Hannity cried "media bias" for delay in reporting Allen's Webb novel accusations, but sang a different tune on Foley scandal

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

Sean Hannity suggested that major media outlets were "bias[ed]" against Republicans in choosing not to report that Sen. George Allen's campaign had identified what it called "simply disturbing" portions of novels written by James Webb, "until 11 days out" from the midterm elections. But when discussing a story that could hurt Republicans instead of Democrats, the Mark Foley scandal, Hannity suggested that the purported withholding of the disclosure until closer to the election had the opposite effect.

On the October 27 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity suggested that major media outlets were "bias[ed]" against Republicans in choosing not to report that Sen. George F. Allen's (R-VA) campaign had identified what it called "simply disturbing" portions of novels written by Allen's Democratic opponent, James Webb, "until 11 days out" from the November 7 midterm elections. But when discussing a story that could hurt Republicans instead of Democrats, Hannity suggested that the purported withholding of the disclosure until closer to the election had the opposite effect, stating that the nonprofit organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) had coordinated with Democratic officials to delay the release of emails allegedly written by former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) for "partisan" reasons. Republican strategist Karen Hanretty replied to Hannity's accusation by claiming that "[o]f course, there's media bias," and declared that "the things that [Webb] wrote in those books were a hundred times worse than anything Mark Foley ever wrote to a 16 year-old-boy in an email."

Hannity suggested there was a "media bias" in delaying the reporting of Allen's accusations that portions of Webb's novels, in the words of Allen campaign "general consultant" Chris LaCivita, "continue to show a pattern of disrespectful treatment toward women." Hannity asserted that the media "did hit Senator Allen hard on the 'macaca' comment," and then asked Hanretty, "[W]hy didn't they go back in this particular case, Karen, until 11 days out? Why didn't the media do their job?"

Yet, when the story broke that Foley allegedly engaged in sexually explicit electronic communications with underage former congressional pages, Hannity agreed, as Media Matters for America noted, with U.S. News & World Report senior writer Michael Barone's suggestion that Democrats "time[d]" the "release of documents" to "hurt" Republicans. Hannity baselessly accused CREW, which in July obtained emails Foley allegedly sent to an underage former congressional page, of holding the emails, thereby "prioritiz[ing] partisan politics over the safety and security of children." Hannity also called for an investigation into whether "there was any contact" between CREW and Democratic officials in July regarding Foley's alleged communications with the pages. In fact, CREW provided the FBI with the emails allegedly sent by Foley to a former page on July 21, two months before ABC News reported their existence, as Media Matters noted.

From the October 27 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

HANNITY: The only thing I would argue -- and, for me, Karen, this is a bigger media issue, because you know what? They did hit Senator Allen hard on the "macaca" comment. They did go back 30 years in his past. They talked about everything that he has ever done. And what I think here is, why didn't they go back in this particular case, Karen, until 11 days out? Why didn't the media do their job? Is there a media bias?

HANRETTY: Of course, there's media bias. And, you know, here's the other thing about Jim Webb's book. He profited from writing salacious things about women, pedophilia. And the things that he wrote in those books were a hundred times worse than anything Mark Foley ever wrote to a 16-year-old boy in an email, and yet, you know, that story has been going on for week after week after week and, quite frankly, could cost the Republicans the House.

And Republicans censored their own. And I haven't seen one Democrat come out, not one, and say, "You know what? What he wrote in those books was wrong, and I don't know that that's the kind of person who should represent us in the U.S."

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
Hannity & Colmes
Stories/Interests
2006 Elections
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