Hume on partisan political exaggerations: These are not normal times

Politicians seem to double-down on overstatement as a way of keeping people in fear of things like the omicron variant, Brit Hume said Tuesday on “Fox News Primetime.”

Host Lawrence Jones told Hume it is important to watch not what politicians say, but instead what they do.

He pointed to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, vacationing in Miami with boyfriend Riley Roberts while simultaneously attempting to dunk on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s governance and removing herself from the more restrictive state of New York she represents.

“Don’t listen to what they say. Watch what they do,” Jones said. “Like AOC prancing around the free state of Florida without a mask. She knows this is all overblown.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
(Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Hume replied that both politicians and media personalities have a penchant to state things “as dramatically as possible” in hopes of “making the charges against your opponents … more effective.”

“In normal times, that is sort of how things go and there’s nothing particularly to worry about,” he said. “These are not normal times, however.”

“We are living in a particularly tense age. The country is deeply divided. We are in the midst of this pandemic. What we need is people to calm down. The bitter divisions that we see in this country are exacerbated by this tendency to exaggerate and do so grossly.”

Hume pointed to how the Mississippi Democrat in charge of the Jan. 6 Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, said America came “critically close to losing this democracy” during the riots of one year ago.

Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson.

Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The Fox News political analyst said Thompson, like many others, was using hyperbole.

“We weren’t close to using our democracy. It was a cockamamie scheme by Trump that was bound to fail and did. That’s where we are, I think. It’s a problem in this age.”

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Jones pointed to other venues in which politicians and media types have irresponsibly used hyperbole, including defund-police endeavors, the Kyle Rittenhouse case, coronavirus lockdowns in Democrat-run states, and claims about the U.S.-Mexico border being secure.

“Part of what is happening here, Lawrence, as you suggest is a lot of things that get said may have a kernel of truth in them,” Hume replied. “By the time we have been behind to the extent that they have been behind, they turn into falsehoods.”

“Look, what’s happening in Chicago with the teachers unions right now. I suspect a lot of those teachers out there sincerely believe that they are really in danger from the new omicron wave. Well, the science doesn’t support that.”

“On the other hand, people believe this because of too damn much information, and a lot of it comes from political charges and media hype.”

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