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I caught a fish this big!
on July 10, 2006
In Let Freedom Ring, Sean Hannity sends out the subliminal message that he and his writing are about truth, justice, and the American way. The cover is cloaked in red, white and blue, and the title represents everything true and good about him and America. Liberals he concedes are loving parents, good people, hard workers, but misguided. (He actually is far kinder than Savage here.) But they just don't know how to defend or lead a country. For his five-star reviewers his message reinforces any pre-conceived beliefs and Hannity's words, not his sources, validate those beliefs.
If this was written by a ghost writer, he should have withheld payment. If it wasn't written by a ghostwriter, Hannity should have one for his next attempt at literary hyperbole because this reads like a collection of poorly constructed arguments based on faulty, unwarranted assumptions.
The first chapter is written in a maudlin, "those-were-the-good-old-days" wistfulness of his immigrant grandfather whom he describes as an honest man of integrity, and a believer in the American dream. But before you can say "Erin Go Braugh" he is talking about the courage of George W. Bush for standing up to terrorism. Exactly how G.W. does, he doesn't elaborate. How he morphs from grandfather to Dubbya is almost magical.
Hannity's next trick is to impugn Clinton and Gore as being soft on terrorism. His source for this is, of all people, Dick Morris who knew the Clintons and now works for the Fox Republican Advocacy Network. He quotes Morris who makes such vague statements as "It seemed they were afraid of talking about terrorism," or "they seemed to be indifferent to terrorism." These "Morris mind-reads" are conjectural, but Hannity quotes them as if they are undisputed fact.
Let's take a closer look at Hannity's unimpeachable source for a moment. It was Dick Morris who quit the Clintons shortly after the second election. It was Morris who had a penchant for streetwalkers, did some jail time, and entered alcohol rehab. You'd think SH could find a better source if he expects freedom to ring!
But, Hannity doesn't skip a beat. He points out how democrats such as Senators Kerry and Daschle voted against certain defense-spending bills. What he neglects to inform his readers are the reasons they did because of riders that were attached to the bills, or the number of republicans who also voted against the same bills, or the many defense bills that Kerry and Daschle did vote for. He never once advises his reader of the defense spending programs that were killed by Dick Cheney when he was Secretary of Defense. Such deception is called propaganda.
Propaganda is something that Hannity has no compunction using here. This he does in continuing to tell a tale that has long since been debunked. Namely, it is the story of President Clinton being offered Osama bin Laden by the Sudanese government. Again, it's what he doesn't say that misdirects the reader. Sudan made the offer in the hope of having the economic sanctions against them for slave-trading, lifted. However, the FBI determined that the Sudanese were playing us because they had neither the ability nor the intent of handing over bin Laden. The Sudanese also made the offer to Saudi Arabia, but the Saudis had revoked bin Laden's citizenship, and refused to take him.
He also states that Clinton should have gone after Osama bin Laden employing overt or covert operations. In fact, Clinton tried (and failed) several times to get bin Laden. Unfortunately, the President of the United States forgot to consult or advise this conservative pundit each time he tried. The fact that Bush failed on a grander scale seems to be of little consequence.
Benjamin Franklin said "Statistics is a liar." Hannity uses charts for the same purpose. He shows how under Reagan, the army bought over 500 tanks. Under Clinton, the army bought none. This leads one to the assumption that Clinton did nothing for the services. He doesn't mention that the army buys tanks, not presidents. He doesn't mention the army had all the tanks they needed for armored warfare against the Soviet Union that never came. He doesn't mention that the army began changing its warfare strategies which would include more transportable fighting vehicles.
Be grateful that Hannity cannot rewrite famous works of literature as he attempts to do with history. If he could, instead of seeing a dead Captain Ahab being killed by the whale in "Moby Dick," we might just see a grinning captain standing next to a tethered whale with the caption: "I caught a fish this big!"
There's something very fishy about his facts, his historical parallels which aren't parallel, and what he chooses to tell you, and what he chooses to leave out.
In this book, he tells whale-sized whoppers!