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|Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck’s Protest Footage|
According to White House Communications Director Anita Dunn in a statement she confirmed was fully supported by the president–she’s “not a person who is known for going rogue,” she says–the rest of the mainstream press should model itself after Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, and Comedy Central.
Why? Because Stewart was the only outlet to immediately recognize creative editing at Fox News Channel, in which the folks at Hannity used file footage of the September 12 march on Washington to bolster perceived attendance of a recent health care rally. It was a stupid, stupid move. It deserved to be pointed out and ridiculed. And Sean Hannity himself was right to apologize for it, though in my opinion he should have led with the apology, and been a little more sincere.
Credibility, after all, means everything. Even more so for those of us on the political right, who have to be perfect in every way to survive scrutiny or prove improper scrutiny and criticism unfair.
Which brings us to Dunn and Saturday’s report from Bloomberg News.
She criticized Fox for using edited footage of a rally to make it appear that opposition to the president’s health-care plan was bigger than it was.
“The people who exposed this: Jon Stewart of the Daily Show on Comedy Central,” Dunn said yesterday at the Bloomberg Washington Summit. “That’s where you are getting fact-checking and investigative journalism these days.”
As I said, it is unfortunate and intolerable that Fox News Channel abandoned fact and objectivity to artificially inflate attendance at the health care rally. But if Dunn is going to knock Fox and praise MSNBC, perhaps she should recall this:
This, if you remember, was MSNBC’s report showing a law-abiding gun owner attending a protest outside Barack Obama’s health care town hall event in Phoenix, AZ a few weeks ago. Despite best efforts by the Obama-loving press to juxtapose the rifle with another, slightly lighter-complexioned protester, the reality is that the gun owner in question in that case was indeed black.
What’s worse is that, while Hannity’s program only used evidence of previous opposition to this administration’s health care reform plan to illustrate further opposition to health care reform–it’s not as though less people oppose the plan now as in September, in fact polls show just the opposit–MSNBC’s tomfoolery was actually used to insinuate that conservatives were somehow prone to violence and to augment the left’s already growing obsession with assassination.
Even if she had left it unsaid, and even though she is on her way out as communications director, we all know that Dunn speaks for the president. This president knows no opposition. He skated into political office on every single level, up until his run last year for the presidency. And, even then, he was in a different class than Arizona Sen. John McCain, and had the full perceptional power of the mainstream media behind him the entire way. For that reason, this president is naturally averse to criticism; hence, the war on Fox News Channel.
Dunn is wrong. The president is wrong. And while production heads should roll at Fox News Channel for dealing a tremendous blow to essential credibility on the right, it should be pointed out that the very art carried out so amateurishly by the folks at Hannity has been all but perfected by the network’s left-leaning counterparts.
Nevertheless, the Hannity misrepresentation will be used again and again by the left to make the right’s efforts look disingenuous when, in reality, they are anything but. All issues with Anita Dunn aside, this should serve as a lesson on just how valuable credibility is when it comes to fighting the forces of progressivism and liberalism for the future of America.