On Fox News' On the Record, Sean Hannity falsely identified "a Frisbee golf course" as an example of an earmark in the economic recovery bill. In fact, there is no earmark for "a Frisbee golf course" in either the House or Senate version of the bill, which both specifically prohibit using funds in the bill for a "golf course." The Senate version also prohibits using funds for a "community park."
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When asked by Fox News host Greta Van Susteren -- during the February 9 edition of On the Record -- to provide "some examples" of earmarks in the economic recovery bill, Sean Hannity replied: "A Frisbee park -- a Frisbee golf course, Greta?" In fact, there is no earmark for "a Frisbee golf course" in either the House or Senate version of the recovery bill, which both specifically prohibit using funds in the bill for a "golf course." The Senate version also prohibits using funds for a "community park."
As The Wall Street Journal reported on February 4, a "36-hole 'disc golf' course" was included among a list of potential projects provided by the United States Conference of Mayors in a January 17 report. However, according to the Conference of Mayors report: "Mayors recognize that the economic recovery initiative to be undertaken by the new administration and Congress will include a review process through which projects eligible for funding will be identified. The projects listed in this report in no way represent an inventory of projects formally proposed for funding." The Conference of Mayors report stated that cities were invited to submit projects that "reflected their unique local infrastructure needs, produced jobs for their residents, and contributed to future economic development." The Frisbee golf course was listed among the projects "ready to go" in Austin, Texas. The February 4 Journal article reported that "John Hrncir, [Austin's] government-relations officer, says the project list 'was put together on very short notice,' and 'we are not going to submit anything that is questionable when we seek actual funding.' "
Both the House and Senate versions of the economic recovery bill include a provision that specifically prohibits using funds for golf courses, and the Senate version also prohibits using funds for community parks. The Senate version of the bill states in Section 1609:
None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center, and highway beautification project.
From the February 9 edition of Fox News' On the Record with Greta Van Susteren:
HANNITY: I wish him and his family, his wife, and kids -- the kids seem like wonderful children -- I wish them all the best. But more importantly, I want what is best -- in the best interest of the country. What we have tonight with all this fear-mongering and the worst economy since the Great Depression and this outright lie that was spread again tonight that there are no earmarks in this bill -- this is not what is going to bring us economic security in this country. What historically has worked is capitalism, giving people in this country more of their hard-earned money back. We are not undertaxed, we are overtaxed.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you were -- I can't help -- but you say the outright lie about the earmarks, so let's go right to that.
HANNITY: I got -- I -- look, I got five pages --
VAN SUSTEREN: Give me -- give me some examples.
HANNITY: A Frisbee park -- a Frisbee golf course, Greta?
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, why is he saying -- why do you think he's saying that, no earmarks? Why is he saying no earmarks?
HANNITY: This is like an Orwellian speak that I can't really figure out. For example, they say that people that don't pay taxes are gonna get a tax cut. I define that as welfare. If they -- if they make a Frisbee park -- a Frisbee golf course -- I don't even know what a Frisbee golf course is.
VAN SUSTEREN: So why do you think he says that? Why does -- why --
HANNITY: I don't know.