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Hannity Blurs Line Between News And Advocacy Even Further -- And FOX News Allows It

News hounds | August 20, 2007

It turns out that fancy lunch date Sean Hannity had with Rudy Giuliani last week was a closed-door fundraiser where the "real journalism" FOX News host was an active participant. According to the NY Daily News , Hannity was there to introduce Giuliani. To borrow a favorite FOX News phrase, "some are saying" that Hannity crossed an improper line separating journalism from advocacy. To add to Hannity's woes over that fundraiser, it was also alleged that he used public funds, via a chauffeured ride from the local sheriff, to get there.

The Daily News stated:

In so doing, some believe that Hannity - while clearly a commentator paid to express his opinions - crossed the line from punditry into financial rainmaking for a presidential candidate whose bottom line is now better for it.

"Fox's in-kind contribution to Republican politicians in the form of softball coverage is one thing," said Steve Rendall, senior analyst at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a left-leaning media watchdog group. "But this is the first time they have crossed this line into fund-raising."

..."It signals within that brand of conservatism that they ought to vote for the guy," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communications.

Hannity declined to comment, but his bosses at Fox News Channel and WABC, flagship station for his national radio show, defended their marquee star by arguing that he's not a journalist and shouldn't be judged as one.

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