Hume falsely claimed Obama's half brother told The Jerusalem Post that Obama had a "Muslim background"

››› ››› KATHLEEN HENEHAN

On Special Report, Brit Hume stated that Malik Obama, Sen. Barack Obama's half brother, "tells The Jerusalem Post that 'if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background.' " In fact, the article to which Hume was apparently referring indicated that Malik Obama did not speak directly with the Post but, rather, gave an interview to Israel's Army Radio. Moreover, nowhere in audio of the interview that ABC's Jake Tapper posted did Malik Obama assert that Obama "will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background."

On the June 16 edition of Fox News' Special Report, host Brit Hume pointed to a statement on Sen. Barack Obama's website that Obama "has never been a Muslim, and is a committed Christian" and stated: "But Obama's half brother is not so sure." Hume continued: "Malik Obama tells The Jerusalem Post that 'if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background.' " But as ABC senior national correspondent Jake Tapper pointed out in a June 18 blog post, the article -- which has apparently been removed from The Jerusalem Post's website (a cached version of what appears to be the article in question is available here) -- indicated that Malik Obama did not speak directly with the Post but, rather, gave an interview to Israel's Army Radio, which Tapper reported that ABC News had obtained. Moreover, nowhere in the audio of the interview that Tapper posted did Malik Obama assert that Obama "will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background." Tapper wrote that the article, which was cited by several conservative bloggers, "was a sloppy paraphrase that emerged as false evidence."

Below is the cached version of the Jerusalem Post article to which Hume was apparently referring, in its entirety:

Jun 12, 2008 12:15

Malik Obama says his brother will be good president for the Jews

By JPOST.COM STAFF

Barack Obama's half brother Malik said Thursday that if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background.

In an interview with Army Radio he expressed a special salutation from the Obamas of Kenya.

In addition, Tapper noted of the audio he posted, "[N]owhere in there does Malik expressly say anything about Obama having a Muslim background." Tapper wrote further: "It may be that the Israeli Army Radio interviewer asked about Obama having a 'Muslim background.' But even if the interviewer did, Malik did not say that or come close to saying that."

From the audio that Tapper posted on his blog (the interviewer is not audible in the clip):

MALIK OBAMA: Well, I'm confident, and I still didn't know that -- I had a feeling and a -- that he was going to win. And I really have confidence that he's going to, you know, be the next president of the United States of America.

Everybody is very happy here. You know, they've been anticipating this with, you know, great expectations. You know, they're very happy, you know, to hear that, you know, my brother has been this successful.

Yes, I do. Yeah, because his father comes from here. My father, our father. You know, we're from here.

The life here, it's beautiful. I, myself, you know, I reside and work in the USA, in Washington, D.C. And I have a home here in Kenya, here in Siaya District. And it's really nice here, you know, because when you sit outside here, all you hear is the birds and the crickets. And the fresh air. And the sky is just beautiful. And it's really lovely. You should come down.

Oh, it hasn't been as frequent as it used to be because of his schedule. You know, so -- but, you know, he is my brother, and we used to be very close. And he was the best man at my wedding, and I was best man at his wedding. I'm his older brother, and we have blood ties.

I think he'll be a good president, you know, as long as, you know, all of this doesn't go to his head.

I don't think that's in any way -- is going to be, you know, something to worry about. You know, I, myself, am not speaking for him. You know, but -- you know, we are here. We love people in general, you know, and people who love us. I, myself, love people who love me. You know, so -- and I think it's mutual. Now, I can't go in terms of Israel and Kenya and America and so forth, but, you know, based on what else I've heard him say and what I know of him as an individual, I don't think, you know, Israel should worry too much, you know, about the connection. Because I am a Muslim myself, and I don't think that my being a Muslim has got anything to do with my brother being the president of the United States.

I'll tell him that, "Hey, Brother, how are you doing? You've done great. But I'd like you to just, you know, be, you know, the same person that you were when I first met you."

Of course. I think so. You know, being somebody who is -- who lives -- has been living in the U.S. and is keeping up with the politics of America, people are tired of Republican-- the Republicans now. So, you know, being a Democrat and also the qualities that he has, I think he's way above the competition.

And thank you very much for calling me. I'd like you to greet all the people of Israel on the Obamas' behalf, Obama family's behalf, and hope that the weather is fine, as it is right here.

I wish. I wish I would, sometimes. I was on a flight one time and the security was so tight, I wonder if I could really handle that.

Thank you very much. Now I know somebody. At least now I won't be coming there without connections.

Thank you very much. [unintelligible]

A June 12 Haaretz.com article reported: "The half-brother of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, Malik Obama, told Army Radio on Thursday that Obama would make a good president for Jews," but unlike The Jerusalem Post, did not assert that Barack Obama has "a Muslim background" according to his brother.

From the June 16 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

HUME: Barack Obama is a practicing Christian, married in a Christian church, whose children were also baptized in that church. His campaign has emphasized his faith in part to dispel what the campaign calls an online smear campaign which contends among other things that Obama was raised a Muslim. There is even a statement on his official campaign website reading, quote, "Obama has never been a Muslim, and is a committed Christian."

But Obama's half brother is not so sure. Malik Obama tells The Jerusalem Post that "if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background."

The article was also accompanied by an image of Malik Obama holding a photo of him and Barack Obama both in Muslim dress, reportedly taken when the two first met back in 1985.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Brit Hume
Show/Publication
Special Report with Brit Hume
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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