From the Cincinnatti Enquirer:
CINCINNATI – Fox News unexpectedly canceled conservative talk show host Sean Hannity’s appearance Thursday night at the Cincinnati Tea Party Tax Day rally, leaving a lot of disappointed fans – and a lot of confusion.
Hannity was scheduled to hold a book-signing and a live taping of his talk show during the event.
Fox News Executive Vice President of Programming Bill Shine issued a statement to the media Thursday evening saying Fox had decided to call Hannity back to New York to do the show because officials believed the Tea Party was using Hannity to make a profit at the event.
Because the tea parties are supposed to make money for Faux News, not the other way around.
Criticism that the Tea Party and Hannity were trying to make a profit from the event began bouncing around on blogs, including the media blog Media Matters, about two days prior to Thursday’s rally at the University of Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Bank Arena.
“Unequivocally, from our standpoint, this is wrong,” Kevin Smith, president of the Society of Professional Journalists, told Media Matters. “For a news organization to charge people for access, then take that money and roll it over to a political action group that they cover quite a bit … There is a clear conflict of interest here.”
Cincinnati Tea Party officials said the idea that they would make money on the event is false.
“The Left drove that story, Fox capitulated to it and left,” said Chris Littleton, a Cincinnati Tea Party spokesman. He criticized Fox for not coming to Tea Party if it had concerns.
Organizers sold about 7,500 tickets and gave away another 420. Basic tickets cost $5 and special VIP tickets to sit near the Hannity taping cost $20. The Hannity tickets, nearly 2,000 of them, sold out.
Pat Kellison said she wants her money back. She’d not only bought the $13 book but had paid the $20 for preferred seating to watch the taping of Hannity’s show.
No one knew about the cancellation until Hannity didn’t show up.
He’d made a couple stops in Cincinnati throughout the day, including taping a radio show earlier in the day at talk station WKRC-AM.
Word about Hannity’s possible cancellation came around 4:30 p.m. when the book-signing was supposed to start. Hannity wasn’t there. Shortly before 5 p.m. his bus pulled out of the parking lot.
Frustrated fans left, books in hand.
For most of the night, confusion swirled about the reason for Hannity’s departure. Tea Party officials said Fox producers told them a “family emergency” forced the cancellation. Hannity staff members at the event told the Enquirer – and many in the book-signing line – that a “technical issue” forced him to cancel.
These are the same people who believe that Faux News is the only news outlet that tells them the truth.
They rallied again when Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, also known as “Joe the Plumber,” took to the stage. Wurzelbacher became the face of middle Americans for the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008 after he questioned Obama at a campaign stop.
Not one to be politically correct, Wurzelbacher drew cheers, and a couple of raised eyebrows, as he shared his views on immigration – “Put a fence up and start shooting. That’ll do it.” – and told the audience to “voice your opinion.”
“You have that right,” he said. “I’m not going to give in to a bunch of liberal pansies.”
Sean Insanity should have gone to the D.C. Tea Pary. Look at all the fun he missed! From POLITICAL HOTSHEET at CBS NEWS:
A few thousand people gathered at Freedom Plaza in Washington today for the first of two Tea Party rallies in the nation’s capital today organized to protest government spending and taxation.
Clutching angry signs and occasionally breaking out into chants of “USA! USA!,” the protesters listened to a series of fiery speeches attacking the Obama administration for what they cast as irresponsible spending and far left wing policies.
Rep. Michele Bachmann said the “gangster government” has instituted a “takeover of one private industry after another,” again making her questionable claim that “the federal government owns or controls 51 percent of the private economy.”
Bachmann railed against virtually every Obama administration initiative, including the financial industry reform effort now being considered to prevent another financial meltdown. Echoing GOP talking points distributed by a Republican pollster [Frank Luntz], she claimed the bill “is really a permanent bailout authority for the government for Wall Street and the big banks.”
Earlier in the rally, former Saturday Night Live cast member Victoria Jackson played a ukulele and sang a song claiming “there’s a communist living in the White House.” Part of her evidence for that claim, she said, was that both of the president’s parents were communists before they “abandoned him.”
Jackson yelled out a series of names, generating applause from the audience: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter. Like other speakers, she claimed “half of Americans are not paying taxes” this year. (A New York Times analysis found that number to be about 10 percent.)
The Associated Press documented some of the signs being waved: “We Want Regime Change,” “Save a Seal, Club a Liberal,” “Down with the Gov’t Takeover,” “End the Fed” and “Waterboard Bernanke.”
Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican who was introduced as “tea party tested and tea party approved,” complained that Obama administration policies “drain our vitality.” He called for the elimination of the IRS and the federal tax code, and, like Bachmann, claimed that the Obama administration had privatized more than half the economy.
Former House majority leader and FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey, clad in a cowboy hat, explained to the crowd his idea of social justice.
“If you earn the money, you got a right to keep the money, he said. “Now how crazy is that?”
Asked if he was concerned the Tea Party movement could split the Republican vote in the midterm elections, House Republican Leader John Boehner said, “I think by and large we’re proving to the Tea Party people that we’re earning their respect and their vote.”