Sean Hannity: "Post-Truth" WarriorSeptember 8, 2012 1:43 PM EDT ››› MIKE BURNS & SOLANGE UWIMANA
During a Fox News segment on Hannity Friday night in which Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus talked about how much "the truth matters in this race," Sean Hannity pushed the falsehood that the economy has not created 4.5 million jobs during the Obama administration. In fact, as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has noted, "private employers [have] added nearly 4.5 million jobs to their payrolls in the last 29 months."
On the show, Hannity stated: "They went out in this whole convention and they all lied. We created 4.5 million jobs. That's not true what they said to the American people."
In fact, as data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows, "private employers added over 4.6 million jobs to their payrolls in the last 30 months." Fox's Eric Bolling previously advanced the same false claim.
Hannity also failed to note that Priebus' statement about "the truth" is in direct contradiction with what the Mitt Romney campaign has been accused of doing for weeks.
Speaking at an ABC News/Yahoo! News event at the Republican National Convention, Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said, "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers." From NBCNews.com:
[Director of advertising Ashley] O'Connor said she thought their ad "Right Choice" attacking Obama on welfare reform has been the most effective so far, despite its being given "Four Pinnochios" by a Washington Post fact check.
Newhouse brushed off the fact check as par for the course in political campaigns.
"People are always going to get Pinocchios for this stuff," Newhouse said. "We stand behind those ads and behind the facts in those ads."
Newhouse suggested the problem was with the fact-checkers, not the facts themselves: "Fact-checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs and you know what? We're not going let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."
But on Hannity, Priebus stressed that "the good thing about our situation here in this race is that, you know, the truth matters in this race in that you can't outspin the truth."
In fact, "outspin[ing] the truth" is exactly what the Romney campaign has been accused of doing in such a fashion that it is now being called the "post-truth party."
- Rolling Stone: Mitt Romney "has a casual relationship with truth and reality."
- NY Times: Romney and Paul Ryan's convention speeches -- "peppered with statements that were incorrect or incomplete -- seemed to signal the arrival of a new kind of presidential campaign, one in which concerns about fact-checking have been largely set aside."
- Wash. Post: "Quite simply, the Romney campaign isn't adhering to the minimum standards required for a real policy conversation. Even if you bend over backward to be generous to them -- as the Tax Policy Center did when they granted the Romney campaign a slew of essentially impossible premises in order to evaluate their tax plan -- you often find yourself forced into the same conclusion: This doesn't add up, this doesn't have enough details to be evaluated, or this isn't true."
- Columbia Journalism Review: "Paul Ryan's speech last night at the Republican National Convention ... continued the Romney campaign's pattern of disingenuous and misleading attacks on President Obama. While Obama and his allies have made many misleading claims of their own, the frequency and repetition of the Romney campaign's claims has been particularly striking."
Hannity frequently disregards employment facts to push a Republican narrative: He has falsely claimed that the U.S. economy is "losing 400,000 jobs a month," has pushed the "deeply misleading" myth that millions of jobs were lost under President Obama, falsely claimed that Obama was responsible for making black unemployment worse, and continues to insist that you "cannot make the case with a straight face that this economy has gotten better under this president."
This post has been updated.