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While Concealing Guest Tom DeLay’s Indictment For Money Laundering And Forgetting Instances Of His Own Deceit, Hannity Sermonizes About Media Integrity

Reported by Ellen - November 30, 2007 -

Predictably, Sean Hannity and his fellow Republicans had a hissy fit last night (11/29/07) accusing CNN of bias because some of the questioners in the previous night’s CNN/YouTube Republican presidential candidates’ debate were actually Democrats. Hannity got on his high horse and gave a hammy lecture about the importance of objectivity, honesty and fairness. Meanwhile, he lied outright about what he had just accused the Democrats of, conveniently forgot about instances of his own deceit and duplicity and at the same time concealed the money laundering indictment of his own guest right then and there. With video.

The first video below was Part 2 of a two-part segment with Tom DeLay and Harold Ford, Jr. about the debate. DeLay is currently under indictment for money laundering but “fair and balanced” FOX News didn’t seem to think that worth revealing to their audience while he and other guests whined that CNN didn’t reveal the Democratic affiliations of some of the questioners at the debate.

DeLay sounded almost deranged as he accused CNN of colluding with the Democrats and worse. “CNN should have tied each one of the candidates to a post and let Code Pink come in and beat ‘em with sticks. That’s what this whole debate was about…. We have people in the national media that are coordinating with Democrats and Democrat campaigns, either directly or indirectly and you saw it in evidence last night. That’s what this is about.”

That seemed to be too much conspiracy theory for even Hannity because he immediately changed the subject to Hillary’s chances for victory.

DeLay whined that “(Republicans) should have never showed up for this debate… They so orchestrated this thing so that the Republican candidates could not talk to the Republican Party about issues that were important to the people in the Republican Party. They covered up the whole thing!”

Alan Colmes pointed out that the questionable questioners raised the same issues that Republicans have used to raise money (gays, guns, etc.). “The very things that Republicans have for years used to raise money… why shouldn’t that be fodder for the debate?” It was a question that he asked repeatedly in both segments below. But he never got an answer beyond the obvious fact that Republicans just didn’t want Democrats asking them questions. Apparently, those “Great Americans” just can’t stand involvement by the majority of their countrymen who are Democrats.

Please note that in this video, Hannity referencess one of the unidentified Democratic questioners, Retired Brig. Gen. Keith Kerr, by saying, “Even though he’s on Hillary’s campaign payroll.” In the second video below, Hannity denies having said that.

In the next discussion (the second video), FOX used the “Cavuto mark” to “ask” whether or not Hillary Clinton planted Kerr’s question. (As they explore this "burning issue" about Clinton, don’t forget that Hannity & Colmes has yet to discuss the questions surrounding the costs for Rudy Giuliani’s security detail during his personal trips to the Hamptons while conducting his extra-marital affair there or his connection to an Al Qaeda associate in 2005.)

Jane Fleming Kleeb, the Democrat in this discussion (and a News Hounds top dog), did her usual excellent job. First, she confronted FOX on their bias by asking if they researched the videos at the Democratic CNN/YouTube debate to make sure that every questioner was actually a Democrat. Then she added, “The last time I checked, we’re a democracy. I’m a Democrat. If I want to vote for a Republican, I can. And I’m allowed to ask Republicans questions.”

Later, Kleeb got it dead right when she said, “At the end of the day, it’s just a question. …Why are you guys getting so riled up about a question? It amazes me that you guys continue to be so scared of the Clinton campaign. And that’s what this is really about, isn’t it?” As Hannity and Wilson clamored to disagree, Kleeb smiled and asked, “Then what else is it about? All you do is talk about Hillary’s campaign. It’s amazing.”

Hannity lied his way through the segment while complaining about CNN’s dishonesty. (Comment: I have repeatedly noticed that whenever Hannity complains about someone else’s behavior, it’s almost always a signal that he’s about to do exactly that, himself.) First, he interrupted Kleeb while she was speaking with Colmes to “correct” her assertion that he had said that Kerr was paid by Clinton. Then, despite the fact that FOX News’ Major Garrett specifically reported otherwise, Hannity asserted that Hillary Clinton “plants questions at her own town hall meetings to manipulate everybody to create the image that she’s so smart. She had the questions in advance.”

With his signature phony-baloney Hanctimony, Hannity went on lecture Kleeb about honesty and integrity in the media. “Let me tell you what you’re missing here. We now have two cable channels both openly and brazenly, you know, activist organizations for Democrats here. And, you know, the issue is objectivity, it’s about fairness, it’s about being honest with your audience. I don’t have a problem that James Carville is on CNN. James Carville’s a Hillary Clinton supporter. So what? He donates to Clinton campaign. He campaigns for her. I like conservatives. I like Republicans. It’s a matter of honesty. (CNN) put up on the screen multiple times “undecided voter” and with a little bit of work, considering this is YouTube, they would have discovered that those people in fact, were not who they said they were and in this case, this guy works for Hillary Clinton.”

(Hannity had just denied saying that Kerr worked for Clinton, remember?)

But since Hannity is so concerned about honesty, objectivity and fairness in the media, I thought this would be a good time to remind him that his own house could use a little tidying. Here are just a few examples:

** Last night was not the first time DeLay’s indictment was concealed. Last summer, FOX News hosted him on Hannity & Colmes – as an expert on Congressional ethics, no less – without feeling the need to clue their audience into his scandal-ridden history. There have been other instances as well.

** Three out of ten atmospheric sciences graduate students who participated in a Hannity & Colmes forum on a CNN special on global warming have alleged that FOX News misrepresented and distorted the participants' views and "wiped out" their "overwhelming neutral to favorable reaction" to the special. The students’ complaints were never aired on the show (unless it happaned while I was on vacation).

** Has the network apologized or even explained why the wife of its chief campaign correspondent, Carl Cameron, was campaigning for then-candidate George W. Bush? Not to my knowledge.

** And how about that Dr. Hammesfahr whom Hannity touted as a Nobel Prize nominee able to rehabilitate Terri Schiavo? Not only did Hannity not bother to find out that Hammesfahr’s “nomination” was informal and not official but he also never took the trouble to investigate Hammesfahr’s medical record. It seems the good doctor had been reprimanded, placed on probation and fined by the Florida Board of Medicine for charging a patient for services not rendered. Although this information was revealed by us, by Media Matters and was covered on Alan Colmes’ radio show, Sean Hannity has not, as far as I know, corrected the record on Dr. Hammesfahr. Indeed, the FOX News transcript of the interview still retains the misinformation.

So since they have voiced such concern and dedication to the truth, let’s ask Hannity and FOX News when we can expect full disclosures and corrections of their own omissions, distortions and untruths. Otherwise, they have no business pointing the finger at CNN.

You can reach Hannity at hannity@foxnews.com and FOX News at comments@foxnews.com.