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In Hannity’s America, Old News Gets Recycled

Reported by Chrish - November 26, 2007 -

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla

Last night’s (November 25th), “Hannity’s America” could have been a page from the Republican National Committee as Hannity, once again, did a hit piece on Senator Hillary Clinton. But one questions if this show was a “repeat” or whether Hannity and staff do the stories months before they appear, as the Clinton bashing segment and a John Edwards bashing segment were clearly done in the latter part of the summer of 2007. But as the goal of anything done by Sean Hannity is for the propaganda effect, who cares about the timeliness of reports that seem to be “old news.” It’s possible that Hannity’s fans might not have even noticed the time lag.

Hannity did a segment about John Edwards’ investments in companies that were foreclosing on homes in New Orleans. Old news, as Edwards has since divested in Fortress and despite Hannity’s attempt to say that Edwards was doing nothing to help these families, Edwards has contributed $100,000 to ACORN, a non profit organization whose purpose is to assist those who have been foreclosed. (Comment: if college drop out Hannity were a real journalist, he would have done an “update” after the segment to set the record straight; but details, details!)

The perfunctory hit piece on Clinton concerned what Hannity felt was her “flip flopping” on the war. He showed a clip of Clinton’s speech before the war resolution vote, saying that “if Saddam Hussein were left unchecked, he would develop nuclear weapons.” He later claimed that Clinton said that Saddam “had” nuclear weapons. While showing a photo of Legolas aiming an arrow at some Lord of the Rings villain, Hannity said that “in an effort to appease the appeasers and hold off the left wing barbarians at the gate, she decided to criticize the war.” (Comment: “barbarians?” When did the anti war crowd pillage Washington, DC?) Hannity claimed that Clinton voted against the Levin Amendment which “urged diplomacy.” Once again, Hannity wasn’t being accurate as the Levin Amendment required that the president obtain the approval of the UN Security Council before launching a military strike. Clinton’s reasons for opposing it are quoted here. Hannity then claimed that Clinton joined the “cut and run crowd” because she was in a crowd of “presidential wannabees (Comment: just like the Republicans?) who want to pull the country further to the left than any time since 1972.” He worked in the perfunctory reference to the “San Francisco” speaker. He declared that “the rocky beach of politics is no place to wear flip flops.” (Comment: tell that to Mitt Romney and your pal Rudy whose positions seem to be evolving.)

Hannity took more material from his RNC playbook when he claimed that Clinton engaged in “defeatist rhetoric” when she joined with Senator Obama in voting against “funding the troops.” (Comment: a typically disingenuous way to describe a bill that attempted to set some goalposts for a war which doesn’t have any). Hannity does like his metaphors with his RNC talking points as shown by “last spring the left wing kooks were coming for her with torches and pitchforks and she gave them what they wanted. A little defeatism goes a long way.” (Comment: about 70% of Americans who want us out of Iraq are “left wing kooks?”) But I realized that this was old news when Hannity said “now that it’s August and polls show upward movement in the president’s opinion polls…” (Comment: right, Bush goes from 29 to 31 which is where he’s still hovering!) Hannity then showed Clinton stating that progress was being made in some areas of Iraq and claimed that Clinton has come “full circle.” (Comment: saying that the troop surge has not lead to a political solution in Iraq isn’t exactly in line with what the administration is saying.)

Comment: Obviously this edition of “Hannity’s America” was not current and that is the problem with rerunning political shows, if that is the case. But in the interests of journalistic accountability, one would expect that at some point in the show, Hannity could have done an update. But Fox is not real journalism and if there are certain messages and phrases to be communicated, who cares about accuracy?!

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla