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Junk Journalism, The Case Against Sean Hannity

Junk Journalism, The Case Against Sean Hannity


By Anthony Wade


You would think that with the scrutiny FOX is currently under with lawsuits challenging their “fair and balanced” slogan and the documentary Outfoxed, that they would ease up on their obvious right-wing agenda. Not so, as evidenced by the latest “we report, you decide” segment on Hannity and Colmes entitled, “The Truth about John Edwards”. I personally would think that a segment about the truth behind Dick Cheney would make for far more entertaining television, with his ethics being constantly investigated, his use of profanity on the Senate floor, and the fact that he dealt with terrorist nations while running Halliburton, but hey that is not in the White House talking points so I understand why they chose to attack Edwards.


FOX chose to unleash their attack dog, Sean Hannity, the last bastion of sense and sensibility wrapped up in the persona of the kid you loved to see beat up in high school. This week Mr. Hannity has been beating the “junk science” drum surrounding lawsuits that John Edwards made his fortune and career from. The accusation is that Edwards used illegitimate means to achieve the courtroom victories he enjoyed. The specifics involve doctor negligence in children born with cerebral palsy. Hannity, having no sense of decency, mocked the way Edwards portrayed the child, crying out from the womb, before suffering terribly.


Sean Hannity is shameless. His tactics vary, but one of the favorites he utilizes is to repeat a lie, usually in catch phrase form, over and over, so it resonates with the viewers. The phrase for Edwards that Hannity hammered, was junk science. The implication is that Edwards is an ambulance chaser, who doesn’t care if the methods he uses are not ethical. All of these accusations from Hannity, are of course, junk. Hannity never offers any proof as to what he even means by “junk science”. At the time Edwards was a trial lawyer making these arguments, the defense used by Edwards was widely accepted as truth. Now, years later there certainly are other reasons for possible defects, most notably still being doctor negligence. Hannity then tries to tie this to the increase in medical costs and insurance. This drivel is often espoused by people on the right, who are owned by the insurance companies, but that doesn’t make it any more truthful. The truth is that there is no relationship between increased insurance costs and legal action against doctors. Of course, the GOP talking points are that we need to cap monetary awards for plaintiffs, because the awards are driving up the cost of malpractice insurance. These talking points are devoid of truth, but are necessary for the GOP when you see how much money has been donated to the republicans by the insurance industry, which is who gains by capping monetary awards.


Hannity of course insists that he doesn’t work off of these talking points. This stretches the limits of reasonable belief. That would mean, that every day, for the past four years, he has coincidentally agreed with everything this administration has done and said. Sean Hannity has no objectivity, which is supposed to be central for a journalist. Hannity has proven his lack of objectivity with the following examples of lies and misdirection:


May 24, 2004 – Hannity asks his guest, “Can we pray for the reelection of George Bush?”


June 21, 2004 – Hannity pounds home one of his favorite lies, that Clinton was offered bin Laden by the Sudan. This story has been discredited over and over again. You see, what Clinton said, is that he urged the Saudis to take bin Laden from the Sudan, who had never offered him to the US. The 9-11 commission also found that such an offer never existed. However, that does not stop Sean from printing it in his book and repeating it every week to his viewers in the hope that the big lie sticks.


July 9, 2004 – Hannity accuses Kerry of being hypocritical for chastising American companies who outsource jobs overseas, while his Wife’s company, Heinz, outsources a high percentage of their jobs as well. Of course what Sean the Prevaricator neglected to tell you (in his defense, since he really isn’t a journalist he may have simply believed the White House talking points instead of actually doing research and checking facts) was that Heinz is a multinational corporation with 50 affiliates operating in 200 countries, employing over 38,900 workers worldwide. Heinz generally provides jobs based on where the product will eventually be sold.


July 12, 2004 – Ignoring multiple polls announced that day; Hannity highlights the only poll that shows Bush Cheney ahead. Not satisfied with that misinformation, Hannity beats the talking point home that Kerry selected the 4th most liberal senator as his running mate, in Edwards. This statistic was based on a report that only looked at 40 votes. In fact, as National Journal congressional reporter Richard E. Cohen pointed out in a July 9 article, Edwards's average National Journal "liberal score" during his five years in the Senate (1999-2003) is 75.7 percent, "a number that puts him in the moderate wing of his party," and is almost 20 points lower than the 2003 rating that Republicans are touting with the help of the conservative media. The telling fact is that the 4th most liberal senator comment was actually part of the RNC research brief. In other words, it was part of the talking points, which Hannity denies he has. Well, fool me once Sean…we can’t get fooled again, right?


The truth is that Sean Hannity wouldn’t know the truth of it came up and sang a Linda Ronstadt song to him. Last month he challenged John Podesta to find one example of a lie he told. Within one day, Podesta’s site, The Center for American Progress, had found 15 examples. Instead of rehashing them here, you can find them at this link:




What does this tell us about Sean Hannity? The FOX bully is merely posing as a journalist. What he is, is a shill for the White House and the RNC. Sean Hannity is nothing more than a whore, pimping his junk journalism while hoping he is yelling too loud for anyone to realize that he is all flash and no substance.


Anthony Wade is co-administrator of a website devoted to educating the populace to the ongoing lies of President George W. Bush and seeking his removal from office. He is a 36-year-old independent writer from New York with political commentary articles seen on multiple websites.  A Christian progressive, and professional counselor, Mr. Wade believes that you can have faith and hold elected officials accountable for lies and excess.

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