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Fox News? Phony news

Post by David Seago on Oct. 13, 2008 at 9:42 pm |
October 13, 2008 9:42 pm

“Fair and balanced”? Baloney.

Any pretense that Fox News maintains at being genuinely journalistic was thoroughly trashed last weekend when Fox’s Sean Hannity trotted out Andy Martin as a supposedly credible source on Barack Obama’s radicalism.

What’s fair and balanced about relying on a certified nutcase to air atrociously unfounded innuendo suggesting Obama’s goal is overthrow of the U.S. government? How low can you go? Not as low as Fox.

Opinion is one thing. Knowingly presenting B.S. as factual documentary is purely dishonest.

Both the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times reported this week on the peculiar background of Hannity’s prime source, one Andy Martin. From the LA Times:

Near the top of the program, the host introduced one of them, Andy Martin, as an “author and journalist.” But reporters in his Chicago hometown know Martin better as a perennial political candidate and serial litigant.

The Chicago Tribune has spent some time examining Martin’s past. He was refused entry to the Illinois bar in the 1970s, in part because his Selective Service records showed his thoughts exhibited “a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character.”

In a 1983 personal bankruptcy case, he referred to a judge as a “crooked, slimy Jew.” And a federal judge noted his history of “vexatious, frivolous and scandalous” lawsuits.

When he ran for Illinois governor two years ago, Martin quoted a nearly 30-year-old Tribune editorial that called him “an absolutely brilliant campaigner” when he was running for a Senate seat. He didn’t mention that the same editorial said he “has no more business in the U.S. Senate than an elk has in a phone booth.”

The producer of the Hannity program declined to be interviewed, so it’s impossible to determine whether Fox didn’t know about Martin’s history or just didn’t care.

My guess — no, I’m sure of it — is that Fox and Hannity didn’t care. If it’s mud against against a Democratic presidential candidate who appears to be surging in the polls, why, any loonie who wants to get his face on TV will do.

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