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Hannity Takes Biden Quote Out Of Context To Suggest He And Geithner Are At Odds

Reported by Ellen - January 23, 2009 -

Sean Hannity is so desperate to malign Barack Obama that he reached a new low in reality altering last night (1/22/09) on his television show. He and FOX News made an inapt juxtaposition of quotes about taxes by Joseph Biden and Timothy Geithner in order to suggest some kind of feud between them. In fact, the quotes were about two separate issues (Obama's tax plan and Geithner's personal taxes). Furthermore, despite the hype, neither Hannity nor FOX offered any evidence of any rift or disagreement between Biden and Geithner. With video.

First, Hanity took Biden's September, 2008 comment in which the then Vice Presidential candidate said to ABC's Kate Snow, “It's time to be patriotic, Kate. Time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help America out of the rut, and the way to do that is they're still gonna pay less taxes than they did under Reagan."

Biden was talking about Obama's tax plan to roll back the Bush tax cuts which would mean an increase for the wealthiest Americans. He was not talking about any individual tax issues.

That was followed by a video showing Geithner telling Congress what a mistake it was not to have paid all his taxes in 2001-2004. Geithner said he should have avoided making that mistake. “I regret those mistakes,” he also said.

Geithner never objected to being subject to those taxes, never suggested (at least not in the clips shown) that he disagreed with Biden's assessment that it's patriotic to pay taxes. It's probably safe to assume that Geithner supports Obama's tax plan. If there's evidence that he does not, THAT would be big news.

Similarly, FOX News showed no evidence to indicate Biden had any disagreement with Geithner at all.

Nevertheless, the FOX News producers made up the following banner on the television screen during the clips of Biden and Geithner: “Biden and Geithner butt heads on paying taxes.”

After the clips, Hannity said, “Now, let me get this straight. If the vice president thinks that someone who pays his taxes is patriotic, well, what does that make someone who fails to pay his taxes and made mistake after mistake after mistake when doing so? Now, Mr. Biden, are you calling the Treasury Secretary designate unpatriotic?”

In a word: No.