Hannity blames Sen. Charles Schumer For US Airways Crash
Reported by Ellen - January 18, 2009 -
Sean Hannity, ever on the lookout for new ways to smear Democrats, achieved a creative breakthrough last night (1/17/09) on a special weekend edition of his new solo show. Without bothering to investigate any other facts beyond Senator Charles Schumer's 2004 earmark for a group called GeesePeace, Hannity and FOX News were ready to allege that Schumer is to blame for the crash of the US Airways flight last week. Later in the program, Hannity warned that if it happens again, Schumer would be responsible for any ensuing deaths. In concert with Hannity's smear, a banner on the screen read, “Buck stops at Chuck?” With video.
Hannity first accused Schumer during the “Hannity's America” portion of the show. It's similar to O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo but focused on smearing Democrats.
SH: Back in 2004, the New York Senator saw to it that a $200,000 earmark went to GeesePeace. Now, this is an animal rights group that devotes itself to saving Canada geese through non-lethal methods. Now, this was Schumer's attempt to solve the problem of overpopulation of geese, some of which live on Riker's Island. That's directly in the flight path of La Guardia airport. Now, the perilous result of this plan was seen on Thursday when the same breed of geese, Canada geese, downed US Airways flight 1549. Now, maybe our lawmakers should focus on preventing such tragedies rather than empowering groups that seem to care more about the birds than the safety of Americans.
That's when the “Buck stops at Chuck?” banner appeared on the screen.
There was no spokesperson from GeesePeace, no investigation by the “We report, you decide” network about what the money went for, the ways in which GeesePeace works on alternative solutions to what they call “wildlife conflicts,” their success or effectiveness or whether there had been an increase or decrease in threats to aviation from the geese population since 2004. The official investigation into the cause of the crash is still ongoing, too.
But Hannity never seems to need any kind of investigation before he starts wagging his finger of accusation at Democrats. Later in the show, he was almost ready to indict Schumer. During the so-called “Great American Panel” portion, Hannity said, “We find out Chuck Schumer gets an earmark, $200,000, you know, to go to GeesePeace, a group that wants to, you know, save the geese. And I'm like, 'Get rid of the geese so that humans can live!'”
The “Great American” panel was once again a snoozer. It featured actress Siobhan Fallon, who is right up there with Meat Loaf in the “Does anybody care what this guest thinks?” department.
Fallon laughed uproariously at Hannity's attack, then launched into an uninteresting anecdote designed only to show how much anti-environmentalism mojo she's got. “I'm not a bird person. I had two birds. I didn't care when they both died... It's ridiculous, the amount of money they get for the birds!”
Hannity replied ominously, “If this happens again because we didn't get rid of the geese this time, then whoever's responsible for not doing it is going to be responsible for the deaths of people in these airplanes.”
So did the Democrat on the panel, Doug Schoen, leap out of his seat with indignation at the unfounded insinuation by a cable news host that Senator Schumer should be labeled a murderer? No, Schoen leapt at the opportunity to prove he was on Hannity's side. “Which is why we've got to get rid of earmarks,” Schoen replied amicably. “The geese and the earmarks,” he joked. “It is (madness).” Then later, when Hannity said that the geese protectors were all Democrats, Schoen said laughingly, “It's tough to make geese a partisan issue, Sean.”
But, of course, Hannity had just done exactly that. And “Democrat” Schoen either hadn't noticed or hadn't cared.