Fact-Checking The Sean Hannity Playboy Interview

Fox News propagandist Sean Hannity sat down with Playboy, and though I'm not going to attempt to correct every one of his lies, it's worth spotlighting just how much wrongness he can cram into a single interview.

Fox News propagandist Sean Hannity sat down with Playboy, and though I'm not going to attempt to correct every one of his lies, it's worth spotlighting just how much wrongness he can cram into a single interview.

PLAYBOY: Let’s start with an easy one. What is it precisely about liberals that bothers you so much?

HANNITY: Liberalism is failing the country.

The Republican Party has controlled the House, and has a stranglehold on the Senate for nearly three years. So what is all this "liberalism" Hannity's referring to?

Also, by "destroying," does Hannity mean the 79% increase in the Dow since Barack Obama was elected, the record corporate profits, the declining unemployment rate, or the declining deficits?

HANNITY: But look what’s happening in Cyprus, in Greece, in Spain, in Ireland and other places. These countries are going down the road America is now choosing to go down, which is socialism, in my view. Very high taxes.

Taxes in the United States are at historic lows. What happened in Cyprus, Spain and Ireland has nothing to do with the welfare state and everything to do with financial deregulation. And unlike those countries, the US controls its own currency.

HANNITY: Promises that the government will take care of every need an individual has. These promises ultimately can’t be fulfilled. You can’t manage the cost of it all. The president tried to sell Obama­care at $900 billion. Now the latest estimate is $2.8 trillion, and a recent report by the Government Accountability Office says over the long term it could add $6.2 trillion to our debt. That is what I would describe as unsustainable.

Unlike under the past three Republican administrations, the deficit is coming down--as have Obamacare's estimated costs.

HANNITY: The other thing is energy. There is an answer to America’s problems right now. We are so stupid we don’t tap into our own energy resources. We have more oil than Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia combined. We have oil shale; we’ve got fracking available. We are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. The Democratic Socialist Party in America is so beholden to environmentalists, we don’t even tap into our own resources.

Domestic oil production in the US is at a 20-year high.

HANNITY: The Republicans should be the party that wants balanced budgets, fiscal responsibility. It should be the party that believes you don’t spend more than you take in. We’re not going to borrow 46 cents of every dollar to run the government. Social Security and Medicare are headed for bankruptcy. The Republicans should be the party of energy independence and of getting the country on its feet. Instead, we’ve spent all this money, and we have nothing to show for it. We’re robbing our kids blind, because it’s their money we’re taking, and they’re going to spend their lifetimes paying it back.

Over the past 30 years, Republican presidents have added far more to the debt than Democratic presidents. Under Reagan, the debt increased 188%. Under George H.W. Bush, it increased another 55%. Under George W. Bush, the increase was 89%.

In contrast, the debt has increased 35% under Clinton, and so far, 53% under Obama.

PLAYBOY: What about the massive budget deficit this administration inherited?

HANNITY: No president has ever given us a trillion-dollar deficit, and certainly no president has given us $6 trillion in debt in four years the way Obama has. Not even close. He inherited a $10 trillion debt, not $16.5 trillion.

Obama didn't take office until 2009, so he actually inherited a $12T dollar debt. Most of that debt was from the economic crash that occurred under George W. Bush, the costs of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Bush tax cuts.

PLAYBOY: Next issue. More than 30 academies of science across the world have concluded that global warming is caused by human activity, but you’ve cast doubt on climate change for years.

HANNITY: You want the short answer or the long? Either way, I think it’s a crock of shit. I don’t believe it’s true, and I think that people have been put in a state of panic. I think the environmental movement is rooted in a political agenda, which is that capitalism is evil, that people are raping and pillaging the planet for profit. And I think it is rooted in redistribution.

As the reporter pointed out, there is an overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change.

Hannity is about as mainstream a right-winger as there is: climate change is a "crock of shit" cooked up by socialists, taxes are at all-time highs, Obama's bankrupting the country, the deficit is exploding, Republicans are the party that reduces deficits, the US is turning into Cyprus, and Greenpeace is preventing us from drilling for oil.

All articles of faith in today's GOP, and all objectively false.

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