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Hannity And Guests Use Unscientific “Survey” To Attack Occupy Wall Street Protesters And Democrats

Reported by Ellen - October 17, 2011 -

Just as Bill O’Reilly did a few days later, Sean Hannity cited a New York Magazine “survey” of 100 Occupy Wall Street protesters as some kind of scientific poll. New York Magazine never made the claim that the 100 interviews it conducted nor the results it tabulated into an article represented any kind of valid or accurate sampling. But Hannity and his “journalist” guests Jedediah Bila and Rich Lowry nevertheless seized upon the article as some kind of proof that the 99% movement are a bunch of America-hating fringers representative of the Democratic Party.

Hannity began the Great American Panel segment of his October 12, 2011 show by saying, “There was a New York Magazine survey that was done – by the way, liberal magazine – …34% of the protesters that occupy Wall Street are convinced that the United States government is no better than Al Qaeda. Another 37% say capitalism cannot be saved, is inherently immoral.”

Actually, that’s not “another 37%” but 37%. For all we know, it’s the same 34% plus a few more who compared the US to Al Qaeda.

Hannity added that he thinks, “OK, this is the modern Democratic party. This is Barack Obama, who he’s supporting. This is who Nancy Pelosi’s supporting.”

Panelist Jedediah Bila agreed. Although Bila is supposedly a journalist and she boasts on her website about how much she LOVES her country (her emphasis), she either didn’t bother to check her facts or got them profoundly wrong before she proclaimed how much of her country she hates. “It’s amazing how profoundly anti-American so much of the sentiment coming from there is. And you contrast that with the Tea Party which is just pro-Constitution, pro-American. And you look at the media spin on both of those things.”

Yes, let’s compare and contrast. Because a recent Time poll – an actual, scientific poll – found that the majority of Americans, 54%, have a favorable opinion of the OWS movement compared to the 27% who approve of the Tea Party. Does Bila find 54% of Americans anti-American, too?

Probably, she would explain it away by blaming the media, just as she blamed the media for demonizing Sarah Palin, and as she went on to complain that they were “demonizing” the Tea Party and “rever(ing)” the OWS protesters. She also made this chillingly McCarthy-esque statement: “You really have to think about the role that the media plays in all that and what that means for America.”

So whose fault was it that Bila was propounding her analysis about America via a mistaken premise?

Panelist Michael Meyers, of the New York Civil Rights Coalition pushed back to some degree. But he swallowed the phony survey premise, too.

So did panelist Rich Lowry - the most egregious failure of them all. He’s not just a journalist but the editor of the National Review. He even had the nerve to mock the protesters for being uninformed.

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