Less than a week has passed since hundreds of thousands of Haitians fell victim to the worst earthquake in their history and Sean Hannity has already co-opted the term to score political points. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann awarded the Fox News host “Worst Person in the World” Monday night for repeatedly saying that the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts would be a “political earthquake.”
On at least three separate occasions, Hannity used the word “earthquake” in his election analyses. Only hours after the quake in Haiti, Hannity said, “this would be a political earthquake.”
Two days after the quake, Hannity told Sarah Palin, “What a political earthquake that would be.”
And three days after the disaster, when it was evident that possibly hundreds of thousands of Haitians had lost their lives, Hannity told Gov. Mike Huckabee, “If Republicans win this, a political earthquake. 9.9 [on the Richter Scale].”
“Three tasteless uses of the word earthquake since the Haitian earthquake including an imaginary reading from the Richter Scale,” noted Olbermann. “Mr. Hannity have you ever checked? Is your head by any chance made out of cheese?” he asked.
Fox News has faced criticism for spending little time on covering the actual earthquake in favor of their opinion based pundits like Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. The day following the quake, those Fox News programs spent less than seven minutes combined covering the disaster while MSNBC spent over two hours in their top three opinion shows combined, according to Media Matters.
James Rainey of the LA Times was disappointed. “CNN makes a solid contribution to documenting the suffering and misery, but in prime time Fox gives scant coverage to the event,” he wrote.
But its prime-time headliners expose the values of the entire operation, and this week they’ve given abysmally short shrift to the biggest crisis in the world.
Why dwell on one of our closest hemispheric neighbors in its hour of dire need, when — like both Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck — you can conduct prolonged, frothy promotional interviews with Fox’s newest contributor, Sarah Palin?
This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Jan. 18, 2010.