Hannity on Obama's pastor: "It seems like he's supporting a segregated church"

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity said to his guest, Ann Coulter: "You know, [Sen.] Barack Obama's [D-IL] pastor... has this whole list of the Black Value System. It seems like he's supporting a segregated church." Hannity provided no evidence to support his suggestion that the church of which Obama is a member, the Trinity Church of Christ, is "segregated"; indeed, University of Chicago Divinity School professor emeritus Martin Marty wrote of Trinity: "My wife and I on occasion attend, and, like all other non-blacks, are enthusiastically welcomed."

On the December 19 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity said to his guest, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter: "You know, [Sen.] Barack Obama's [D-IL] pastor... has this whole list of the Black Value System. It seems like he's supporting a segregated church." Hannity then asserted that "[t]here's no questions about it, except here on this program," and, after stating that there has been "scrutiny" over the positions of Republican presidential candidates and former Govs. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, asked: "Why the double standard?" Coulter responded: "No, you're absolutely right, because everyone realizes that when the Democrats cite religion, it's a joke. So, you know, why ask them about it. It's -- you're just putting on a show for the voters." During the segment, Hannity provided no evidence to support his suggestion that the church of which Obama is a member, the Trinity Church of Christ in Chicago, is "segregated." According to an April 2 article on the website for The Martin Marty Center -- the institute for advanced research in all fields of the study of religion at the University of Chicago Divinity School -- professor emeritus Martin E. Marty wrote of Trinity: "My wife and I on occasion attend, and, like all other non-blacks, are enthusiastically welcomed."

From the April 2 post on the Marty Center's website, which also appears as an April 2 guest column in the online publication The Christian Post:

So Trinity is "Africentric," and deals internationally and ecumenically with the heritage of "black is beautiful." Despite what one sometimes hears, Wright and his parishioners -- an 8,000-member mingling of everyone from the disadvantaged to the middle class, and not a few shakers and movers in Chicago -- are "keepin' the faith." To those in range of Chicago TV I'd recommend a watching of Trinity's Sunday services, and challenge you to find anything "cultic" or "sectarian" about them. More important, for Trinity, being "unashamedly black" does not mean being "anti-white." My wife and I on occasion attend, and, like all other non-blacks, are enthusiastically welcomed.

As Media Matters for America documented, Hannity has previously asserted that the Trinity Church of Christ and the church's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. are "separatist" (here, here, and here). On the March 20 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Hannity claimed that he "discovered" via the church's website "that the pastor of the church has very Afro-centric and separatist views." Hannity proceeded to air an audio clip of an interview from the March 1 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, in which he confronted Wright about the church's 12-point "Black Value System." After the brief clip concluded, he stated: "[I]t got very heated later in the interview, but I won't play that now." Additionally, on the June 25 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, discussing Obama's June 23 speech on religion in politics, Hannity claimed that Wright, "has a very black-separatist point of view" and claimed that the church is "all about the black community. ... [I]t's a black-separatist agenda." Then, on the June 26 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Hannity accused Wright of holding "these black-separatist views, about the Black Value System."

However, as Media Matters further noted, Hannity did not play -- either on the March 20 edition of his radio show or on the June 25 or 26 editions of Hannity & Comes -- the portion of Wright's March 1 Hannity & Colmes interview during which Wright said to co-host Alan Colmes that Trinity's philosophy does not "assume superiority nor does it assume separatism." Wright stated: "We have no hierarchal arrangement. When you say an African-centered way of thinking -- African-centered philosophy, African-centered theology -- you're talking about one center. We're talking about something that's different, and different does not mean deficient ... nor does it mean superior or inferior."

From the December 19 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Comes:

HANNITY: Welcome --

COULTER: Hello.

HANNITY: -- to the sensible, right-wing part of the show. Good to see you, Merry Christmas.

COULTER: Merry Christmas.

HANNITY: First of all, I am a little fed up about one thing, and that is the double standard. You know, Barack Obama's pastor --

COULTER: Yes.

HANNITY: -- has, you know, this whole list of the Black Value System. It seems like he's supporting a segregated church.

COULTER: Right.

HANNITY: And there's no questions about it, except here on this program.

COULTER: Right.

HANNITY: And I had an opportunity to interview him. Why all the scrutiny -- Mike Huckabee's submission of wives, his position on gays. We obviously have been through Romney.

COULTER: Right.

HANNITY: Why the double standard?

COULTER: No, you're absolutely right, because everyone realizes that when the Democrats cite religion, it's a joke. So, you know, why ask them about it. It's -- you're just putting on a show for the voters.

HANNITY: Are you concerned at all about -- Hillary wins the nomination, Barack Obama wins the nomination --

COULTER: It's going to be Hillary.

HANNITY: I think it is too. But, are you concerned that she can win?

COULTER: Not particularly.

HANNITY: Do you think she'll be defeated easily?

COULTER: I kind of do. We'll see, but --.

HANNITY: Anything can happen, you know that.

COULTER: The one thing I do think is that all of this business about the Obama surge, Obama surge is the Clintons' famous lowering of expectations like they did with his grand jury testimony. Remember, he was supposed to -- his face turned purple, there was spittle coming out. And then, OK -- that didn't happen, though that's when did get the, "It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is." They did the same thing when he was running in the primaries. He was the comeback kid coming in second. And they are doing the exact same thing with Hillary now. I think she's ahead. They're pretending, "Oh, she'll never win Iowa."

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