Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ignorance is Bliss: That's Why Hannity Smiles

We had the misfortune yesterday to hear radio talker Sean Hannity prattle on about Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony. As expected, Hannity blasted the Hollywood liberals and former Vice President Al Gore, who was honored by the Academy when his film, An Inconvenient Truth, won an Oscar as Best Documentary.

Always a "red meat" talker, Hannity unloaded on the movie industry and Hollywood people, making clear that the Academy Awards telecast was a dud with the public.

But Hannity was—once again—half-cocked. In fact, television ratings for the show were up slightly over last year with an average audience of 39.9 million viewers. Last year the show attracted an average of 38.9 million viewers. The show also surpassed the season's top-rated entertainment television program, the premiere of Fox's "American Idol," which drew 37.4 million.

On his Fox News television show Monday night, Hannity whined long and loud about Gore and his movie. Once again, however, his grasp of the facts was fast and loose. Hannity commented on the Melissa Etheridge song from An Inconvenient Truth that was performed during the broadcast, noting that blatant "environmental propaganda" was projected on the scene behind Etheridge.

Well, not quite. The projections were, in fact, scenes from the film itself, an call to action that the filmmakers included at the end of An Inconvenient Truth. Hannity didn't seem to know this, of course, not having actually seen the film. (We did.)

We don't object to Hannity's opinions. We object to Hannity's repeated distortions of the facts in the service of his preconceived opinions. It's dishonest, of course, but what good is honesty to a guy like Sean Hannity?

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