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Hannity And FOX News Blame Al Gore For Global Food Crisis

Reported by Ellen - May 12, 2008 -

Out of touch Sean Hannity and FOX News trivialized and exploited the plight of those who are struggling with skyrocketing food costs by using the crisis to smear Al Gore. Instead of an honest look at the problem, Hannity's America presented a shallow, distorted report last night (5/11/08) that presented Al Gore as the single most important reason for the food shortage. The only solution presented by pudgy, multi-millionaire Hannity to those who might be suffering was to abandon Gore's “global warming bandwagon.” With video.

It wasn't just Hannity using the misery of others for partisan gain. On its website, FOX News called the segment, “Gore's Grocery: Blame Al Gore for your rising food prices.”

Hannity asked at the beginning, “How did the food shortage become so acute so fast? The growing consensus is that the crop deficit is directly related to the increased demand for production of quote earth friendly biofuels, an effort pushed by none other than the vanquished vice president Al Gore and all in the name of quote saving the planet.”

Hannity is correct that increased demand for biofuels is part of the problem. But there are other factors, too, that the “We report. You decide” network conveniently omitted. According to Time magazine, there are three other factors: One is the chronically low productivity of farmers in the poorest countries, caused by their inability to pay for seeds, fertilizers and irrigation. Another is the growing demand for food and the third, which Hannity would probably rather die than admit to, is climate change. Time reported that recent droughts in Australia and Europe cut the global production of grain in 2005 and '06. New York Times columnist and economics professor Paul Krugman says that high oil costs play a big role, too.

Hannity also failed to mention that U.S. policies subsidize the conversion of food into biofuels and are also to blame. Time criticizes that policy but notes a possible win-win solution: “There may be a case for biofuels produced on lands that do not produce foods--tree crops (like palm oil), grasses and wood products--but there's no case for doling out subsidies to put the world's dinner into the gas tank.”

Hannity went on to quote Gore in 1998 saying he was proud to “stand up for the ethanol tax exemption.” But Hannity didn't mention that more recently -- in 2006, for example -- Gore endorsed cellulosic ethanol over corn-based ethanol.

Clearly, Hannity was more interested in smearing Gore than in discussing the food shortage. After blaming Gore for the food crisis, well-fed Hannity immediately forgot those unfortunate enough to be affected by the high prices in order to attack Gore over global warming. “The fact is Al Gore has a financial stake in spreading global warming hysteria,” Hannity claimed, as if that was going to put food on anyone's table but his own. “He's admitted to investing in the kinds of companies that will profit from his plea to quote, go green. Was Al Gore thinking about saving the planet or perhaps lining his pockets?” Can there be any doubt that if Gore did not invest in such companies that Hannity would attack him for being a hypocrite?

After Private Jet Hannity took a swipe at Al Gore for flying on one, too, Hannity went on to repeat one of his past distortions: “Scores of scientists all over the world say human activities are not heating up the earth at all.” Predictably, Hannity overlooked the vast preponderance of scientists who disagree.

“So did Al Gore blatantly disregard climate information that didn't help his bottom line?” Hannity asked. It was a question he and FOX News might have asked themselves.

Hannity concluded the segment by saying, “Now that the wheels are coming off of Al Gore's global warming bandwagon, well even some of his loyal supporters may have to make a choice. Should I follow Al Gore's half-baked notion to save the planet? Or feed my family?”

In other words, let them eat carbon.