Hannity = Dishonesty

The most amazing thing about this story is that I think no one will care.

Jon Stewart catches out Fox propagandist Hannity in a stunning piece of dishonesty, one that could not possibly be accidental. In any normal democracy with a well-functioning press and political culture, this sort of neo-Goebbelian manipulation of the news would produce some reaction, perhaps shunning, from the political and literary class. (And if his employer were honest, instead of Ailes, one would expect heads to roll.)

At least we get this:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck's Protest Footage

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24 Responses to Hannity = Dishonesty

  1. Vic says:

    No, the most amazing this is that you actually expect people who are on TV not to use it to their own purposes. I guess not having a TV for so long has made you rather naive about how it works. This sort of thing happens all the time on TV, on both sides of the aisle.

    Besides, Hannity (of whom I am no fan) is not a “news” person and bears no resposibility toward honestly reporting anything. Just like Beck, Limbaugh, Olbermann, Matthiews, Moureen Dowd, Huffington, Savage, Ted Nugent, (the list goes on and on). You need to stop thinking that everything on TV needs to either be true, or carry some sort of giant warning sticker so the naive can rest easy. Even the reality TV is largely reworked into a “story.” Do you believe Jon Stewart did this piece because he was truely outraged and thought people should know? Or do you think he did it because it was so damn amusing and could easily be manipulated into a comedy bit? Wake up, man.

  2. Adam says:

    I think, perhaps the difference on the “sides of the aisle” is that the Democrats actually are not lead by Dowd, Huffington, Stewart and Olbermann, they are a comedy-show of a side-show. On the other hand, Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh (maybe Bachmann to boot) are the republican leadership. Look at how our Republicans in congress follow the programs laid out by these people who “bear no responsibility towards honest reporting.” Steele is relegated to walking around on his web page and most of what he says is roundly ignored by the party he chairs. The republicans need some real leaders–fiscal conservatives with a vision out of the problems we’re in, not just anti-everything, return-to-the-1700’s ridiculous teabagging.

  3. Eric Blair says:

    Oceania has ALWAYS been at war with East Asia.

  4. Vic says:

    The fact that Republicans in Congress are weak has absolutely nothing to do with whether Hannity should be fact-checked like NBC news or not. Hannity is not a news person, doesn’t pretend to be a newsperson, and is not advertised or put forth as a news person. That weak-willed folks might look to him for leadership (assuming the truth of that) changes nothing. He has no responsibility to be accurate in what he says, nor to do the job for Congress. Congress needs to think for itself, I agree, but Hannity has nothng to do with that problem.

  5. Patrick (G) says:

    uhm, Vic,
    If Hannity’s show ran on, say, “The Comedy Channel”, then your critique might have merit, but you say Hannity is not a “news” person, and yet the organization that Hannity is part of is called “Fox News”?

    Otherwise, note that your ‘worldly-cynical’ response to this scandal is essentially what Michael predicted would happen in his first sentence; that puts him one up on you in terms of understanding how the world works.

  6. PHB says:

    I find the first response as bizarre as the Faux News channel.

    Hanity’s position in the news business is essentially the same as Dan Rather had. Rather was hounded off the air for being taken in by a hoax. Hanity and co definitely held him to the ‘truth’ standard.

    Hanity is in the habit of campaigning to have people hounded out of public office, out of university jobs and so on. Does he preface his McCathyite attacks with a warning that he is a manipulative liar? I think not.

    Either Hanity is a journalist or he is a politician. We expect both to tell the truth. We certainly expect both to be driven from the public stage if they are caught in a deliberate deception.

    The only excuse for this would be if this was done without his knowledge by an employee. In which case Hanity would if honest, admit the mistake, take full responsibility for the misleading footage, apologize to his viewers. If we don’t see that within the next 24 hours we can dismiss him as a proven fraud.

  7. Mike says:

    Although not a big fan of SH or Fox, let’s remember that Al Gore took computer generated graphics of icebergs melting–from a movie–and put them in his movie to scare the world into becoming green. No different.

  8. Patrick (G) says:

    Which movie?

  9. michael says:

    Which network presents the Al Gore show?

  10. Patrick (G) says:

    uhm, Michael,
    Al Gore has his own TV network now: CurrentTV.

  11. Vic says:

    “I find the first response as bizarre as the Faux News channel.

    Hanity’s position in the news business is essentially the same as Dan Rather had.”

    No…THAT statement is bizarre. I seriously doubt even people who LIKE SH’s lousy show would agree that he is a journalist like Dan rather is a journalist.

    Again, just because he’s on Fox News, DOES NOT MEAN he’s a journalist, any more that the commentators on other news networks are necessarily journalists when in that role. And while I’m sure SH considers that he is telling nothing but the truth, I seriously doubt that HE would call himself a journalist.

    How about when the three or four talking heads go on Brit Hume’s show – are THEY journalists? When they differ in opinion from one another, does that mean one of them must be lying and we should all run to the factchecker to confirm who it is so we can hound them off the air as the lying liers they are? How about the folks that appear on Meet the Press? This is moderated by the Washington bureau chief of NBC news. Is it a news show? Are people on it liers when they are less than honest and objective?

    C’mon. This is just silly. SH is a commentator that you can either take or leave. Worrying about whether he shades things to his advantage or not is like worrying about whether your mother was lying when she told you various things to control your behavior growing up.

  12. Adam says:

    Whether or not he is an honest-to-goodness journalist he bears some ethical responsibility to tell the truth because a) he is one of the leaders of the republican party, b) millions of his viewers think that, yes indeed, he is a honest news host and c) He appears on a News channel as the host of a news commentary show–this isn’t the same position as a guest on a news show.

  13. Vic says:

    How could one NOT know that Al Gore has a TV network, yet still feel they are reasonably aware? Remember the two journalists that Clinton went to retrieve? They were from Gore’s network – as was endlessly repeated at the time.

    You might consider, in all this, the numerous reports and “scandals” that come out from time to time showing how TV News outlets shade or outright fake stuff all the time. It happens. Sometimes it’s accidental. Sometimes it’s a lie. Sometimes it’s just lazyness. News broadcasts can realy quite heavily on Video News Releases (VNR’s) which are “news stories” released by PR firms to sell some product, put forth some idea, celebrate some person, etc. Very often these are only slightly altered by the news broadcaster, or used as B-roll. Happens all the time on EVERY news network. Thousands of VNR’s are received by networks every year. For all WE know, SH’s mistake could have been relying upon a VNR released by the group in question.

    TV news, is like sausage and a lot of other things that you don’t really want to see made.

  14. Vic says:

    OK, so now we establish that leaders of a party have a resposibility to tell the truth. OK, fair enough.

    So taking just the two major parties, we have some leaders in both parties that have an ethical responsibility to tell the truth. But low and behold, they say different things about (for one example) Government healthcare. Hmmmmmm. They can’t BOTH be right can they…?

    One possibility is that we should figure out who the unethical lier is, kick him out of his respective party, and replace him with a truth-teller. That’ll fix things!

    Or maybe they are BOTH lying… It’s hard to tell with no ability to know what the TRUTH really is… Hmmmmm. So we kick them both out as unethical lying liers and replace them with new people that both say the same thing – so it must be more true.

    Or MAYBE, just MAYBE, people are allowed to have different opinions. Even people who are leaders. MAYBE, just MAYBE, the fact that some leaders see things differently than other leaders leads to change and growth in the world, as different ideas get implemented or passed over. Maybe, if we all thought the same, and agreed with our agreeing leaders as to what TRUTH is, we all still be living in caves worshipping the Cranberry God, or whatever.

    It’s a very dangerous thing to start claiming that you are “ethically” bound to believe in certain things. There’s over 100 million people dead and God knows how many hugely affected over the last century because it became ethically responsible to believe in a particular viewpoint, even one that many felt and feel is morally responsible, on pain of death, torture, and reeducation. The only thing you are ethically bound to do is think for yourself.

  15. Rhodo Zeb says:


    Lazyness? Really? How ironic is that?

  16. Rhodo Zeb says:


    I am really sorry i missed this thread, and I have no time at the moment.

    Look, I told you before, hope you are having deja vu because this is a repeat of last time.

    Y r llwd t hld stpd ds. Y nd Hnnty nd Rsh nd Bck r llwd t blv tht sm trmpd p jnk y fnd lng th rdsde s pr gld.

    Go for it.

    Jst xpct t b gnrd and nsltd fr bng n dt.

    This is not personal, Vic, I am sure you are a decent person.

    But your defenses of the right wing are just so very special.

    [Portions disemvowelled. See comments policy — The managemet.]

  17. Vic says:

    Hey, I don’t defend Hannity at all. I DISLIKE Hannity. I just don’t see at all why anyone should be concerned if he shades the truth or even outright lies. He’s a commentator. It’s that simple.

    It’s a little like that scene in Casablanca. Gambling! I’m shocked!

  18. Rhodo Zeb says:

    Well I don’t completely agree with this rebuke, but I suppose I was due. I do not pull punches normally by habit, although sometimes I do dress em up real nice with some frills.

    And I know Vic and others enjoyed that, so it wasn’t a total loss.

    I am still running, will rephrase for the court in a later filing! 😉

    I don’t believe you, Vic, on this point. Hannity deserves no defending. Read the other thread, answer those comments if you can (hint, you can’t so you stay back here).

    There is a difference! I keep saying the same thing!

    And you keep ignoring the only issue at hand.

    Hannity is one of the ones who either lies knowingly or just doesn’t give a rat’s patootie about what is true and not true.

    He is not the absolute worst one but most certainly not anywhere near the margin either.

    Why is it that GOP apologists quite regularly deny the affiliation they feel? I just don’t get it.

    Heh in that last sentence I mistakenly typed affliction.

  19. Rhodo Zeb says:

    I need to go farther upon further reflection:

    It is just wrong for you to defend him. By doing so you are explicitly defending the continued 1984-ization of our media.

    I feel your priorities are terribly misplaced if you can waste 3 minutes defending Hannity’s attempt to revise history to his liking. Revisionist Hannity. That is a pejorative, you know.

    That is wrong. Sorry. And most people know it, that is why this story has some legs.

  20. Patrick (G) says:

    the part that’s most like that scene from Casablanca is your minimizing of Hannity’s dissembling.
    Despite your protestations to the contrary, you are defending Hannity by downplaying his odious behavior.

    But it’s good to know that you believe that a commentator does not have to be honest because, see, that’s what you are here.

  21. Vic says:

    RZ said:
    “Read the other thread, answer those comments if you can (hint, you can’t so you stay back here).

    And you keep ignoring the only issue at hand.

    Hannity is one of the ones who either lies knowingly or just doesn’t give a rat’s patootie about what is true and not true.”

    I have to admit, I’m not sure what other thread you are referring to. If you mean the apology thread, which comments was I supposed to have some answer for? You said something about mixed up D’s and R’s, but I’m not sure what I am supposed to say to that.

    As for “the only issue at hand” I have been most assuredly NOT ignoring it. I think it’s been behind the main point I’ve made here. Here’s the simplified version:

    Hannity lies and/or shades the truth.
    So do other people.
    Who cares if any of them do it? Why is it so important?

    If you are intelligently examining what you believe and comparing that with facts you see around you, and creating your own view of what you believe to be true – then why would any of this matter? And if you are NOT doing that, then why should I care?

    Sorry RZ, I usually have some trouble following your Beautiful Mind logic patterns, but this time you’ve left me stumped. I’m not even entirely sure where you think I disagree with you really. Are you saying that it’s important that everyone on TV tells the truth 100% of the time? Everyone on certain channels? Everyone who wears a suit on TV? Does every person holding conservative views, by deffinition, think Hannity is the bees knees, in your mind? Is saying that, while you don’t know what happened in this case because you weren’t there, but there are a number of ways and reasons that film can be and is mixed up in TV, somehow “defending Hannity?”

    I guess the reason why I don’t think Hannity’s behavior was particularly “odious” is because I see it all the time. It happens all the time. It’s a part of TV. This story in variations comes up all the time. I guess, objectively, it’s wrong to ever do it, but this kind of thing happens frequently on TV, so I just don’t see it as the end of the world, or something that should cause heads to roll and orange jumpsuits to be unfurled. So Hannity intentionally or accidently lied. So what? Is the world really a more evil place because of it? In a world where massive amounts of people still live under Communism and other totalitarian regimes, not to mention the continued existance of slavery in many parts of the world, is the fact that Hannity showed the wrong video tape really the cause for such alarm?

  22. Rhodo Zeb says:

    Can’t argue with that. Enjoy your own, personal, reality.

  23. Vic says:

    I suppose the battle for common sense and reality is over when even the White House refers to Jon Stewart’s show as “investigative journalism.”

    As someone pointed out: Oceania has ALWAYS been at war with East Asia.

  24. Rhodo Zeb says:

    You dare to invoke the banner of common sense after the nihilism and relative morality of your most recent comments above??

    Stupendous. That’s the proper tag. Stupendous, with the word-root kept firmly in mind.

    Shorter Vic:

    Tyranny still exists, so anything Hannity does is cool beans with me. How am I supposed to tell who is more honest?

    And Fox got busted the other day, again, for lying to their viewers:


    So all those posters who commented in the subsequent thread on this site, about how they don’t believe Fox is truthful?

    Smarter than others.

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