Hannity Claims He “Screwed Up” for “Incorrect Video” Revealed by Jon Stewart

I know the report on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart happened a couple of days ago. I just want to give this video a home on Turning Left. This is the story where Stewart reveals that Sean Hannity used video footage of a September 12 rally in Washington, D.C. to give the impression that an anti-health insurance reform rally by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann had more people than actually attended.

From the Huffington Post:

The tea party protests continued last week, as Congresswoman Michele Bachmann held an anti-health-care-reform rally on the steps of the Capitol. While she estimated that 20,000-45,000 people attended the event, the Washington Post reported it was actually more like 10,000.

Still, that is a sizable number of Americans exercising their right to free speech and assembly, and that warrants news coverage. But Sean Hannity and his team did more than cover the event. They not only inflated the number in attendance with their words, but actually used footage from a heavily-attended protest this summer to make this health care rally appear more popular. Hannity even pointed out that this was a huge crowd for a Thursday, when the protest footage they used was from a Saturday.

Why did it take a couple of days for me to post the Stewart video? Permit me to blow off some geek steam. The HTML purist in me gets frustrated with Comedy Central’s embed code, which is always invalid. If anyone from Comedy Central happens to stop by, here’s your problem: your captions always include an improperly closed anchor tag:

<a target='_blank' style='color:#333; text-decoration:none; font-weight:bold;' href='http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-november-10-2009/sean-hannity-uses-glenn-beck-s-protest-footage'>Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck's Protest Footage<a>

This, of course, should look like this:

<a target='_blank' style='color:#333; text-decoration:none; font-weight:bold;' href='http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-november-10-2009/sean-hannity-uses-glenn-beck-s-protest-footage'>Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck's Protest Footage</a>

No charge for the design tip. Just fix it, please! That error is in every video released by The Daily Show! It’s a pain to fix!

Sean Hannity claims he "screwed up" for airing "incorrect video" of the 9-12 protests while discussing the Bachmann rally. (Tip of the hat to MediaMatters.org for this video — which doesn’t have broken code.)

Hats off to Jon Stewart and his team for this great catch.