On last night’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart busted Fox News’ Sean Hannity for doctoring coverage of a rally against the congressional health-care-reform bill, by intercutting it with footage from Glenn Beck’s much bigger 9/12 rally two months ago:
Amid the recent charges from the White House that Fox is behaving like a political attack machine, Fox News has been trying to distinguish its news from its opinion shows. Hannity’s show falls on the “opinion” side of that line. So maybe it’s just his opinion that a rally to which he is favorable was much bigger than it actually was!
The one conceivable fig leaf for Hannity’s repurposing of the 9/12 footage is that it is labeled “Earlier.” That would, however, be one crappy fig leaf. The footage from the healthcare protest this past week is also labeled “Earlier.” They did both, in fact, occur earlier. As did, say, Sean Hannity having his makeup brushed on in the greenroom before the show. By definition, anything that was not presently happening live happened “earlier”; that doesn’t make the representation any less misleading.
According to the New York Times, Hannity will address the Daily Show call-out on tonight’s show. It’ll be interesting to see whether he owns up or pushes back.