Tonight, Fox News' Sean Hannity -- who in the same show called for Sen. Harry Reid's defeat -- aired a misleading Sharron Angle campaign ad that he said “is probably the template that I think every candidate could use against Democrats.” Among other things, the ad accuses Reid of “vot[ing] to use taxpayer dollars to pay for Viagra for convicted child molesters and sex offenders.”
Hannity defended Angle's ad from a skeptical Mike Huckabee by saying that the provision “was in the bill” and that it's “fair game” even if Reid didn't “read the bill” :
HANNITY: I think holding people accountable for their votes is very effective.
HUCKABEE: It is, now, in fairness to Harry Reid, and you'll find this rare, a vote like that where you say he voted to give Viagra --
HANNITY: It was in the bill
HUCKABEE: That's the point. Some of these bills have all of these little provisions. He may be unaware that that was in the bill.
HANNITY: He should read the bill.
HUCKABEE: I understand. But this is a classic example. It's good politics -- it's great politics. But it's one of those instances where it sounds like he said yes there was a bill that was going to provide Viagra and that was the primary purpose of the bill.
HANNITY: No, but if it's in the bill and he didn't read it then I think, isn't that fair game?
But there was no provision in the health care bill that provided funding for Viagra for sexual preditors, as Hannity claimed, and the problem was not that Reid supposedly didn't “read the bill.”
As Politico's Andy Barr noted:
The vote Angle cited was an amendment offered to the major health care bill by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) in hopes of killing it. While the amendment sought to prevent the sale of Viagra to sexual predators using health care funds, there was no portion of the bill authorizing funds to provide the drug to sex offenders to begin with.
Democrats voted to table the amendment in order to continue consideration of the full measure.
From the October 7 edition of Fox News' Hannity: