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Fox News’ Democratic Wanker Of The Week: Doug Schoen

Reported by Ellen - August 15, 2009 -

Is Doug Schoen really a Democrat? Even Sean Hannity wondered during the “Sleep-In Sunday Panel” segment on last night's (8/14/09) Hannity show. Schoen, purportedly the lone Democrat among three conservatives, barely had a good word to say for what was supposed to be his own side and repeatedly joined in the partisan attacks coming from the others. I would never advocate for anyone to misrepresent, for the sake of partisanship or any other reason, their political opinions but surely Schoen could have found ways of expressing his centrist outlook without betraying what was ostensibly his own team. I'm also sure Schoen could have found ways to advocate for Democrats without betraying his principles. Perhaps on other shows or on other networks a frank, open critique of Democrats may be in order. But not on Fox. If “Democratic pollster” Schoen doesn’t know or doesn’t care that he’s there not because the network – and Hannity, in particular – is interested in any Democratic soul-searching, but because his presence offers a pretext of fairness and balance under which most of the rest of the network demonizes Democrats 24/7, well, it says a lot more about Schoen than it does about any Democratic strategy he was so eager to criticize last night. With video.

Hannity bragged that the discussion would give all the news of the week so that viewers don’t have to watch the Sunday talk shows. But right off the bat, he started distorting. He began by playing a clip of someone at Obama’s town hall earlier in the day, saying, “You can’t tell us how you’re going to pay for (health care reform).”

We saw Obama saying, “You are absolutely right that I can’t cover another 46 million people for free.”

The clip ended without the rest of the president’s answer. Hannity said, “Can we all agree on the panel… that this was a well-choreographed, ticketed event?”

“Absolutely,” Schoen jumped in. Then, without further prompting from Hannity, Schoen added, “But as you heard, Sean, the president didn’t have a good answer to that question.”

Actually, he did, but the viewers didn’t see it and either Schoen never bothered to view the town hall for himself or he disregarded the rest of what Obama had said in order to attack him. As the White House transcript shows, Obama went on to say,

About two-thirds of it -- two-thirds -- can be obtained by doing some of the things I already mentioned, like eliminating subsidies to insurance companies. So you're right, that's real money. I just think I would rather be giving that money to the young lady here who doesn't have health insurance and giving her some help, than giving it to insurance companies that are making record profits. (Applause.) Now, you may disagree. I just think that's a good way to spend our money.

But your point is well taken, because even after we spend -- even after we eliminate some of the waste and we've gotten those savings from within the health care system, that's only two-thirds. That still means we've got to come up with one-third. And that's about $30 billion a year that we've got to come up with. Now, keep in mind the numbers change, partly because there are five different bills right now. This is all going to get merged in September. But let's assume it costs about $30 billion a year over 10 years. We do have to come up with that money.

When I was campaigning, I made a promise that I would not raise your taxes if you made $250,000 a year or less. That's what I said. But I said that for people like myself, who make more than that, there's nothing wrong with me paying a little bit more in order to help people who've got a little bit less. That was my commitment. (Applause.)
So what I've said is -- so what I've said is let's, for example, just -- this is the solution that I originally proposed; some members in Congress disagree, but we're still working it through -- what I've said is we could lower the itemized deductions that I can take on my income tax returns every year so that instead of me getting 36 percent, 35 percent deductions, I'll just get 28 percent, like people who make less money than me.

If I'm writing a check to my local church, I don't know why Uncle Sam should be giving me a bigger tax break than the person who makes less money than me, because that donation means just as much. (Applause.) If we just did that alone -- just that change alone, for people making more than $250,000, that alone would pay for the health care we're talking about.

But Schoen wasn’t through attacking Democrats. He went on to agree with Hannity’s distorted account that Democrats have been calling town house protesters "Nazis" and "mobsters." “It is tragic,” Schoen said, instead of correcting the record about what Democrats have actually said and the way they have been demonized on Fox. He continued, “It’s un-American to engage in that kind of division and hate. ‘Cause we all are Americans and we all want to work together to solve problems.”

Oh, really? So where was Schoen’s opprobrium for Hannity’s division and hate, where he went so far as to foment civil war? Or when Hannity's guest said she wanted to euthanize Rahm Emanuel’s brother? Nowhere to be seen.

Not only that, Hannity engaged in some blatant divisiveness just a few moments later when he said, “We can predict with certainty every election year – Democrats will often run ads that divide this country on race lines, rich vs. poor, old vs. young. This seems to be a tried and true tactic… They always need somebody to hate, it seems.” Evidently, Schoen had no problem with that divisiveness.

It’s laughable for Hannity to be complaining about anyone else’s divisiveness and even more ridiculous for him to be complaining about racial divisiveness. This is the guy who "commemorated" Martin Luther King day by attacking African Americans three years in a row and the same guy who not only didn’t mind when a guest said the majority of African Americans in Memphis are “racists” but cut off the other guest when he objected. As I have many times reported, Hannity has a long record of racial antagonism toward African Americans, including his former association with a white supremacist.

But Schoen blithely overlooked all that. “It’s very sad, Sean, because we shouldn’t be attacking the American people,” he said, referring, of course, to Democrats, not to Hannity or to anyone else on Fox.