Fox News and Frisbee Parks

AEC Insight recognizes that we have a burr under our saddle about Sean Hannity and Fox News (not to mention a tendency to use archaic phrases), and that we should make a point not to watch, however accidentally we do. The problem is that some otherwise intelligent people appear to be shaping their opinions about politics, our country and our world based on the so-called “news” presented on Fox News.

Case in point: Last night, for the third straight time we’ve happened to see him speaking, Hannity derided the stimulus bill by making specific reference to a frisbee golf park that our hard-earned taxpayer money would build. Greta Van Susteren, ever the diligent “journalist,” failed to press him for an explanation. So if all you did was watch Fox News, you might believe that the $800-plus-billion stimulus bill is weighed down with billions of dollars specifically targeted for frivolous activities such as frisbee golf.

The OUTRAGE!

Were we sitting where Greta was, we’d have asked good ol’ Sean, “So you’re saying that the stimulus bill specifically earmarks funds for a frisbee golf park?” Sean, never one to miss the opportunity to, um, stretch the truth as a means to his ideological end, would almost certainly insist that, yes, the stimulus bill contains a provision for a frisbee golf park. He might even know that this infamous park would be built in Austin, Texas.

We’d then say, “But Sean…we read all 647 pages of the House version of the bill and searched all 778 pages of the Senate version and we didn’t find a single word about frisbee golf. In fact, we read that funds from the bill could not be used for any type of golf course. So what the heck are you talking about, Sean me boy?”

We imagine he’d refer to the Wall Street Journal article discussing the fact that the U.S. Council of Mayors submitted 18,750 “shovel-ready” projects and that among these projects were some of dubious value to the stimulus effort. For example, a request by the City of Austin for $886,000 to build a 36-hole disc golf course…with no guarantee that it would be funded, we might add.

Hmmm.

So all the huffing and bloviating by Hannity about the “pork-laden” bill amounts to one request by one city for an amount that is approximately 1/10,000th of 1% of the total stimulus bill. And that’s all he can talk about?

If you want to debate whether people who don’t pay taxes should receive a tax break, we could certainly get on board for that. More to the point, we’d question why a stimulus bill focused on infrastructure would cut nearly $20 billion for school construction projects, as the Senate has done with its version of the bill. But then we clearly don’t love our country as much as Sean does.

Okay then…with that off our chests, let’s see what happens today with the Senate vote, where we expect narrow passage. Then begins the battle to rectify the House and Senate versions.

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