On the same day that FOX News Channel host Bill O'Reilly responded to remarks critical of him by John Podesta -- formerly President Bill Clinton's chief of staff and currently the Center for American Progress' president and CEO -- and challenged Podesta to appear in person on The O'Reilly Factor to "produce some proof" of O'Reilly's lies, fellow FOX News Channel host Sean Hannity responded to remarks Podesta made that were similarly critical of Hannity. And on the June 4 radio broadcast of The Sean Hannity Show, Hannity -- like O'Reilly -- challenged Podesta "to explain one example where I ... said something that was so false."
Hannity introduced the topic by playing an audio clip on the air from an interview Podesta gave to right-wing news service CNSNews.com at the Campaign for America's Future "Take Back America" conference on June 3 in which Podesta said:
PODESTA: I think when you get so distant from the facts, as -- as guys like Limbaugh and Sean Hannity do, yeah, I think that tends to -- it kind of -- it tends to corrupt the dialogue. I mean, we have the First Amendment in this country. I guess they have a right to say what they want to say. ... But if we don't push back ... ; then shame on us. I mean, we got to get out there and fight back.
Hannity mocked Podesta's remarks and then challenged Podesta "to explain one example where I ... ; said something that was so false":
HANNITY: Isn't that gracious of Mr. Podesta? I guess they have the right to say what they want to say. I guess. I -- I'm -- oh, thank you, sir. Please sir, may I say another word, please? You know -- well -- what I'm -- I've invited Mr. Podesta on the program today. Now, he couldn't do it, but he said he'd come on next week. ... I'd like Podesta to defend and explain one example where I -- where I said something that was so false. You know, come on. Some Liberal out there, you -- you hear me talking. Why don't you just call Podesta and warn him that I'm going to ask him about that Monday or Tuesday when he's on next week.
Hannity also attacked Media Matters for America President and CEO David Brock and the Media Matters for America website:
HANNITY: And -- you know, you have David Brock out there -- I guess, what was he? Who used to be a Conservative. Now he hates Conservatives. And, you know -- I just -- I -- I just ignore these guys because they -- you know, they -- they want the attention.
And he's got a new book and Website out there...devoted -- can you imagine you spend your whole life, devoting your whole life to listening to what the enemies say, to listening to the likes of Hannity? Listening to the likes of talk radio? Finding one little thing we take can out of context so that we can exploit it on our Website? "And see -- see, we gotcha!"
As a matter of fact, Media Matters for America has identified numerous examples of false statements by Hannity:
May 2: FOX's Hannity falsely stated Kerry's record on military funding ... again
May 2: Conservative pundits wrongly claimed Kerry lied about Vietnam decorations
May 4: Hannity does it again
May 14: Hannity repeated distortions of Kerry record even after conceding similar attacks on McCain were "not fair"
May 14: FOX's Hannity wrong on Kerry tax plan
May 20: Hannity scores a hat trick
June 4: RNC chair joined Hannity to issue false attacks against Soros