Hannity raises Kennedy "marital issues" rumor, but denounced NY Times McCain article as "nothing but innuendo, rumor"

››› ››› ANDREW WALZER

Announcing a "Fox News Alert" on the "sordid details" behind Caroline Kennedy's withdrawal from consideration for New York's Senate seat, Sean Hannity reported that "there are even rumors tonight of marital issues." But Hannity previously accused The New York Times of trafficking in "innuendo [and] rumor" about Sen. John McCain's personal life.

During the January 22 edition of Fox News' Hannity, while announcing a "Fox News Alert" concerning the "sordid details" behind Caroline Kennedy's declared withdrawal from consideration for New York's vacant Senate seat, host Sean Hannity reported that "there are even rumors tonight of marital issues." However, Hannity previously accused The New York Times of trafficking in "innuendo [and] rumor" about Sen. John McCain's personal life. On the February 20, 2008, edition of Hannity & Colmes, while discussing a Times article about McCain's relationship with lobbyists, including Vicki Iseman, set to be published the next day, Hannity said: "I have read this New York Times piece now three times, and what I see here is nothing but innuendo, rumor; they want the reader to draw conclusions." Later, speaking with attorney Robert Bennett, Hannity said: "You know what I'm concerned about, Bob, is -- and this goes back to Raymond Donovan, former Labor secretary under Ronald Reagan, is if this all turns out to be false -- this is Senator McCain's good name, his reputation. This would be designed to hurt him in a presidential campaign and hurt his presidential chances and aspirations here."

Additionally, Hannity said of the Times story: "This story as I read it, both The Washington Post story, but it's really The New York Times, is a disgrace. There is nothing here. There's no evidence. This is about innuendo."

In contrast with his criticism of the Times for trafficking in rumors, on January 22, Hannity said of Kennedy: "Now, according to reports from The New York Times and The New York Post, problems arose from Miss Kennedy's vetting over the past couple of months. Apparently, the heir to all things Camelot has some tax issues, a problem with a nanny, and there are even rumors tonight of marital issues."

From the January 22 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

HANNITY: And this is a "Fox News Alert": We are learning more tonight about the sordid details behind Caroline Kennedy's abrupt withdrawal from consideration for the open New York Senate seat.

Now, according to reports from The New York Times and The New York Post, problems arose from Miss Kennedy's vetting over the past couple of months. Apparently, the heir to all things Camelot has some tax issues, a problem with a nanny, and there are even rumors tonight of marital issues.

Now the Post reports that, as a result, Governor Paterson never intended to appoint her to this open seat.

Now, meanwhile, it appears that last night's statement from Miss Kennedy simply didn't tell the whole story. An aide told The New York Times today that Miss Kennedy became aware of a, quote, "personal issue" that would prevent her from serving in the United States Senate.

But it's still unclear tonight what that means. Now, we're following the details of this developing story. We're going to bring you more during our "Great American Panel" a little later in the show.

[...]

HANNITY: And this is a "Fox News Alert": New details are emerging about Caroline Kennedy's decision to withdraw her bid for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat.

A source close to New York Governor David Paterson told both The New York Post and The New York Times the reason that Kennedy dropped out was because of issues of her taxes and a nanny issue. Now aides to the former first daughter have denied these rumors, but Kennedy has yet to make a public statement since the new allegations have surfaced.

From the February 20, 2008, edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

HANNITY: Bob [Bennett], I have read this New York Times piece now three times, and what I see here is nothing but innuendo, rumor; they want the reader to draw conclusions. And as we come on the air here, the McCain campaign has, in fact, responded, and let me tell our audience what they said -- that "The New York Times has lowered their standards to engage in a hit-and-run smear job." Do you agree with that, having read this piece?

[...]

HANNITY: You know what I'm concerned about, Bob, is -- and this goes back to Raymond Donovan, former Labor secretary under Ronald Reagan, is if this all turns out to be false -- this is Senator McCain's good name, his reputation. This would be designed to hurt him in a presidential campaign and hurt his presidential chances and aspirations here.

BENNETT: Right.

HANNITY: But this is as close as The New York Times get, quote, "convinced the relationship had become romantic, some top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself, instructing the staff members to block her access," et cetera, et cetera.

And then there's innuendo: for example, that Senator McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of lobbyists. When it's -- when an article is written this way, they want people to draw a conclusion, don't they?

[...]

HANNITY: Michael [Steele, chairman, GOPAC], I want to start with you. I'm going to tell you something: This story as I read it, both The Washington Post story, but it's really The New York Times, is a disgrace. There is nothing here. There's no evidence. This is about innuendo. This seems to me, more than anything else, an attempt by The New York Times to regurgitate a 20-year-old story that Bob Bennett, who we just had on, said he recommended no further action be taken. He said, as a Democrat, it was pure politics by the Democrats and that Democrats wouldn't cut McCain any slack on the whole thing.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
Hannity
Stories/Interests
2008 Elections
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