Fox News Falsely Claims Media Have Ignored Sen. Reid’s Land Deal

Fox News is arguing that the media are “ignoring questions about Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) land deal.”

On Tuesday, Fox News host Sean Hannity told right-wing pundit Bob Novak that “you don’t see as much in the newspapers about this [the Reid land deal], Bob Novak, and I wonder if it would be the same if it was a Republican.” Bob Novak agreed, calling it “one of those strange things.” Watch it:


But in reality, the media have extensively covered the Reid land deal, while ignoring the $207 million earmark House Speaker Dennis Hastert inserted into the 2005 highway bill that greatly increased the value of his property in Illinois:

CNN has devoted 50 times as much coverage to Reid’s case as to Hastert’s.

— According to a Lexis-Nexis database search, Fox News has mentioned the Reid land deal nine times, but has brought up the Hastert deal just three.

According to Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Scott Lilly, Hastert made an astounding 136 percent a year on what he invested, whereas Reid made an annual return of 29 percent, probably quite typical of the profits made by other Las Vegas real estate investors during the same period.


Reid immediately apologized for the oversight lapse and amended his 2001 disclosure forms. Hastert, on the other hand, has done nothing.

— Kindra Wilson

Full transcript below:

SEAN HANNITY: It shouldn’t be a surprise when we learn that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is in hot water for illegally using campaign funds to pay for Christmas bonuses at his condominium at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington. Well, now that he’s been caught, he is paying back the money.And, of course, there’s the Senator Reid land deal which caught the attention of reporters last week. The minority leader has said that he will change his ethics filing with the Senate to represent more than $1 million that he made off the deal but, again, only after he was caught. Joining us now to explain all of this is the latest example of some Democratic excess. Syndicated columnist, FOX News contributor Robert Novak. First thing that stands out here, you don’t see as much in the newspapers about this, Bob Novak, and I wonder if it would be the same if it was a Republican. ROBERT NOVAK: You sure don’t. It’s one of those strange things.