Hemmer on Fox News' treatment of Obama's faith: "No one here is promulgating untrue rumors about anyone's faith"

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

On America's Newsroom, in response to Sen. Barack Obama's statement that false rumors are "being promulgated on Fox News" about his purported "Muslim connections," Bill Hemmer asserted that "[n]o one here is promulgating untrue rumors about anyone's faith." In fact, Fox News hosts have repeatedly promoted false reports about Obama's religion, including the false report that Obama was educated in a madrassa.

On the September 10 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, after airing a video clip from Sen. Barack Obama's September 7 interview on ABC's This Week in which Obama referred to false rumors "being promulgated on Fox News" about his purported "Muslim connections," host Bill Hemmer asserted: "No one here is promulgating untrue rumors about anyone's faith." However, as Media Matters for America has documented, Fox News hosts -- one of whom asked if an affectionate gesture by the Obamas was "a terrorist fist jab" -- have repeatedly promoted false reports about Obama's religion, including the false report that Obama was educated in a madrassa.

From the September 10 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:

HEMMER: All right, in the meantime, three days ago on Sunday, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC, Senator Obama got our attention here, when he pointed a finger at Fox News about religion. Listen here.

[begin video clip]

STEPHANOPOULOS: The McCain campaign has never suggested you have Muslim connections.

OBAMA: No. No, no, no, but the -- I don't think that when you look at what is being promulgated on Fox News, let's say, and Republican commentators, who are closely allied to these folks --

STEPHANOPOULOS: But John McCain said that's wrong.

OBAMA: -- well -- that I'm a Muslim. And I think that his campaign, upper echelons, have not either. What I think is fair to say is that coming out of the Republican camp, there have been efforts to suggest that perhaps I'm not who I say I am when it comes to my faith -- something which I find deeply offensive, and that has been going on for a pretty long time.

[end video clip]

HEMMER: So, dealing with Fox News got our attention. For the record, we produced a documentary on Senator Obama's life. We were very sensitive to all the rumors about Obama's religion and sought to set the record straight with this:

NARRATOR [video clip]: To end any confusion about Obama's religious upbringing as a child, one of his campaign websites posts this official comment: "Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian."

HEMMER: Now, to date, that special has aired at least seven times. It may air again before the election in November. No one here is promulgating untrue rumors about anyone's faith. In our view, that was more than fair and balanced. Twenty-four minutes past the hour now. Patti Ann [Browne], what's coming up?

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Religion, Elections
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill Hemmer
Show/Publication
America's Newsroom
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.