Despite Time's report that photos had been in prof's safety deposit box, Hannity, Fox & Friends ask if media sat on photos until after election

››› ››› LAUREN AUERBACH & GREG LEWIS

Discussing 1980 photos of President-elect Barack Obama published in Time, Sean Hannity asked, "[W]hy didn't we see these pictures beforehand?" and "You think the media maybe thought, well, it might not hurt -- it might not help Barack Obama?" Similarly, Fox News hosts asked, "Was Time magazine sitting on these photos until after the election?" In fact, according to Time, the photographer, Lisa Jack, a fellow student of Obama's at the time and now a psychologist, "put the negatives in a safety-deposit box, so that they could not be used until after the election."

Referring to Time magazine's photo essay, "Obama: The College Years," a 1980 photo shoot of President-elect Barack Obama by then-fellow student Lisa Jack, Sean Hannity stated on the December 18 broadcast of his radio show: "Just take a look at this. Barack Obama has a hat, you know, pulling a drag on a cigarette." He then asked: "I wonder if they had a picture of John McCain, you know -- I wonder why -- why didn't we see these pictures beforehand?" Hannity continued: "You think the media maybe thought, well, it might not hurt -- it might not help Barack Obama?" In fact, according to Time, Jack "put the negatives in a safety-deposit box, so that they could not be used until after the election." Jack is now an assistant professor of psychology at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, not a media photographer.

Similarly, on the December 19 edition of Fox & Friends First, teasing a segment on the Time photo essay, co-host Brian Kilmeade asked: "Was Time magazine sitting on these photos until after the election?" During the ensuing segment on Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson asked: "Would it have -- I don't know. Would it have served any purpose to release these photos before the election?" Co-host Steve Doocy responded: "Yeah, well, you know, so here you've got these pictures of the president and some of the headlines that said something about, look he was cool even back then. What if somebody else like [Sen. John] McCain had pictures like that. ... [Y]ou've got to figure that they probably would have come out before the election." Fox & Friends then aired a series of altered photos with McCain's face replacing Obama's in the pictures.

According to captions that accompany three of the photos, "[o]n a dare," Jack "decided to track down her negatives" of Obama, "dug the film out of her basement," and "[f]or a while ... put the negatives in a safety-deposit box, so that they could not be used until after the election, when there would be no chance they could be used for a political purpose." Another caption states that "Jack never realized her dream of becoming a photographer and is now a psychologist." According to an article on Augsburg College's website, Jack "wanted to share the photos but wanted to wait until after the election. That's when she contacted Time magazine to see if there was any interest in publishing the photos from Obama's past. The magazine was very interested."

From the December 18 broadcast of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:

HANNITY: We actually put up on Hannity.com -- we've got a picture -- Time magazine's "Man of the Year." Where were these pictures during the campaign? Just take a look at this. Barack Obama has a hat, you know, pulling a drag on a cigarette. And, you know, the question is: I wonder if they had a picture of John McCain, you know -- I wonder why -- why didn't we see these pictures beforehand?

You think the media maybe thought, well, it might not hurt -- it might not help Barack Obama? Anyway, all right. We've got to take a break. We'll come back.

From the December 19 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends First:

KILMEADE: And the college student who would become president. Pictures of Barack Obama just released. Was the Time magazine sitting on these photos until after the election?

DOOCY: Looks like he's thinking about that.

KILMEADE: Yes.

From the December 19 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

CARLSON: Let's talk a little bit about Time magazine because there are some very intriguing Barack Obama photos in this week's edition. They were taken a long time ago when he was actually a student at Occidental College, out in California. Maybe he's 18, 19, 20 years old here. They were taken by a friend. And up until this point in time, we never saw any of these. Look at this one. This is him smoking a cigarette, of which we have not seen --

DOOCY: Is that a cigarette?

CARLSON: Well, I don't -- I'm not sure exactly what it is.

KILMEADE: I hope so.

CARLSON: But here he's looking very dapper in a nice jacket -- and these pictures now just coming out. But would it --

DOOCY: Well, it's -- it's convenient.

CARLSON: Would it have -- yes, after the election. Would it have -- I don't know. Would it have served any purpose to release these photos before the election?

DOOCY: Yeah, well, you know, so here you've got these pictures of the president and some of the headlines that said something about, look he was cool even back then. What if somebody else like McCain had pictures like that, that -- you've got to figure that they probably would have come out before the election.

KILMEADE: Right. You know --

DOOCY: Rather than somebody who's just not --

KILMEADE: There's John McCain.

DOOCY: Yeah, that definitely would have come out --

KILMEADE: But when -- they were similar to John McCain of course was in a Vietnamese prison.

DOOCY: That almost looks like he's holding the face on that Photoshop --

CARLSON: Oh, man.

DOOCY: -- on this Photoshop picture.

CARLSON: Is that Brian's hair?

KILMEADE: Yeah, I think they borrowed it.

DOOCY: No, I think they're putting these pictures --

KILMEADE: I know mine was missing.

DOOCY: -- of the faces right on Barack Obama's body.

KILMEADE: All right.

DOOCY: I thought --

KILMEADE: So, that was different. So that was just a quick look at John McCain being cool.

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