Sunday, November 14, 2010

Who is responsible for Hannity's hack job?

Hey class,
We were discussing the fallout of Sean Hannity's involvement with the Tea Party movement. The fact is, it wasn't really a "movement" until he got involved, so is what he's done ethical. In other words, if he is playing the role of a responsible journalist, is being the cause for a rally to gain attention and, ultimately, influence, stepping over the bounds of the journalist's job?
It seemed that the class all agreed that Hannity had, in fact, overstepped his role, if he were, in fact, a journalist. But, his stance within the world of news is shaky. The role he plays is neither reporter, nor editor; columnist or pundit. He is, quite simply, a talking head. Whether or not Fox News should have people who are simply talking heads - whose job it is to hike ratings - is another topic altogether. Hannity, on an individual level, is charged with the task of inciting rage in the viewer. And he did just that.
Now, the class argued that he should be held to the same standard of accuracy as any journalist if he is to broadcast on a "news" outlet. Thus, his blunder with switching footage to make the first Tea Parties seem larger would be outrageous. However, upon further examination, it is clear that he is NOT in fact the executive producer of the Sean Hannity Show. In fact, he has no role in it, whatsoever, other than to be the face.

The Fox News website lists the staff of the show as such (they do not provide last names):

James: Executive Producer
Greg: Engineer
Elisha: Senior Producer
Eileen: Affiliate Relations Director
Lynda: Associate Producer
Eric: Talk Programming Director

So, it's entirely possible that Hannity had no idea that the footage was fake. Of course, we will never know who made the final decision and who really has the power (I'm sure Hannity is given a measured amount of decision-making power for the sake of keeping the talent happy) but, it's safe to say that the decision to switch footage was not entirely up to him.


  1. I'm sure that the switching of the footage wasn't up to him because that is the reporter or editor's job, and Hannity is no reporter. That aside, I think that he probably knew about it. Having backed the Tea Party since its creation and having been one of the most influential people for its creation, I wouldn't put it past Hannity or anyone else on FOX News to alter the chronological context of the video. They alter their news, so why not alter their video? It makes me wonder what other footage they have recycled during a newscast...

  2. NEWS FLASH... people really do take FOX seriously.

    This makes me sick.

    Check sometime, and you'll find foxnation in the same place. No one is even trying to hide the partisanshit anymore.

    Hannity is no reporter, I agree, and that's not news either.