The resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the arrest of Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) dominated yesterday’s news cycle. All three network evening news shows — ABC, CBS, and NBC — covered the stories. Both The New York Times and Washington Post put the Gonzales resignation on the front page, and covered the Craig story.
Yet both reports were largely ignored yesterday by Sean Hannity. On the top of his Fox News show last night, Hannity promised his audience a discussion on Gonzales’s resignation. He began the show by playing the clip of Gonzales’s press conference, adding, “The attorney general resigns. Will this quiet the administration’s critics? All of that, plus the controversy over the new Katie Couric book.”
Nevertheless, Hannity never actually talked about Gonzales during his entire hour-long show. (He did have time, however, for the Katie Couric book.) During one segment with Republican strategist Margaret Hoover, co-host Alan Colmes managed to get in a few questions about Gonzales. But during those two minutes of questioning, Hannity never once said the word “Gonzales,” and quipped in only to say that Gonzales was “no Janet Reno.”
The show also completely ignored the June arrest of Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), which was revealed yesterday by Roll Call. Craig pleaded guilty on Aug. 8 to “misdemeanor disorderly conduct” for his “lewd” behavior in a men’s public restroom at a Minnesota airport.
The show’s silence contrasts with the eight segments (on 3/31, 4/3, 4/4, 4/5, 4/6, 4/7, 4/10, 4/19) it did in a one-month period in 2006 on the arrest of former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who punched a Capitol police officer when he “mistakenly pursued her for failing to pass through a metal detector.” In the March 31 segment, Hannity called her a “little self-important congresswoman.”
Fox News likes to pretend it’s “fair and balanced,” but as Hannity proved last night, it’s really opinion media with a partisan agenda.