Color me not shocked that Fox is carrying water for wingnut Sen. Ted Cruz and his dishonest attack on former Sen. Chuck Hagel during yesterday's confirmation hearing for Secretary of Defense. Sean Hannity opened up his show by replaying part of Cruz' cheap shot at Hagel earlier that day.
Fox News host Sean Hannity applauded Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his attack on Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel, claiming that Cruz' questioning during the Hagel's hearing demonstrated that he had made anti-American and anti-Semitic comments. But Cruz' claim that Hagel had accused Israel of a "sickening slaughter" was based on distorted quotes from heavily-cropped sound clips.
On the January 31 edition of his Fox News program, Hannity aired a portion of Hagel's confirmation hearing in which Cruz referenced an Israeli attack on Hezbollah and claimed that Hagel described Israel's actions as a "sickening slaughter." Cruz went on to ask, "Do you think it's right that Israel was committing, quote, a 'sickening slaughter,' as you said on the floor of the Senate?": [...]
Despite Hannity's approval of Cruz' line of questioning, Hagel was not accusing Israel of engaging in a "sickening slaughter" of Lebanon, he was decrying the escalation of violence by all parties in the region. As Slate's Dave Weigel points out, Hagel "described the conflict that way--a sickening slaughter was occurring --blaming both sides, and quickly following up by criticizing Iran and invoking the 'special relationship.' Cruz's truncation of the quote completely changed the meaning." [...]
Hannity also applauded a portion of the hearings in which Cruz used deceptively edited footage again to claim Hagel called the U.S. the bullies of the world after playing edited sound clips of an interview Hagel conducted in 2009. Hannity aired Cruz dismissing Hagel's denials, and called Cruz' questioning a "checkmate" on Hagel: [...]
In fact, the full context of the statements made by Hagel were not presented during the hearing, nor later on Hannity's show.
And who did Hannity follow up with to continue his dishonest attack on Hagel? None other than Liz Cheney -- because God knows we can't have a discussion on national security or foreign policy on Fox without getting the neocon point of view.
Hannity and Cheney called Hagel about every name in the book and implied that he was feckless after hearing his testimony today. That's pretty rich coming from Bush administration cheerleader Hannity and the daughter of someone who likely qualifies as one of, if not the worst Vice Presidents -- someone who dishonored the office in which he served. Both of them actually believe that Donald Rumsfeld did a good job as Secretary of Defense.