Hannity, Hume falsely claimed Obama's church "deleted," "purged" the Black Value System from its website

››› ››› KATHLEEN HENEHAN

Fox News' Sean Hannity and Brit Hume falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama's church, in Hannity's words, "deleted the Black Value System from [its] website," a claim put forth by conservative media outlets on March 16. But as FoxNews.com noted, a link to the tenets of the Black Value System can be found on the front page, "where it says 'Click here to read about the Black Value System.' "

During the March 17 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama's church "deleted the Black Value System from [its] website," a claim put forth by conservative media outlets on March 16. Similarly, during the March 17 edition of Fox News' Special Report, host Brit Hume stated: "Barack Obama's church is scrambling to undo the impression it is a ministry for blacks only with a radical message. The website of the Trinity United Church of Christ has been purged of the section which spoke of the church's endorsement of, quote, 'Black Ethics' that, quote, 'must be taught and exemplified ... wherever Blacks are gathered.' " In fact, as a March 17 article published on FoxNews.com, noted: "The explanation of the Black Value System still exists on the church's Web site, but it has been moved from the 'About Us' section to the bottom of the home page, where it says 'Click here to read about the Black Value System.' " Indeed, a link to the tenets of the Black Value System espoused by Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ can be found on the front page of the church's website, directing readers to an explanation of them on a separate page.

Hannity went on to assert: "I've got a whole document here from his church, and among the things it says here, '[T]he shock white America is experiencing after hearing the sounds of Reverend [Jeremiah] Wright's sermon falls squarely on the shoulders of Uncle Tom preachers, organizations, and leaders who have white folk thinking everything is all right, Massa, you know, throw us a few crumbs, and we'll get them other Negroes under control. We have people intoxicated by their own arrogance.' That was handed out at the church this weekend." But after Fox News political analyst Karl Rove asked if the document in question was actually distributed "[b]y the church itself," Hannity said: "[T]his was handed out, and our producers got it 'cause they were on the scene this weekend. I'm not sure if it was associated with the church, but the people going into the church got a hold of this."

As Media Matters for America has noted, Hannity has in the past falsely asserted that Trinity is "segregated"; in fact, the church is attended by people of other races, and visitors attest to having been warmly welcomed.

From the March 17 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

HANNITY: And the church gave a lifetime achievement award to Farrakhan here, too. You know, I spent some time this weekend going over the book, Dreams of My Father. And on Page 229, these are Barack Obama's words: "[T]here were no cigar chomping crackers like Bull Connor out there." That's, you know -- those are his words. Now, the church has deleted the Black Value System from the website. But going back to the same book, Page 284, he called the Black Value System "a sensible heart-felt list."

This very weekend, Karl -- I've got a whole document here from his church, and among the things it says here, "[T]he shock white America is experiencing after hearing the sounds of Reverend Wright's sermon falls squarely on the shoulders of Uncle Tom preachers, organizations, and leaders who have white folk thinking everything is all right, Massa, you know, throw us a few crumbs, and we'll get them other Negroes under control. We have people intoxicated by their own arrogance." That was handed out at the church this weekend.

ROVE: Yeah. By the church itself?

HANNITY: Well, it was given to everyone that was going into the church. Our producers were there.

ROVE: Yeah. Well, again, to me, this is incredibly hurtful language that does not bring Americans together, but pits Americans against each other. That's not what he claims is at the core of his campaign. Let's accept that he's accurate in his feelings, but what does it say about his behavior and his values and his views and his philosophy that he'd associate himself with this kind of thought for as long as he has? It's a big question.

HANNITY: And by the way, I want to make -- I want to make one -- this was handed out, and our producers got it 'cause they were on the scene this weekend. I'm not sure if it was associated with the church, but the people going into the church got a hold of this. Look, Karl, I'm looking at a Rasmussen poll that came out today. Most voters, 56 percent, think that Wright's comments made them less likely to vote for Barack Obama, including 44 percent of Democrats.

Now, my question to you is, and I would think on paper that this would probably prevent him from becoming president if he wins the nomination. Am I jumping the gun?

ROVE: Well --

HANNITY: Could too many things happen between now and then?

ROVE: Let's wait for the speech tomorrow. He has the ability to put this thing substantially, not completely, behind him, and it's a long time until the general election. But it's a big, big problem for Senator Obama tonight.

HANNITY: All right, Karl Rove, the architect, thanks for being with us on Hannity & Colmes.

From the March 17 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

HUME: And now, the most compelling two minutes in television, the latest from the "Political Grapevine." Barack Obama's church is scrambling to undo the impression it is a ministry for blacks only with a radical message. The website of the Trinity United Church of Christ has been purged of the section, which spoke of the church's endorsement of, quote, "Black Ethics" that, quote, "must be taught and exemplified ... wherever Blacks are gathered." Among those Black Ethics are: "Commitment to the Black Community"; "Commitment to the Black Family"; "Disavowal of the Pursuit of 'Middleclassness' "; and "Allegiance to all Black Leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System."

The Media Research Center notes that in place of those words now are video clips from church members, including one from a white church official who said she feels quite at home at Trinity.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity, Elections
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
Hannity & Colmes
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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