promote the war, people like Roger Ailes, the president of FOX News; columnists like Charles Krauthammer, who was one of the hawkest of the -- one of the most ferocious of the hawks; William Kristol, who edits the Weekly Standard, which had become a kind of mouthpiece of the Pentagon and the neoconservative argument for war. They didn’t want to talk.” As I wrote in my original post, The Orlando Sentinel also reported that Roger Ailes had turned down Moyers’ request for an interview. So who was really preventing the conservative voice from being heard in the documentary?

As his interview turned to the role of government funding of PBS, Moyers also told Goodman, “I don’t take public -- my new series does not have public money in it. I didn't take any money from CPB or any money from PBS. I raised it all from foundations and corporations that believe in the independence of journalism.”

A similar statement was made by Moyers’ colleague Ric Burns and read by Bill O’Reilly on his show.

You can email FOX News at hannity@foxnews.com, colmes@foxnews.com and comments@foxnews.com.

Video of the 4/24/07 Hannity & Colmes segment below.