Sean Hannity: "I think I was more fair to the Clintons"

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity said to Fox News contributor Geraldine Ferraro: "[Y]ou've been one of the Clinton supporters that have been very vocal, very unhappy about the way [Sen. Barack] Obama treated [Sen. Hillary] Clinton." Ferraro responded: "And the media treated Clinton." Hannity said: "No, I think I was more fair to the Clintons." In fact, during the Democratic presidential primaries, Hannity asserted: "I'm leading the Stop Hillary Express." Hannity also reportedly referred to his nationally syndicated radio program as "The Stop Hillary Express" during the time and has repeatedly advanced smears of the Clintons.

On the August 21 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity said to Fox News contributor Geraldine Ferraro: "[Y]ou've been one of the Clinton supporters that have been very vocal, very unhappy about the way [Sen. Barack] Obama treated [Sen. Hillary] Clinton." Ferraro responded: "And the media treated Clinton." Hannity said: "No, I think I was more fair to the Clintons." Hannity did not explain what he meant by "fair," but during the Democratic presidential primaries, Hannity asserted: "I'm leading the Stop Hillary Express." According to a July 16 American Spectator piece by Robert Stacy McCain, "[F]or months, Hannity opened his daily radio show by welcoming his 12 million listeners aboard the 'Stop Hillary Express.' "

Also:

  • On the July 22, 2007, edition of Fox News' Hannity's America, teasing a segment on "the mysterious death of [former deputy White House counsel] Vince Foster," Hannity asked: "Did a close friend of Hillary Clinton commit suicide, or was it a massive cover-up?" During the segment, Hannity asserted that on July 20, 1993: "Vince Foster got in his car and drove to Fort Marcy Park in Virginia. And he supposedly walked through the woods, and depending on which version of the story you believe, he took his own life." Hannity billed this segment as "one of the darkest and most mysterious" of "The Clinton Chapters," a regular series on Hannity's America whose assertions Media Matters for America has repeatedly debunked. A week earlier, Hannity baselessly asserted on Hannity's America that "there are still many chapters remaining open from her [Hillary Clinton's] time at the Rose Law Firm. Take Whitewater and the death of Vince Foster." As Media Matters documented, Foster's death was conclusively determined by several investigations to have been a suicide.
  • On the December 2, 2007, edition of Hannity's America, Hannity asserted: "[T]onight, we travel back in time to the early 70's, and based on reporting from New York Sun reporter Josh Gerstein, we take a rare look at Hillary Clinton's affiliation with a group of radicals more than three decades ago." Hannity was referring to Clinton's time as a law clerk for the then-California law firm Treuhaft, Walker, and Burnstein in the early 1970s. However, during the following segment, which was supposedly "based on reporting from" Gerstein, Hannity omitted key points from Gerstein's own reporting. Specifically, Hannity reported that Jessica Mitford, who was married to Robert Treuhaft, one of the partners at the firm, tried to get the state of Arkansas to pardon Arkansas prison escapee James Dean Walker after Bill Clinton became governor of the state. But Hannity did not report that, according to Gerstein, Clinton rebuffed the request. Further, Hannity questioned whether Clinton had "sympathy with the communist Party" in deciding to clerk at the firm but did not note Gerstein's report quoting one of the firm's partners, who said Clinton was "much more of a classic liberal than the rest of us."
  • On the November 13, 2007, edition of Hannity & Colmes, co-host Hannity said: "All year long, publications like The New York Times, Washington Post, Time, and Newsweek have all reported what they call [Republican presidential candidate] Rudy Giuliani's temper. Well, the subjectiveness aside, couldn't the same questions be asked about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton?" Hannity then asked Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers and Sirius Satellite Radio host Andrew Wilkow whether Clinton has "the temperament to be president." Powers responded: "I think she does. I think she has a temper, as do many politicians. And Rudy Giuliani, your favorite, has a temper, as ... do many people." Powers later asserted: "I think you've got to keep it in the context of what she does ... and who she is. And I'm just telling you -- first of all, I do have to say that while there are people who say that she has a bad temper, she had almost no turnover on her staff in the White House, so that says something." Hannity responded, " '[C]ause they were scared to probably leave," to which Powers replied, "No, I know a lot of them and they like her."
  • On the July 1, 2007, edition of Hannity's America, Hannity played a clip from a May 29 speech by Clinton -- in which she said it is time for America "to reject the idea of an on-your-own society and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity" -- and added, "This isn't the first time Hillary has made her socialist views and intentions so apparent." Hannity also characterized the speech as Clinton "blast[ing] the free market." In fact, Clinton said in the same speech that "there is no greater force for economic growth than free markets, but markets work best with rules that promote our values, protect our workers and give all people a chance to succeed."
  • On the June 17, 2007, edition of Hannity's America, Hannity cropped a December 2003 speech by Clinton before the Council on Foreign Relations to accuse her of "hypocrisy." Hannity claimed that after demonstrating support for the war in Iraq and voting to authorize the use of military force, Clinton "quickly changed beats" after opposition to the war grew and claimed that, in June 2006, "[a]lmost out of nowhere," Clinton "started to blame the president for misleading Congress." In making the claim, Hannity quoted portions of Clinton's December 2003 speech, but not passages in which she criticized the Bush administration's use of that authority. Moreover, as Media Matters has noted, Clinton accused Bush of misusing the authority given him in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq long before the June 2006 speech.
  • After playing a clip of Clinton stating, "If anybody tells you there is no vast right-wing conspiracy, tell them that New Hampshire has proven it in court. We have the -- we have the facts, and we're going to make that a crime," on the March 13, 2007, edition of Hannity & Colmes, Hannity immediately denounced her comments as "hate speech." Yet Hannity did not explain that Clinton was referring to felony convictions of a Republican National Committee regional political director, a GOP operative, and a former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party stemming from a 2002 phone-jamming scandal that sought to immobilize Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts and, according to a May 17, 2006, Washington Post article, "helped John E. Sununu [R-NH] win his Senate seat by 51 to 47 percent, a 19,151-vote margin."

From the August 21 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

HANNITY: All right. That's -- you've been one of the Clinton supporters that have been very vocal, very unhappy about the way Obama treated Clinton. Who are you voting for?

FERRARO: And the media treated Clinton.

HANNITY: No, I think I was more fair to the Clintons.

FERRARO: I know. I know. It's amazing how many people have said, "We -- we're now watching Fox because they're fair and balanced." But it is just amazing.

HANNITY: Well, what do you mean amazing? We've always -- I've always had him --

FERRARO: It's amazing to me.

HANNITY: [pointing to co-host Alan Colmes] -- burning me here.

COLMES: Don't point.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
Hannity & Colmes
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Bill Clinton, Propaganda/Noise Machine, Hillary Clinton
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