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Sarah Palin And Sean Hannity Discuss Alito's SOTU Behavior Without Acknowledging It Was A Breach Of Etiquette

Reported by Ellen - January 28, 2010 -

It was pretty laughable to hear Sean Hannity, undoubtedly the most partisan Fox News host, complain that President Obama’s State of the Union speech was too partisan last night (1/27/10). But it was even more laughable given that moments later, Hannity gleefully noted Justice Samuel Alito’s incredibly rude, Joe-Wilson-like shaking of his head and mouthing, “not true” as Obama criticized the recent Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance. Hannity was joined in his post-SOTU analysis by Sarah Palin. Palin was full of incomprehensible non-sequitors and Palinisms such as “mandation” and (earlier), “laxadaisical.” Neither Hannity nor Palin mentioned that Alito’s actions were comparable to Joe Wilson’s “You Lie” outburst. With video.

Palin’s insights were in such demand that she appeared on three Fox News’ SOTU discussions last night: one before the speech, another afterward with Greta Van Susteren and then on Hannity. Yet much of what she said on Hannity merely echoed what she said to Van Susteren.

For example, with Van Susteren (at about the 3:41 mark in the second video below), Palin summed up the speech by saying, in her own unique way, “In a word, lecture. I think that there was quite a bit of lecturing, not leading in that, as opposed to Governor McDonnell’s follow up comments where, quite inspiring his connection with the people. He absolutely gets it. He understands government’s appropriate role. It seemed like our president still has that fundamental disconnect between what the people are expecting with their government and what he wants to deliver.”

Palin told Hannity, “I think there was a lot of lecturing going on tonight versus inspiring the American people and independent politicians who are sitting there in the audience waiting to hear some acknowledgment that there has been a disconnect between the White House and the people who are expecting more from our government. More in terms of empowerment of the people, not relying on government to meet all our challenges.” Later, she described Obama's policy as "mandation of health care."

Actually, the disconnect is with Palin. Because polls showed that Americans overwhelmingly liked the speech. A CBS poll found that 83% of speech watchers approved of the proposals the president made in his speech and 70% thought Obama shares the same priorities for the country as they do. 57% thought so before the speech. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll found 78% had a positive reaction to the speech and 71% thought that the policies proposed by Obama would move the country in the right direction.

Hannity said, “It was not as presidential as I would expect it to be… I thought it was extremely partisan.” He asked Palin, “What was your reaction to the tone, specifically, of the speech?”

Palin reiterated, “Again, not as inspiring as perhaps we’re used to President Obama coming across as. But I think that that’s an indication still of that disconnect between the people and the White House. He not understanding that, you know, we don’t want to just chill a little bit and cool a little bit on his health care plan. We want the thing killed because it’s a government takeover of about one sixth of our economy. We don’t want to see that go forward. So with an issue like that still with that disconnect, I think that there was no way for him to come across as inspiring when he still is proposing those top-down, big government solutions to the challenges that we’re facing when the people want empowerment for our businesses, our families.

"… I think a lot of the fact checkers tonight are going to be quite busy as they run down the content of that speech and they’re going to call him on some of these claims that he made tonight."

Sarah Palin calling for fact checking? Now, that’s rich. Not only was she the originator of PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year for 2009, she had just told her own whopper by falsely characterizing Democratic health care reform as “a government takeover.” (She used the same mischaracterization later in the segment, too.)

Not that Hannity corrected her.Instead, “too much partisanship” Hannity didn’t even bother to hide his glee as he played the clip of Justice Alito and said, “Watch his lips. It’s clear to me what he’s saying. He’s using the words ‘not true.’”

Palin replied, “I tell you this is why people are disenchanted and are becoming more and more disengaged, really, from what their government is doing. Because when we see an issue like this, words spoken that may not be true, coming from our president and embarrassing our Supreme Court and not respecting the separation of powers. We have a problem and that’s illustrated there by that justice mouthing those words, ‘not true.’ Now, one or the other is being disingenuous here.”

I’d have to say that Palin and Hannity were the ones being disingenuous. Alito’s behavior was a breach of etiquette comparable to Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst. Palin and Hannity either didn’t know the protocol or, in their zeal to attack President Obama, didn’t care. And the "fair and balanced" producers at Fox News didn't feel the need to put forth that information, either.