Sean Hannity butchers Barack Obama quote, again, to win the Media Putz, againd
Originally published on MediaPutz.com on July 16, 2009
Having a quote read back over and over without the context, and knowing the quote is out of context is a sample of lazy journalism, much of which we have seen with the Sonia Sotomayor “wise Latina” comment.
But when you deliberately edit an interview to remove context in order to make the person look foolish through omission, then you have been elevated to Media Putz status.
Sean Hannity, no stranger to this award, is back once again for his malicious editing of an interview with President Barack Obama and Major Garrett of Fox “News.”
Let’s start with Garrett’s question:
In your speech this morning, you said the Cold War reached its conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years. Mr. President, are the Russian sensitivities so fragile that you can’t say the Cold War was won, the West won it, and it was led by a combination of Democratic and Republican American presidents?
An awkward, biased question, Garrett asks this in a way to get Obama to repeat back that Democratic and Republican presidents had their role.
And let’s have all of Obama’s answer:
Well, listen, the — I think that you just cut out Lech Walesa and the Poles. You just cut out Havel and the Czechs. There were a whole bunch of people throughout Eastern Europe who showed enormous courage. And I think that it is very important in this part of the world to acknowledge the degree to which people struggled for their own freedom. I’m very proud of the traditions of Democratic and Republican presidents to lift the Iron Curtain. But, you know, we don’t have to diminish other people in order to recognize our role in that history.
Obama does in part what Garrett wants from the question, but as usual from Obama, there is so much more. There’s some nice historical perspective: Obama didn’t just stick with Lech Walesa, the obvious pick and someone even the Fox viewers have heard of; he went one step further and dropped the name Havel and the Czechs. Obama even showed some style and stopped at Czech, not going into the old Czechoslovakia, a fate that his presidential rival had quite a bit of trouble over last year. And instead of presenting the Cold War win as a jingoistic effort (something Fox “News” is known for), Obama nodded to our history and the others as well.
This would have been swell if only… if only Hannity and his well-trained editing butchers hadn’t taken out the meat from the steak and left the fat.
Here is what Hannity and the butchers left the viewers glued to his show on Fox.
There were a whole bunch of people throughout Eastern Europe who showed enormous courage, and I think that it is very important in this part of the world to acknowledge the degree to which people struggled for their own freedom. We don’t have to diminish other people in order to recognize our role in that history.
Hannity removed a 99-word answer and replaced it with a 56-word answer. But anything juicy or relevant was taken out of the equation. This was bad enough, but since Hannity is Hannity — severely ethically challenged — he didn’t stop right there.
Unbelievable. Now, that’s interesting, because Lech Walesa, the leader of the Polish Solidarity Movement, said this about the end of the Cold War; he said, quote: “We in Poland took him, Ronald Reagan, so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty. Now this can’t be said often enough by people who lived under oppression for half a century.” Mr. President, if I were you, you may want to consider hitting the history books maybe before your next foreign trip.
Hitting the history books? Obama would school Hannity any day, any time in history. We doubt seriously that Hannity could have even named Havel.
But the only way Hannity could look like he could outsmart Obama — or anyone else for that matter — would be to cheat. It was almost as if Hannity took Obama’s paper and wrote “Hannity” on it, and wrote “Obama” on his own paper.
There are numerous examples of selective editing from Hannity so he can express “outrage.” In watching the Hannity version, you can tell where the editing took place, but then again, it was a butcher job.
Hannity and Fox certainly aren’t the only ones guilty of doing this on television. Last year right around this time, Katie Couric had an interview with John McCain where she and her staff substituted a different answer to a question on Iraq designed to make McCain look less foolish.
But Hannity is guilty way more often than any other TV news “journalist” in this malicious craft. It’s yet another reason why Fox “News” has no legitimate credibility, and why Sean Hannity has to build a new bookcase to hold yet another Media Putz.