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Hannity Presents Unfair, Unbalanced Account of Chris Dodd And AIG Bonuses

Reported by Ellen - March 17, 2009 -

Sean Hannity was so eager to smear Democrats, in general, and Senator Chris Dodd, in particular, over AIG bonuses that he gave only a cursory, half-baked review of the facts. As a headline read, "Caught Red Handed," Hannity almost completely ignored Senator Dodd's explanation for the "bonus protection" he supposedly placed in the stimulus bill and all but declared Dodd responsible for the bonuses. With video.

At the beginning of tonight's Hannity, he announced, "Democratic Senator Chris Dodd slipped an amendment into the stimulus package last month that protected bonuses agreed to before February 11, 2009, meaning the AIG bonuses, and Senator Dodd tells FOX News this evening that he wasn't responsible for - well, the February deadline. But come on, isn't he still a friend of Angelo who got him that special mortgage deal? Well, now Dodd is trying to cover his tracks by proposing a new tax on the bonuses paid by AIG, an attempt to undo his own damage. Of course, it is worth mentioning that Dodd is also the largest recipient of AIG political contributions, with more than $100,000 in the 2008 cycle."

What Hannity never explained (and there was no balancing guest on the show), is that Dodd's original amendment did not include protection for bonuses. Indeed, as Media Matters notes, it included restrictions on executive compensation. The amendment was later modified in conference and put into the final bill with that modification. Dodd says it occurred without his knowledge. Foxbusiness.com included these details in its rundown of the situation. Why wouldn't Hannity unless his main goal was to smear Dodd? Granted, smearing Democrats is Hannity's "claim to fame," but what's "fair and balanced, we report you decide" FOX News' excuse?