How trustworthy are the US media?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 5, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: On this very problem program, we've exposed the left-wing media bias -- the mainstream media -- and yesterday, NBC anchor Brian Williams reveals how he really feels about this country while he was chatting with his buddy, left-wing Hollywood liberal father of the year Alec Baldwin, on his -- I'm sure it's highly rated -- podcast. Listen to what he said.


ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: Although loud personalities with extreme views gobble up more air time, television news is an industry that still rewards unbiased, thoughtful and direct reporting.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC ANCHOR, "NIGHTLY NEWS": My work has been so cleansed, as I see it, and as I've tried, of political opinions over 27 years.

BALDWIN: How do you do it? Do you have political opinions?

WILLIAMS: I sometimes don't know. I have the same disappointments in my patriotism as a great man once said, I yield to no one. I love this country. I love the American idea. I have profound disappointments in my country. I feel we ought to be in space. I feel the dismantling of the manned space program --

BALDWIN: Why should we be in space?

WILLIAMS: Because it meant so much to us.

BALDWIN: You mean just symbolically?

WILLIAMS: No. Technologically, it moved us along.

BALDWIN: Technologically, there were more advances to be made there, you felt.

WILLIAMS: You know, I sometimes think, post-war America, post-Vietnam America, has kind of become exhausted. I have another theory that the growth of self, all things self, has taken away our spirit of community, we can do this, cohesion.

BALDWIN: Yes. Sacrifice.

WILLIAMS: American-ness.


HANNITY: Oh, let me see, this is the state-run media of let's see David Axelrod, Robert Gibbs the propagandist, and then of course we have Ed Schultz, let's rip Dick Cheney's heart out, stomp on it shove it back in him, and let's not forget thrill up our leg Chris Mathews.

Well, guess what Mr. Williams, and the rest of the country appears to be disappointed with you. Because according to a new Rasmussen poll, only six percent of the Americans view the news reported by the mainstream lap dog Obama-mania media as very trustworthy. And you want to know what we find so disappointing? The fact that you, your liberal mainstream media cohorts, the people that work on your networks burying stories about how the administration, for example, bullies the press.

Now, according to a report in The New York Post, a veteran journalist, oh, Jonathan Alter, a liberal told the paper, quote, "I had a young reporter asking tough, important questions of an Obama cabinet Secretary, she was doing her job, they were trying to bully her and in e-mail they called her the vilest of names, the B-word, the C-word" and other things that we can't mention on this program, and put up on the screen, and then the reporter complained and "was told the matter would be quote, 'investigated.' They were hemming and hawing and said we'll look into it. Nothing happened." Pretty unreal.

Joining me now with reaction, former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu. You know, even Congress has a better approval rating on the media, John, Governor, how are you?

FMR. GOV. JOHN SUNUNU, R-N.H.: Have you ever heard two more image preening, pretentious conversation coming from two people in the media than what you just heard there?

HANNITY: No. "I cleanse myself of... I've gone to the mountaintop."

SUNUNU: Talk about guys who are talking with -- with a swelled head.


It proves that just because there's a pretty face and a smooth voice, there's not anything that -- not necessarily anything behind that in terms of thoughtful, real understanding of what's going on in this country today.

HANNITY: You know, I was actually fairly impressed with Tom Brokaw the other day, a rare comment made by somebody in the media about Obama and his antics. But let me ask you, because Ann Romney mentioned in the interview with Chris Wallace the other day that she does blame the media," I'll be glad to blame the media." You were actively involved in that campaign. How bad was the media in terms of covering the campaign?

SUNUNU: Well, look, and the Republican Party started with a horrible mistake. They let -- they let Williams and Stephanopoulos and David Gregory moderate their primary debates. I think that was a huge mistake and a lot of the influence of the media started with the biased questions that came out of that. Williams himself had this holier than thou question that he threw at Governor Perry about asking him more -- how, did he always -- was he always able to sleep at night because of Texas' death penalty situation. Talk about a pretentious moderator.

But we had that all through the campaign and they aided and abetted Obama's distortion of reality, that unemployment wasn't that important, that the country was getting better, that the kind of garbage you got from Goolsbee earlier, pretending that Obama hasn't increased spending by 20 percent. Goolsbee uses the disingenuous statistic that because they economy got little bitter and the percentage of spending this year versus last year, to GDP maybe lower, he's trying to pat himself on the back with that. And the media aids and abets that.

HANNITY: You know, they never vetted this president in 2007 and '08. I mean, I don't know how any republican could be friends with Bill Ayers and only get one question, only one in the course of an entire year and a half campaign and never a follow-up for the lie that he told in relation to that question. I don't know how he never got called out on, he said he'd cut the deficit in half. He gave us six trillion in debt. Basic simple questions, they don't want to do their job. How does democracy function now?

SUNUNU: Sean, you don't even have to go back. Just look at what's happening now. This president has a lot more flexibility under budget authority than he is pretending he has. And he refused to accept a flex, added flexibility when the Republicans' House offered to send him legislation like that. The people that should be ticked off now are the TS agents, for example, whose unemployment is being cut unnecessarily. This president is taking money out of their pocket.

The people that really should be ticked off are all the government employees whose work time is being cut back by an administration that doesn't have to cut it back. But he's using this sequester to create political points and making these poor people lose some of their money.

HANNITY: And I think that for democracy to survive and thrive, I think we need a vigilant media. We now have a lap dog, thrill up our leg, ass- kissing, suck up lap-dog media. How do we have a thriving democracy when people can't get accurate, fair information? That seems to be hard to me.

SUNUNU: It's part of a three-stage problem we have in this country. K through 12, the kids are being taught by a lot of teachers who lean liberal and are feeding them an extremely liberal line. They go to college and the academic community is all the way over to the left. And the press, I think eight years ago, there was a poll and 93 percent of the press admitted they voted Democratic. I bet it was even higher in the 2012 election.

So, those are the three problems in the country. We've got to figure out if those that care about the traditional way that this country was able to create the American dream. We've got to figure out how to get our message in a package that begins to offset this. But it's an awfully tough battle when you've got the Brian Williams of the world who tell the public they're neutral he when they're leaning so far left. This is coming from a guy --

HANNITY: But he's been cleansed. He's been cleansed.

SUNUNU: From a network that has been caught at least three times with major doctoring of videos and has been caught not only with a bias, but with a distortion. And this guy sits there pretending that things like that don't happen in his news program or his network.

HANNITY: All right, John Sununu, Governor, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.

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