On The Daily Show last night Jon Stewart mocked FNC’s Sean Hannity for editing a clip of Obama’s speech in Cairo last week in order to claim that Obama was giving a voice to the 9/11 sympathizers. Stewart nailed Hannity for only showing half of Obama’s sentence. Check out the video.
Here is the video from Media Matters:
I am not sure whether to laugh or be depressed by the fact that it was The Daily Show that held Hannity accountable, not any other news organization. It is standard operating procedure for FNC to selectively edit clips to provide a misleading quote. Does anyone else remember how Fox News edited Al Gore’s congressional testimony to make it seem like he said that he was making money off of global warming?
What does it say about the state of American news when the sharpest media critic in the country is the host of a mock news show? Fox News can get away with these distortions because no one ever calls them on it. However when they are called out on it, as CNN’s Rick Sanchez did with a bogus Bill O’Reilly claim last week, they back down quickly.
If the audiences held the cable news networks to a higher standard, they would not be able to get away with doctoring and editing video. MSNBC is not even close to FNC on the distortion scale yet, but I think that could easily slip on to that path, if they aren’t careful. Audiences should demand better, and Jon Stewart should not be one of the few national voices holding people like Sean Hannity accountable.