November 11, 2009, 1:30 pm
Hannity to Address Protest Video Questions
By BILL CARTER
for full story.
“The Daily Show,” which has become one of the media’s prime monitors when it comes to calling out misuse or manipulation of video, caught the Fox News Channel and one of its hosts, Sean Hannity, Tuesday night, in what appeared to be a blatant example of doctoring a report with inappropriate video to enhance an argument.
Jon Stewart, the host of “The Daily Show,” presented excerpts from a segment of Mr. Hannity’s show in which he discussed the so-called tea party protests in Congress last Thursday with Representative Michele Bachmann, a Republican from Minnesota who had urged supporters to turn up at the Capitol to protest the health care bill.
[ VIEW VIDEO HERE
Beyond questioning the crowd estimates cited by Mr. Hannity, Mr. Stewart demonstrated that the Fox News program had included several scenes of the crowd, one of which he conclusively proved had not been shot the day of the health care protest but at the much larger tea party protest in Washington last summer.
Fox News would not comment on the use of the video Wednesday beyond having a spokeswoman say: “Sean will address this on his show tonight.”
Among the ways Mr. Stewart was able to show the events were separate was shots of trees that were still green with leaves and the obvious difference in the color of the sky. He also matched the exact video Mr. Hannity had used to video from the summer event.
Mr. Stewart did not point out that Fox News had put a one-word label “earlier” on the screen when both the older and the newer footage was shown; but footage that is from an earlier date is usually described by news outlets with either the actual previous date inscribed on screen or some other description like “file footage.”
Mr. Stewart did include a comment from Mr. Hannity saying that the crowd depicted in the earlier scene was especially large “for a Thursday,” reinforcing the point that he was talking about the protest last week and not the earlier protest, which took place on a Saturday.