Hack Watch

HACK WATCH….Sorry, Atrios, but you’re going to have to update your Wanker of the Day. Here is Fox News anchor Brit Hume on Friday:

Last night, Senate minority leader Harry Reid likened the president?s proposal to allow Americans to divert a portion of payroll taxes into personal security investment accounts to “gambling.” But in 1999, the Nevada Democrat proposed something very similar on our own “FOX News Sunday” saying, “Most of us have no problem with taking a small amount of the Social Security proceeds and putting it into the private sector.”

Via Nexis, here’s what Reid really said:

REID: But I am not for turning all Social Security moneys over to the private sector. I think we have to continue along the way we have been…

SNOW: (OFF-MIKE) private sector, that’s people? That’s you know, that’s me, that’s Brit, that’s you?

REID: Well, but, see, that’s easy, Tony, to throw those words out. My father, probably as smart as any of the three of us, but he had no education. My father never graduated from the 8th grade. And to think he can invest his own money, he couldn’t do that.

….HUME: Are you suggesting that your father had some extra money that the

REID: I think if my Dad had some extra money he would have spent it. My, you know, he had four children, he worked very hard. We need ? Social Security has been a great program, the most successful social program in the history of the world. Let’s not denigrate the program. It’s worked great. We need to make sure it continues to work great. And most of us have no problem with taking a small amount of the Social Security proceeds and putting it into the private sector. The vast majority we should continue to (OFF-MIKE)

SNOW: Senator Domenici, you just heard that. We’re talking about investing some Social Security money. Should the government be putting it into the stock market or should people be doing it?

This entire conversation was about Bill Clinton’s proposal for the government to invest part of the Social Security trust fund in the stock market. Reid was specifically saying that he was open to that idea but was opposed to private accounts, something that Tony Snow acknowledged in the very next sentence ? in Hume’s presence.

What a hack.

UPDATE: By the way, did you notice the lovely phrase “personal security investment accounts” in Hume’s paragraph? Is that the new White House diktat, or do you think Hume came up with it on his own?