RATHER vs. HANNITY….Telis Demos makes a point in the New Republic today that can’t be made often enough. Even if you believe that Dan Rather got duped into airing a lie (that the Killian memos were real), he’s got plenty of company:
If this last offense sounds familiar, it’s because the right-wing media does it all the time. In February 2004, for instance, Fox News broadcasters Brit Hume, Sean Hannity, and John Gibson all showed a photo of John Kerry standing next to Jane Fonda on a podium at an anti-Vietnam War rally in the 1970s. It turns out the photo was fake. Did hordes of media critics demand retractions from Hume, Hannity, and Gibson? Of course not.
It’s perfectly correct for the mainstream media to hold Dan Rather to high standards, but why don’t they do the same for Fox’s parade of serial liars? Opinion journalist or not, fake is fake. There’s no reason Hannity & Co. should have been allowed to get away with this.
UPDATE: Stuart Buck says Fox never claimed the photo of Kerry and Fonda at the podium was genuine, only that a different photo was genuine. I don’t really have any way to independently fact-check this, but Stuart makes a good case.