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Hannity, Guilfoyle and Cupp Unanimously Distort USA Today Article To Accuse Obama Of Buying Votes With Stimulus

Reported by Ellen - July 10, 2009 -

As Think Progress and Steve Benen have posted, conservatives have been touting a USA Today article, which reported that places that voted for Barack Obama in 2008 have gotten more stimulus funds per capita than those that favored John McCain, and calling that “proof” that the stimulus is actually some kind of vote-buying scheme by Obama. There’s just one hitch: The USA article clearly indicates otherwise. We’d expect Sean Hannity, with his extensive history of distortions, to overlook those details but what’s the excuse of his two guests, S.E. Cupp and Kimberly Guilfoyle? With video.

Right in the second paragraph of the USA Today article, it states,

That aid — about $17 billion — is the first piece of the administration's massive stimulus package that can be tracked locally. Much of it has followed a well-worn path to places that regularly collect a bigger share of federal grants and contracts, guided by formulas that have been in place for decades and leave little room for manipulation.

The article also states,
Investigators who track the stimulus are skeptical that political considerations could be at work. The imbalance is so pronounced — and the aid so far from complete — that it would be almost inconceivable for it to be the result of political tinkering, says Adam Hughes, the director of federal fiscal policy for the non-profit OMB Watch. "Even if they wanted to, I don't think the administration has enough people in place yet to actually do that," he says.

"Most of what they're doing at this point is just stamping the checks and sending them out," Hughes says.

Later on, the article notes,
The imbalance didn’t start with the stimulus. From 2005 through 2007, the counties that later voted for Obama collected about 50% more government aid than those that supported McCain, according to spending reports from the U.S. Census Bureau.

What is the point of pairing Guilfoyle and Cupp, who seem to appear together every week? One would suppose that Guilfoyle is there to provide some balance to Cupp but Guilfoyle is a carbon copy of every conservative talking point Cupp and Hannity utter except louder and with more preening in front of the camera. It was no surprise that as soon as Hannity finished his opening question, “So is this a mere coincidence or is there something more sinister at work?” Guilfoyle’s hand flew up and she started shouting, “Call on me… Sinister!”

After a brief detour of sneering at Michelle Obama (more about that in my next post), it was back to the phony charges against Obama and the stimulus. “So billions in aid go to these areas that back Barack Obama,” Hannity began. “Sinister?” he asked again.

“Absolutely!” Guilfoyle crowed. She opened her arms theatrically. “But definitely expected.” In a sing-song, she said, “It’s called, ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.’ It’s very simple.” I guess a liberal-before-Fox like you ought to know, eh, Kimsy?

“Here’s what I’m thinking,” Hannity said. “I’m taking it a little bit deeper." What he meant was, he was going to follow the right-wing/Fox News talking points a little further. “I think that Barack Obama… to shore up his re-election campaign, is basically buying votes in the areas where he got votes.”

Guilfoyle said, “It’s very clear if you look at the analysis and you break down the dollars and cents. It doesn’t take the world’s best accountant to realize that there’s some (she turned to mug for the camera) funny, fuzzy math going on here in terms of who’s benefitting from it and it’s not right.”

It doesn’t take a political scholar to realize that either Guilfoyle hadn’t actually read the article she was expounding on or else she was ignoring what it clearly said. And that’s not right.