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 Good Morning America, Sean Hannity accused Michael J. Fox of, as host Diane Sawyer put it, "shilling" for Democrats, claimed without elaboration that Fox's campaign ad in support of Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill contained "factual inaccuracies," and baselessly defended Rush Limbaugh's accusation that Fox was "exaggerating the effects of the disease" in the ad. Similarly, on The O'Reilly Factor, Culture Campaign president Sandy Rios falsely claimed that Fox was "lying" in his advertisement.
In an appearance on the "Free Speech" segment of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, Sean Hannity falsely suggested that Al Gore "reversed course" on Iraq -- in fact, Gore has consistently opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq -- and, despite Hannity's own history of politically divisive statements, attributed the country's "divided" state to Democrats.
Fox News programs in recent weeks have aired false and misleading Republican campaign advertisements attacking Democrats or Democratic congressional candidates and have hosted guests to defend the attacks, smears, and falsehoods put forth in the ads. But in all but one of the segments about the ads, Fox News failed to air a counter-ad by a Democratic candidate or host any progressive or Democrat to respond to the smears in the advertisements; the other aired only part of a Democratic ad and did so without sound.
On MSNBC and Fox News, Amanda Carpenter touted the purportedly damaging charge in her new book that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will use "foreign money" made by her husband to mount a potential presidential campaign for 2008. Carpenter asserted that it is "alarming ... that there are millions of dollars in foreign money available to fund Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign as we speak."
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity joined authors Melanie Morgan and Catherine Moy in comparing Cindy Sheehan's purported interest in online pornography to sexually explicit instant messages former Rep. Mark Foley allegedly sent to underage congressional pages. Morgan asserted that "[t]here's a double standard and hypocrisy at work" in the fact that there was far greater attention and criticism focused on the Foley scandal.
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Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, and their conservative guests misrepresented a remark by Ted Turner to falsely accuse Turner, as Hannity stated, of "admitting that he had a hard time choosing sides in the war on terror."
The media have helped advance a number of excuses and explanations offered up by conservatives and the GOP for Republican House leaders' handling of information about alleged misconduct by then-Rep. Mark Foley that, even if true, would have no bearing on the underlying issues raised by the scandal.