Jon Stewart To Sean Hannity: Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

By Doug Mataconis | Related entries in General Politics, Video
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24 Responses to “Jon Stewart To Sean Hannity: Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire”

  1. Chris Says:

    I don’t see why it matters, since fox isn’t a news organization.

  2. kranky kritter Says:

    Lying with stock footage is IMO a disgraceful thing to do, and I think it happens far more often than it’s caught. This is what happens when folks think that truthiness is more important than actual straightforward documentation of events as they occur. {It’s a sort of bankrupt, perverse form of postmodernism that has infected the whole political spectrum. And I say this not to apologize for the right or to suggest that such shading of reality occurs evenly among all practitioners. It’s just that it’s too ironic not to notice when postmodernist “the truth is what you make it” practices are so mainstream that conservatives are on board. Orwell would be proud.

    It troubles me that we the people are routinely misled in both big and small ways like this, and no one really has any idea how to do anything useful about it.

  3. Mike A. Says:

    Once again, why is it necessary for a comedian to point this out?

  4. jacob Says:

    Honestly, this sort of behavior by any “news” organization should have severe consequences. This is not free press, it’s the very definition of propaganda.

  5. michael reynolds Says:

    It’s not postmodern, it’s propaganda. It’s not an ironic, distanced point of view indifferent to the truth, denying the very concept of truth. Quite the contrary. These are ideologues who lie in support of what they see as a greater truth.

    Think Communists, not tragic hipsters.

  6. gerryf Says:

    The lies he spews on tv are nothing compared to the stuff that comes out during his radio show. Some friends and I once played a game where you had drink every time he lied. None of us made it through the first hour….

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  8. Frank Hagan Says:

    Hannity’s show is not a news show, and he is not a journalist. Like many of the prime time shows on the Fox News network, it is a TV version of a talk radio “opinion and debate” show. These shows are used as a red herring by the left to try and discredit the regular news reporting on the network.

    That being said, even on a pundit’s show, the video should have been identified. When programs use stock footage, it is usually done with innocuous images that don’t impact the story … a report on a 747 plane crash may have stock footage of a different 747 taking off. But when the images impact the story as much as this one does, where the pundit is talking about how many people showed up, it is deceptive to use it.

    Hannity evidently apologized for the use of the prior footage: See (you have to search for it in the sidebar; I don’t know how to link directly to the video).

  9. the Word Says:

    The apology used the less than credible claim that the video was “inadvertent”. Perhaps if they didn’t inadvertently, consistently identify every Republican criminal and reprobate as a Democrat I might find that plausible. Fox should not even be allowed to use News in their corporate name.

  10. kranky kritter Says:

    Hannity’s show is not a news show, and he is not a journalist. Like many of the prime time shows on the Fox News network, it is a TV version of a talk radio “opinion and debate” show. These shows are used as a red herring by the left to try and discredit the regular news reporting on the network.

    Frank, I understand in part what you are trying to say. Indeed, Hannity is not a journalist in the sense of doing independent research and reporting. And his show is not a news report. But I don’t agree that the left is therefore using such shows as red herrings. Hannity’s show may not be a news report. But it clearly involves news. And the nature of the content of his show is the responsibility of his network. Its content DOES therefore call the network’s credibility into question.

    I think it’s a real dodge to complain that the left is trying to mislead people about the nature of Hannity’s show, and its relationship to Fox News. Fox News lets Hannity roam free with its eyes wide-arse open. And laughing all the way to the bank, That they do so reflects poorly on them. That’s undeniable.

    Hannity represents a seamless extension of the editorial viewpoint of FoxNews into infotainment. He’s an apple from their tree.

  11. Frank Hagan Says:

    KK – that’s a pretty stringent requirement you put on Fox News channel. Do you do the same for your local affiliate station … or for NBC and ABC, with the various pundit shows they air on Sundays? Are they also responsible for the pundits’ shows and opinions?

    The left uses the pundit shows like Hannity and O’Reilly as “examples” of Fox News bias, but I have never seen a report that their actual news shows, such as Special Report, have that kind of bias (unless a pundit is talking in a clearly differentiated “panel” segment).

    What I find really very funny is that the left, so used to the liberal bias in media, absolutely goes nuts when a single media outlet has a conservative bias. The more unreasonable the claims against Fox, the higher their ratings. Fox News has consistently shown more balanced viewership, with a nearly equal number of Republicans and Democrats, more closely resembling the national averages, than the other cable news channels (and even the network news broadcasts). See the Pew Research center’s results at–other-cable-news-audiences

  12. Jamaicafest Says:

    Dishonesty is Hannity’s specialty so this is business as usual.

  13. Chris Says:

    thank you.

  14. Agnostick Says:

    Frank, time for you to get a clue about “News” and “Fox” and all the unseen crap in between.

    Faux News senior vice president Michael Clemente chided Anita Dunne, saying, “It’s astounding the White House cannot distinguish between news and opinion programming. It seems self-serving on their part.”

    Faux News does offer news-like programming–they just schedule around it to jack up their ratings. All the loud, boisterous, fire-breathing swill is clustered into the early morning and prime time hours, when people are most likely to be home, with the TV on. The news-like programming, the boring stuff, is on during the middle of the day, when the house is probably empty.

    It’s very much like the makers of Chocolate-Frosted Rainbow Marshmallow Sugar Bombs cereal, putting the equivalent of about a teaspoon of whole wheat flour into each 22 oz. box, meeting the bare minimum requirement that allows them to print on the box, “Now Made With Whole Grain!”

    See for yourself.

  15. Frank Hagan Says:

    Uh, Agnostick, you do realize that Stewart is a comedian, right?

    I suffered through the full, 11 minute clip of Stewart mugging his way through the piece, and all of the “objectionable” content was from the pundit shows. Stewart’s lament that Fox News Channel has specified hours of news programming separate from pundit programming was incomplete: CNN has the same ratio of hard news to pundit programming from people like Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown, and Larry King, at about the same hours as the higher rated Fox News channel shows.

    Stewart makes a big deal out of the school indoctrination issue, inferring that only Fox News featured the story. The context of the story is important; there was heightened “awareness” (or, paranoia) after the botched “lesson plan” that was initially to accompany President Obama’s speech to the nation’s school children in early September (see The video made its rounds two or three weeks later, and CNN’s Mary Snow covered the story also (see

    Its amazing that the left doesn’t decry MSNBC, CNN and the other lesser cable news channels for the same behavior. I think they call that “hypocrisy”, but I guess that’s only if other people do it.

  16. Nick Benjamin Says:

    Frank, do you watch Stewart’s show?

    He goes after CNN for not being journalists all the time. John Olivier recently had a bit where he repeatedly referred to CNN as “goat f**kers,” and went on to say (paraphrasing) “perhaps if the story were written on the genitals of goats CNN would be interested in reporting it.”

    Then there was the time CNN’s morning show did a bit on how dangerous it is to text while driving, and the very next day they reported on a cool new thing you can with your cell phone while driving. They admitted that was a mistake. AFAIK they have yet to respond to the allegation that “CNN are an organization whose sole purpose is the pursuit and seduction of goats, for the purpose of f**king them.”

    Occasionally he goes after MSNBC too. But usually when he does that it’s to point out that they suck at being biased, and wish they were half as good at it as Fox. He made this point out loud when reporting on the Fox News-White House brouhaha.

    He goes after Fox for having paranoid, borderline insane, “Opinion” shows, following the bizarre rantings with “News” shows that repeat the incoherent rants as a “Controversy,” and then claim that they are Fair and Balanced.

  17. Frank Hagan Says:

    Nick, I occasionally watch Stewart, but find his rants boring. I recognize that he is the most courageous of the comics out there today; he was the first to poke fun at President Obama at a time when all the other comics were tip-toeing around any issue (and thanking God for Joe Biden, no doubt). But so much humor today is of the “you’re stupid, and I’m smart” variety that I find it boring.

    I haven’t watched Stewart enough to see him rant against CNN and MSNBC, but its good to know that he does. Why is it that no one providing Stewart’s screeds against Fox News mentions this fact?

    Cable news, like talk radio, are different beasts than “traditional” journalist media such as broadcast news and newspapers. The Left never minded when talk radio was predominantly liberal in its infancy, but went hysterical over Limbaugh. The Left never decried a lack of objectivity when CNN came on the scene, but Fox News makes them apoplectic. The criticism isn’t that one is biased or not, but rather that one does not fit their own personal bias.

  18. the Word Says:

    Neither CNN or MSNBC is close Frank. Not even remotely. Saying it doesn’t make it so. It does delude the willfully ignorant though.

  19. Nick Benjamin Says:


    Stewart’s attacks on CNN are only really relevant to a site that goes after the Mainstream Media for laziness. The difference between CNN and reading a press releases from both parties pretty much boils down to graphics. CNN’s are better. Their anchors are also a lot more photogenic than your average Senator.

    Unless they’re in media-overkill mode. No shit guys. Jacko got buried in an expensive suit. Great work Wolf. My life would not have been complete without that tidbit.

    He doesn’t really bother going after MSNBC much. That’s mostly because every time they give him an opening Glenn Beck boils a frog alive. I challenge you to find anything MSNBC has ever done that is funnier than Glenn Beck killing that frog.

  20. Frank Hagan Says:

    Nick, I’ll have to pass … I’ve never watched Beck for more than 5 minutes; he makes me ill.

    The few independent analysis pieces I’ve seen done, by folks like the Pew Research Center, show that Fox News is watched by a greater cross section of people, more closely resembling the country at large, and has slightly more unfavorable stories about the administration than the others. But overt bias? It exists in the minds of doctrinaire liberals who are upset that one media outlet got out of their grasp.

  21. Nick Benjamin Says:

    With a slightly bigger audience you’d expect them to be more representative of the country at large.

    As far as liberals are concerned there hasn’t really been a “liberal media” for years. Bias is shown mostly in the stories media outlets cover. Fox, for example, is so gung-ho about tea parties that sent a reporter to cover one on the wrong day and ran with the story anyway. She repeatedly panned across an empty lawn talking about how great the party had been. That, BTW, was like the day after a major gay rights march that got no coverage from them.

    For example before we invaded Iraq the British and Canadian media had poked millions of holes in US stories about Saddam’s WMD. To me it looked like we’d sent him a bunch of stuff in the 80s because we didn’t like Iran, he destroyed most of it in the early 90s to keep us from going to Baghdad, the rest was past it’s shelf life, and his attempts to re-start WMD programs were constantly thwarted by the UN. Which is apparently pretty much what happened.

    Heck when’s the last time the “liberal media” covered a union organizing drive? Those are pretty important. But you never see them in the news.

    In other wards, Frank, if you think any major media organization is in the grasp of “doctrinaire liberals” you’ve never met a doctrinaire liberal.

  22. Frank Hagan Says:

    Nick, I didn’t say the media was in the hands of doctrinaire liberals, I said that overt conservative bias exists only in the minds of doctrinaire liberals. I feel the same way about overt liberal media bias; when bias exists, it is not an intentional, grand conspiracy. It comes about because of story selection, as you noted, and often simply because of laziness.

    A reporter is influenced by his world view, and the traditional media is made up of people who are predominantly left-of-center.

  23. the Word Says:

    Frank, as I have noted before, conservatives think that there is a bias in the media and academics. If true, and stating it doesn’t make it so. When the most educated and those with the most access to information seem to group to one side, perhaps the world is trying to tell you something.

    There’s a reason the people at the NAS don’t “think” like Sarah Palin.

  24. Agnostick Says:

    Frank, I’m well aware that Stewart is a comedian. Despite that fact, he sometimes asks better questions, conducts more compelling interviews, and makes better points that so-called “seasoned journalists.”

    Fox lied. They took intentional, pre-meditated steps to deceive their viewing audience. They distorted reality so that it would fit a pre-conceived notion or story about an event.

    One of Andrew Sullivan’s readers wrote in, giving a fairly compelling description of the broadcast news production sequence, the work flow of things. You’re welcome to try to refute it.

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