Mike Dickinson, a Virginia Democrat who’s challenging House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, is going to have to up his game to do combat with the likes of Fox News host Sean Hannity. Hannity sort of welcomed Dickinson onto his show last night, then proceeded to clobber him. The peg for the discussion was Dickinson’s well-publicized tweet of Feb. 17:
Fox News does nothing but tell lies and mistruths. They have unqualified political analysts. We need FCC to monitor and regulate them.
— DickinsonForCongress (@VoteMike2014) February 18, 2014
Boy, did Hannity have a blast poking at the exaggerations and distortions in that one. Here’s how he kicked things off, asking Dickinson, “All day long, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we’ve never told the truth ever on Fox. All we do is tell lies. We do nothing but tell lies? That’s all we’ve ever done is tell lies?”
Imprisoned by his own sweeping absurdity, Dickinson eventually got a chance to defend his allegations and pointed toward Hannity’s treatment of Obamacare: “All right, all you do on yourshow is promote Obamacare, you say this, that, and implying it’s socialism. The American people that I’ve talked to that don’t understand what the Affordable Care Act is about is ridiculous. They all have this idea it’s socialism. They all have this idea it’s big government.”
So you want to talk Obamacare, huh? Hannity surmised. The host then hammered away at President Obama’s misleading statement that Americans could keep existing insurance plans. Said Hannity regarding Obama: “The bottom line is, he told lies and mistruths, the very criticism you have against us, and yet you support him. What does that make you?”
Dickinson never managed to get back on his feet. The interview ended on a classically sour note from Hannity: “Good luck to you. You’re going to lose. I’ll put any amount of money on it. You’re going to lose badly. Goodbye.”
Serves Dickinson right for not keeping abreast of the Erik Wemple Blog. Had he sampled our 21-post series on Fox News’s fall 2012 Benghazi reporting, he might have had some material to throw at Hannity. After all, the network’s towering “scoop” from October of that year contains very few claims unmolested by debunking.
Yet no reporting in this space or any other could possibly excuse or support Dickinson’s reckless and big-brotherly call for Federal Communications Commission monitoring of Fox News content nor his risible comment that Fox News commentators are unqualified, as if the commentators on other networks are all geniuses.