Sean Hannity has been fact-checked, and the results aren't pretty.
In an article posted on Salon on Friday, Eric Stern "re-reported" a recent episode of Fox News' "Hannity" during which host Sean Hannity invited six guests to tell their Obamacare "horror stories."
According to Stern, there was a lot more to each of the guests' stories than Hannity let on. Stern decided to conduct his own investigation by separately interviewing each guest, and what he said he found was not that the guests were cheated by Obamacare, but rather that they had tried very little, if at all, to participate in the ACA.
Stern accused the Fox News host of using "fake evidence" to "exploit people’s ignorance and falsely point to imaginary boogeymen," deeming it all a part of the "Fox News lie machine."
Paul Cox and his wife Michelle, for example, appeared on the show claiming that their construction business has been hit hard because of Obamacare, giving them no choice but to significantly cut employee hours. Stern noted that Obamacare has no effect on any business with less than 50 employees.
"In our brief conversation on the phone, Paul revealed that he has only four employees. Why the cutback on his workforce? “Well,” he said, “I haven’t been forced to do so, it’s just that I’ve chosen to do so. I have to deal with increased costs.” What costs? And how, I asked him, is any of it due to Obamacare? There was a long pause, after which he said he’d call me back. He never did."
The two other couples interviewed by Stern both claimed that the new policies offered by Obamacare would cost them considerably more than their previous insurance rates. After doing his own search on the Obamacare exchange website based on the couples' circumstances, Stern found that this was just not true.
"I don’t doubt that these six individuals believe that Obamacare is a disaster; but none of them had even visited the insurance exchange," Stern wrote. "Hannity is not entitled to point to Paul’s behavior as an “Obamacare train wreck story” and maintain any credibility that he might have as a journalist."
Twitter, as usual, was up in arms over Stern's findings:
— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) October 18, 2013
I'm SHOCKED that Hannity might manufacture lies. SHOCKED. The rollout is a mess, but this is crap. http://t.co/olml3m2wKw
— Anne Landgraf (@brooklynpeach) October 18, 2013
@_ericstern :I just read your article about Obamacare & Hannity
You did Very good, Fox News is just one long never ending propaganda machine
— Howard Fall (@fiverings5) October 18, 2013
Fox's Sean Hannity said he'd found 3 ACA horror stories; turns out they were lies. If ACA is so bad, why does Fox have to make things up?
— Lee Goaa (@LeeGoaa) October 18, 2013
— John (@xanthmaster) October 18, 2013
Fact-check of Hannity guests claiming to be harmed by Obamacare finds it would help them if they chose to participate http://t.co/K7VVlGEmeP
— John McQuaid (@johnmcquaid) October 18, 2013
Do the words, "fact check" followed by "Sean Hannity" ever end in positive results? http://t.co/TD0WDEoRrm
— KWANZA (@kwanzer) October 18, 2013
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