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Hannity Upset Dodd's Opponent Won't Call Him “A Lying Weasel”

Reported by Ellen - March 31, 2009 -

Senator Chris Dodd is in the FOX News crosshairs. Nowhere was that more evident than on last night's (3/30/09) Hannity which featured another unfair, unbalanced and biased hit job disguised as a news report from Ainsley Earhardt. That turned out to be a set up for an interview with a likely Republican opponent, state senator Sam Calagiuri. But, apparently, the candidate was not appreciative enough of Hannity's efforts on his behalf and refused to call Dodd "a lying weasel" at Hannity's prompting. Hannity, increasingly frustrated with Calagiuri's refusal to engage in personal attacks, finally sputtered, "I don't think you're being strong enough out of the box. Senator!" With video.

As a cartoon image of Dodd with an oversized head bobbed unflatteringly on the screen, Earhardt trilled that “many people (are) asking, if he's even fit to serve in government.” Earhardt never bothered to identify who those people are, whether they're Republicans, Democrats or just the people she's eager to please at FOX News.

As she spoke, the crackerjack FOX News team posted a banner that read, “Chris Dodd serves as chairman of Seante (sic) Banking Committee."

After noting that Dodd had criticized the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because, he supposedly said, they were in “good shape,” she quickly added that Fannie and Freddie were “heavily investing in the Democratic Party. Some speculate Dodd's responses were bought.” Once again, she didn't bother to explain who those "some" were.

Earhardt offered more innuendoes against Dodd, including that he bought a house in Ireland “with a friend who had ties to Bear Stearns executive Edward Downe,” convicted of insider trading and later pardoned by the Clinton administration, “thanks in small part by a letter written by a Senator – Chris Dodd.”

Earhardt also said accusingly that Dodd's wife “was a director for three years at a company controlled by AIG.” But Earhardt forgot to mention that Jackie Clegg Dodd left that company five years ago. Senator Dodd says AIG had only a minority investment in the company and sold its share back in 2006, and that its controversial financial products division had no ties whatsoever. But none of that information made its way into Earhardt's report.

Indeed, “fair and balanced” Earhardt made no evident attempt to get Dodd's side of the story, much less offer it. Instead, she concluded by throwing up her arms and saying, “The evidence is all there, guys. These are just facts I'm reporting, including Chris Dodd's approval rating, which is taking a hit in Connecticut.” She couldn't have looked more pleased.

The graphic behind her read, “Chris Dodd's greed.”

Although Hannity ordinarily takes a break between segments, the show moved immediately to the interview with State Senator Sam Calagiuri who is “leaning strongly to run against” Dodd.

As Hannity began the interview, the banner read, “Examining the many financial scandals surrounding Sen. Dodd.”

“Is (Dodd) a lying weasel?” Hannity asked, referring to how the New Haven Register had supposedly characterized Dodd. “Did he lie to the people of Connecticut?”

Calagiuri was obviously uncomfortable with that description. “I think that he has lost touch with the people of Connecticut.”

Hannity bristled with the kind of impatience normally reserved for Democrats. “I didn't ask you if he lost touch. Did he lie to the people of Connecticut – now this is going to be an important question... Did he tell the truth or consciously lie?”

“I'm not going to step in his shoes and tell you one way or another what he did,” Calagiuri said. He added that all he knows is that Dodd changed his story.

“You're joining the political world,” Hannity said condescendingly, suggesting that he, the important talk show host, was more of an expert than the politician already serving in Connecticut.

“Do you think (Dodd) is a corrupt politician?” Hannity asked next.

Once again, Calagiuri didn't want to go there, so he repeated his mantra that Dodd had lost touch with Connecticut.

Obviously annoyed, Hannity now accused Calagiuri of “sound(ing) political.” “Shoot straight with me,” Hannity said with exasperation. Hannity Translation: Smear Dodd already!

“I think he's corrupt,” Hannity said. As if we couldn't have guessed! He began counting on his fingers, adding the names of other Democrats he thinks are corrupt, probably to make up for the lack of validation on the Dodd-as-lying-weasel smear.

“I think (Dodd) should be fired,” Hannity reiterated. “And I don't think you're being strong enough out of the box, Senator. I think you need to say what you're thinking.” Hannity Translation: I think you need to say what I'm thinking!

Calagiuri said emphatically, “I'm telling you what I'm thinking... I'm not going to get into personal attacks.”

Note to Hannity: He may not be a highly-paid pundit, but chances are Calagiuri knows Connecticut voters a little better than you do.

If you can't view the video below, here's a link.