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Hannity Ready To Pronounce Obama's Presidency A Failure

Reported by Ellen - March 11, 2009 -

Those “we like America” folks at FOX News were spreading a lot of hate on last night's (3/10/09) Hannity, “a special on President Obama's first 50 days!” as FOXNews.com described it. Predictably, “Great American” Sean Hannity marked this “milestone” with a slew of extra-venomous slurs. It began with a supposedly neutral review of Obama's campaign promises that just happened to focus on ones he hasn't kept and ignored the important ones that he has. Correspondent Ainsley Earhardt was lavish with her disapproval and less than stringent with her facts. With video.

In a segment that FOXNews.com called “510 Empty Promises?” Earhardt basically copied work that was done by Politifact and added some anti-Obama comments. On a large screen, she showed what purported to be a representation of Politifact's “Obameter” but added a bouncing, goofily-smiling Obama head, like a minstrel or carnival figure. On Politifact, the Obama face is serious and presidential.

According to Politifact, Obama has kept 17 of his 513 promises that Politifact has catalogued; 40 are in the works; 3 are stalled; he has broken 2 and compromised on 7. No action has been taken on 440. Not bad for someone so new to office and with so many challenges on his plate. But Earhardt accentuated the negatives and overlooked the positives.

She pointed out “to be fair” that Obama still has about 1400 days left in his term but “some of those promises in the 'no action' category could have seen, we think, some action by now.” Earhardt said.

Somehow, “We report, you decide” Earhardt completely omitted discussing the promises that Obama has kept. They include such items as: “direct military leaders to end the war in Iraq,” “create a foreclosure prevention fund for homeowners,” “create a White House office on Urban Policy,” and “ban lobbyist gifts to executive employees.” While overlooking those meaty issues, Earhardt carped, as Obama's minstrelly head bobbed, that Obama had not kept his promise to immediately phase out incandescent light bulbs.

Without bothering to report why that promise may not have been kept, Earhardt opined, “It's a pretty simple task to implement, given it could save all of us Americans six BILLION (her emphasis) dollars a year.” Politifact rated that a “no action.” But, Earhardt, added, “After 50 days with no action, we count that as a promise broken.” I'm surprised that Obama's head didn't explode on the screen. Instead, a large, red, “PROMISE BROKEN” erupted.

Earhardt also gave an unfair and unbalanced review of Obama's promise to go “line by line to make sure we are not spending money unwisely.” Politifact rated that a compromise because Obama made sure no earmarks were in the stimulus bill (half of the bills he has put forth). He allowed them in the omnibus budget because, as Politifact noted, “they came from a budget process that mostly took place before Obama was elected. But White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said March 2 that Obama will soon be outlining his policy on handling earmarks.”

“Fair and balanced” Earnhardt didn't bother to report why Obama had allowed the earmarks. Nor did she reveal that Obama will soon put forth an earmark policy for going forward. Instead, Earhardt echoed the GOP/FOX News talking points that Obama had promised no earmarks, and called this a “promise broken” as well. “Because when you say 'no earmarks,' that means absolutely no earmarks.”

Except, Ainsley, Obama did not say, “no earmarks.” He promised to reform the process.

Earhardt also changed Politifact's “no action” to “promise broken” for Obama's promise to enforce pay-as-you-go budget rules. After 50 days, time's up! Earhardt said, “It's just a no-brainer to us, at least, with a projected deficit in the trillions now.”

Earhardt moved on to Obama's promise to expand the earned income tax credits. Politifact said, “Obama has fulfilled two of the three aspects of this promise, so it's a substantial portion of his original pledge, but not everything he said he would do. For now, we're going to rate it Compromise, but we'll be watching future budgets to see if the tax credit is expanded or scaled back, in which case we might need to change our ruling.”

Two out of three was not good enough for Earhardt! She overlooked the fact that Obama had expanded the credit to married couples so that they don't face a “marriage penalty" and then suggested that the credit had only been extended to couples with three or more children. “What about all those workers out there without children? Sorry, not for you.” Another promise broken, Earhardt ruled.

Earhardt quickly noted that Obama's promise to work with the UN on climate change is “in the works." No surprise that the one unbroken promise (and it's not even a "promise kept") she reported on is one that conservatives wouldn't like.

As for the last promise covered, to make the White House communications public, Politifact rates it as “no action.” That was too neutral for Earhardt. “Look at this. We're still waiting on that one,” she clucked.

Earhardt went on to say, “We're not trying to say that he's broken all of his campaign promises.” Nooo, of course not! Just most of the ones we want to discuss.

And then, for some more fair and balanced review of Obama's first 50 days and, as Sean Hannity said, “some of these broken promises,” he brought on Karl Rove.

In true Rovian fashion of attacking someone's strength, he spent a great deal of time attacking Obama for his reliance on a teleprompter “for everything,” saying that it proves “he's weak on his feet.” Nobody mentioned that Obama won each of his debates with John McCain without a teleprompter and he did a fine job in his recent press conference, too.

“It's sad,” Hannity said with a jubilant face. “The reason he stayed on message throughout the campaign is 'cause he had the teleprompter following him everywhere.”

They moved on to attack Nancy Pelosi for using her private jet too much.

There was very little talk about Obama's promises.

More on this show coming up.