Democracy Soup

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Sean Hannity misses obvious Palin flip-flop, eagerly running to win Media Putz

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Originally published on on September 25, 2008

Sean Hannity

To this point, only two media figures have had the honor of talking with Alaska Governor Sarah Palin: ABC’s Charlie Gibson and FOX’s Sean Hannity. While Gibson has had his troubles, especially with Barack Obama, he did okay in his shot with Palin.

Even those who like Hannity had low expectations for his sit-down with Palin. Softball? T-ball? Those speeds are much too fast for Hannity. Late-night infomercials ask tougher questions than Hannity did with Sarah Palin.

A couple of samples from Part I and Part II of the interview:

Is Senator Obama then using what happened on Wall Street this week? Is he using it for political gain? Is there a danger of a presidential candidate is saying to the world that America’s situation of economic crisis is the worst that we’ve seen in decades — which was words that he was using yesterday — is there a danger in terms of the world hearing that?

This wasn’t a question to Obama — this was a “question” to Sarah Palin.

This was the “question” to Palin on taxes with a smidge of bias:

“…why does everyone benefit if the rich pay less or if everybody pays less in taxes? Why is that good for the economy?”

Now you would expect given Hannity’s journalism background that he would, uh, wait a minute. Oh, that’s right. Hannity doesn’t have a journalism background.

To quote Wikipedia: “Described as ‘an indifferent student’, Hannity dropped out of New York University for financial reasons and later decided to pursue a radio career. In 2005, Jerry Falwell, chancellor of Liberty University awarded him an honorary degree.” No journalism training, no college degree, no sense of what might be right or wrong, even if that sense is ignored.

As Newshounds points out, “Last year, FOX News defended Sean Hannity’s fundraising for then-presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani by saying, ‘Sean is not a journalist – Sean is a conservative commentator.'”

Just so we’re clear, we aren’t making fun of the fact that he doesn’t have a college degree. There are thousands of people without a college degree who could ask better questions than Hannity. Most fifth-graders could have done better. Even a second-grader might have asked her why she hates polar bears.

But Hannity had one moment, one shot to try a follow-up to show he could ask a semi-tough question, and it wasn’t even political. Palin told Gibson that she didn’t blink when McCain asked her to be his running mate.

HANNITY: What was your family’s reaction? Was there time to huddle and have a hockey team meeting?

PALIN: It was a time of asking the girls to vote on it, anyway. And they voted unanimously, yes. Didn’t bother asking my son because, you know, he’s going to be off doing his thing anyway, so he wouldn’t be so impacted by, at least, the campaign period here.

So asked the girls what they thought and they’re like, absolutely. Let’s do this, mom.

Any follow-up? Nope. Any curiosity on why she flip-flopped her answer? Nope. This was a reversal (wrestling term, not hockey). She didn’t blink, but she asked her daughters to vote? An inconsistency no one can blame on anyone but Gov. Palin, but that news didn’t penetrate Hannity’s brain.

Even if you encompass the cynical nature of Hannity’s role in trying to make Palin look as good as possible, Hannity still failed miserably. From Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post:

“I think the Hannity love-fest offered a valuable look at Palin, perhaps more revealing because she was on such friendly territory. For all the softballs Hannity tossed her way, Palin did not come off very well, in my view. If this was a political commercial, I wasn’t buying the product.”

Hannity received a gift very few people get, especially those who aren’t journalists: an exclusive interview (relatively) early on for a person who might be a heartbeat away from the White House. And you underwhelmed us, which is sad since we had very, very low expectations.

Since you play a media figure and a “journalist” who isn’t really one, sticking to a propaganda stance that benefits the far right-wing segment of the population that gave birth to your radio career and now TV career, we once again select Sean Hannity as our Media Putz of the week.

Sean Hannity previously won the Media Putz on March 27, 2008 and September 13, 2007.


Written by democracysoup

September 25, 2008 at 6:00 am

Posted in media criticism, MSM

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