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Hannity’s Attack On Fitzgerald Falls Flat

By Payson Schwin  

"Hannity’s Attack On Fitzgerald Falls Flat"

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Earlier this week, Republican pollster Frank Luntz said, “If [Fitzgerald] indicts, they [the White House] will have no choice but to attempt to demonize him. I think that is going to be really, really tough.”

Fox News’s Sean Hannity took up Luntz’s challenge last night. He said, “[W]ho is Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor? …[H]e’s made some surprising statements. We’re going to tell you what we’ve uncovered tonight.”

First, Hannity went on to discuss only one Fitzgerald statement, which was about Martha Stewart prosecutor James Comey. Here’s the quote:

“I think what drives [Comey] is a commitment to justice and wanting to do the right thing in a right way. The people who get involved in the system, witnesses, jurors, judges, defense lawyers and even defendants, come away with a respect for what he does and how he does it.” [Today Show, 6/30/03]

Hardly damning, but let’s look at what else Hannity “uncovered.” He said last night, “The Chicago Tribune quoted one of [Fitgerald's] former colleagues in the U.S. attorney’s office in New York as saying ‘[P]robably Fitzgerald’s greatest talent was finding creative ways to interpret the law.’”

But that’s not a direct quote, it’s the reporter’s characterization. Here’s what Fitzgerald’s colleague actually said:

“When you’d looked at a case from every angle and you were sure you didn’t have what was needed to take it forward, you could show it to Pat and he’d say, ‘Have you thought about charging this?’” [Chicago Tribune, 2/27/05]

It appears this “brilliant and apolitical” prosecutor will survive the right-wing attack machine and see his “very dignified investigaton” through to the end.

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