Sean Hannity's reality check

The horror of the storm survivors' last night outside the New Orleans convention center intrudes on Fox's reassuring coverage.

Published September 4, 2005 4:09AM (EDT)

Salon's Katharine Mieszkowski on Fox correspondents telling off the host.

Even Sean Hannity of Fox News' "Hannity and Colmes" couldn't put a flag-waving spin on the squalid conditions outside the convention center in New Orleans Friday night. He did try, of course, but his own correspondents wouldn't let him get away with it.

In this clip, Geraldo Rivera and Shepard Smith express indignation and dismay at the horrible conditions suffered by the thousands of people still trapped there Friday night. Smith reported that the storm survivors were not told when they'd be rescued, after days of waiting. Worse, they were actually prevented from exiting the area at a checkpoint manned by guards.

Amidst Rivera's tears and Smith's outrage, Sean Hannity tried to take it down a notch, in his words "let's get this in perspective." Wasn't the National Guard just around the corner? But Smith shut him down interrupting: "This is perspective!"

Even within Fox's reassuring coverage of Katrina, reality sometimes intrudes. Now that those refugees have finally been rescued from New Orleans, let's hope their stories still make it on the air, even on Fox.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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