Hannity's Conservative Victory: More than 20 falsehoods, smears, and distortions

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

On Page 155 of Conservative Victory, Sean Hannity claims that conservatives "have the best weapon at hand to combat [liberals'] efforts: the truth." According to a Media Matters for America review, Hannity appeared to leave that "weapon" at home, as his new book is riddled with numerous falsehoods, smears, and distortions. Below are more than 20 of them:

1. Hannity trots out "socialized," nationalized health care falsehoods

2. Hannity pals around with falsehood that Obama and Ayers are "close"

3. Hannity: Dunn, Bloom are "entranced" by Mao

4. "XXX-rated reading list": Hannity continues smear campaign against Jennings

5. Hannity repeats "Lie of the Year" nominee: Holdren supports "compulsory sterilization and even sometimes abortion"

6. Hannity pushes dubious claim that Koh might apply "sharia law in American courts"

7. Hannity distortion: Johnsen believes "that pregnancy can be comparable to involuntary servitude"

8. Hannity falsely claims Democrats are "allocating monies" to ACORN to "ensure their own reelection"

9. Hannity falsely claims Reid pushed provision for "unrepealable" Medicare board

10. Hannity falsely claims Independent Medicare Advisory Board is a "death panel"

11. Hannity falsely suggests Obama is alone in using saved jobs metric

12. Hannity falsely claims health care legislation funds abortion

13. Hannity accuses Obama of slander for true statements about Afghanistan

14. Hannity criticizes Obama for referring to the "Islamic Republic of Iran" -- just as Hannity and Fox have

15. Falsehood: Obama opposed protecting "babies that survived late-term abortions"

16. Hannity distortion: DOJ "dismissed" Black Panther voter intimidation case

17. Hannity baselessly claims Obama is sending "SEIU thugs" to "physically attack" tea partiers

18. Hannity claims tea party messages are "positive" -- then cites tea party leader who used n-word

19. Does Hannity believe Nancy Reagan stands for a "culture of death" because she supports stem cell research?

20. Hannity forwards false claim that Obama has never said "Islamic extremism"

21. More Hannity smears: Marxist, Manchurian candidate, attacks on Michelle Obama

1. Hannity trots out "socialized," nationalized health care falsehoods

Hannity repeatedly claims that Obama pushed "socialized" and "nationalize[d]" health care. For instance:

Only months into his presidency, he had so infuriated average Americans that a series of Tea Party protests emerged across the nation, attended by everyday people who were outraged and horrified by Obama's every decision: his reckless federal spending, his seizure of control of private industry, his cap-and-trade legislation, and his obsessive quest to nationalize one-sixth of the American economy through socialized health care. [Page 4]

[...]

Rather than responding to the real fear that his debt explosion struck in the heart of most Americans, he brazenly turned a deaf ear and pressed forward with his hugely unpopular question to nationalize our health care, proving he was anything but a president of the people. [Page 6]

[...]

As a leftist to his core, Barack Obama has been salivating over socialized medicine for years. It's the perfect policy vehicle for socialists who want to ensure that government's tentacles will spread into all aspects of our society. [Page 94]

Democrats' health care reform isn't socialized health care. The Urban Institute wrote in an April 2008 analysis that "socialized medicine involves government financing and direct provision of health care services" and explained that Democratic health care reform proposals do not "fit this description. While these policies would provide additional public resources to help the uninsured pay for coverage and would increase the pooling of risks in insurance markets, none would overturn the dominant role of private insurance and private providers in America's health care system." The analysis also noted, "Similar rhetoric was used to defeat national health care reform proposals in the 1990s and, with less success, to argue against the creation of Medicare in the 1960s."

Obama has not proposed socialized medicine, single payer, or nationalized health care. As PolitiFact.com noted in a March 5, 2009, post, "Obama's plan leaves in place the private health care system, but seeks to expand it to the uninsured," and "the plan is very different from some European-style health systems where the government owns health clinics and employs doctors." And during a March 26, 2009, online town hall, Obama explicitly rejected the notion of implementing a health care system "the way European countries do or Canada does," explaining that what "we should do is to build on the [employer-based] system that we have."

2. Hannity pals around with falsehood that Obama and Ayers are "close"

From Page 36 of Conservative Victory:

Obama laughably downplays William Ayers -- a close associate with whom he served on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago and who hosted an event at his home launching Obama's state senate run -- as just a guy in the neighborhood, a harmless Chicago college professor.

NY Times: Obama and Ayers "do not appear to have been close." The New York Times reported on October 4, 2008, that Obama and Ayers "do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called 'somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.' "

FactCheck.org: Obama and Ayers were "never very close." In an October 10, 2008, article, FactCheck.org wrote of the 2008 presidential campaign: "What we object to are the McCain-Palin campaign's attempts to sway voters -- in ads and on the stump -- with false and misleading statements about the relationship [between Obama and Ayers], which was never very close.

McClatchy: "There is no evidence that Ayers is a close friend or an adviser to [Obama's] campaign." McClatchy reported on October 9, 2008, that "Obama has condemned the violent 1960s activities of the Weather Underground. There is no evidence that Ayers is a close friend or an adviser to his campaign." [accessed via Nexis]

AP: "[T]here is no evidence that they ever palled around." Reporting on then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's claim that Obama sees America as so imperfect "that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country," the Associated Press reported on October 5, 2008, that "there is no evidence they [Obama and Ayers] have palled around," and "it's simply wrong to suggest that they were associated while Ayers was committing terrorist acts."

3. Hannity: Dunn, Bloom are "entranced" by Mao

From Page 50 of Conservative Victory:

[Senior counselor for manufacturing policy Ron] Bloom said that he and his colleagues recognize that "this is largely about power" -- and, shockingly, that "we kind of agree with Mao [Zedong] that political power comes largely from the barrel of a gun." That's right, Obama's manufacturing czar kind-of agrees with Red China's Chairman Mao, the tyrant responsible for murdering tens of millions of his own people during peacetime for not toeing the party line. How comforting is that?

ANITA DUNN

And the same wonderful Chinese dictator has entranced another of Obama's radical darlings -- Obama's short-lived White House communications director Anita Dunn, who regards Mao as among her favorite philosophers. Obama is nothing if not consistent.

But numerous conservatives have similarly approvingly cited Mao and other brutal communists' tactics, rhetoric. Hannity is referencing a video in which Dunn cited two of her "favorite political philosophers," Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa, during a speech to high school graduates. However, Dunn offered no endorsement of Mao's ideology or actions -- rather, she spoke of Mao and Mother Teresa as two of her favorite "political philosophers," and based on short quotes from them, she offered the advice that "you don't have to follow other people's choices and paths" or "let external definition define how good you are internally." Numerous conservatives, including Newt Gingrich (who is approvingly cited in Hannity's book), Ralph Reed, Barry Goldwater's "alter ego" Stephen C. Shadegg and John McCain, have approvingly cited the tactics of Mao, Vladimir Lenin, and the Viet Cong, stated that they had used those tactics in their political work, or have otherwise highlighted their philosophies.

4. "XXX-rated reading list": Hannity continues smear campaign against Jennings

Hannity continues his smear campaign against Department of Education official Kevin Jennings by claiming that an organization he founded pushed an "XXX-rated reading list" for "children." From Page 53 of Conservative Victory:

To give you an idea of the mentality of GLSEN [Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network], which Jennings founded, one report on the Gateway Pundit blog offers a detailed account of the XXX-rated reading list the organization recommends for children -- complete with extensive, sexually explicit quotations from many of the books. The site quotes a report from Breitbart.tv that "book after book after book contained stories and anecdotes that weren't merely X-rated and pornographic, but which featured explicit descriptions of sex acts between preschoolers; stories that seemed to promote and recommend child-adult sexual relationships; stories of public masturbation, anal sex in restrooms, affairs between students and teachers, five-year-olds playing sex games, semen flying through the air."

GLSEN: "We recommend that adults selecting books for youth review content for suitability." In describing its BookLink section, GLSEN states in red type: "All BookLink items are reviewed by GLSEN staff for quality and appropriateness of content. However, some titles for adolescent readers contain mature themes. We recommend that adults selecting books for youth review content for suitability. The editorial and customer reviews listed at Amazon.com often provide information on mature content."

Attacks on Jennings over book list are frequently marked by distortions. As Media Matters has documented, conservative attacks on Jennings over GLSEN's book list are repeatedly marked by distortions.

Schools regularly teach books that contain sexually explicit material. Many classic novels include sexually explicit material. The American Library Association notes on its website that many of the top 100 novels of the 20th century have been the subject of objections over issues such as "sexual references," "sexually explicit passages," "rape," "masturbation," "bestiality," "explicit sex scenes," and "trashy sex." These titles include books regularly taught in schools, such as Catcher in the Rye, The Color Purple, Beloved, Lord of the Flies, 1984, Of Mice and Men, Brave New World, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Rabbit, Run. In a December 11, 2009, statement, Martin Garnar, chair of the American Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Committee, said: "Though Jennings' and GLSEN's critics claim to be upholding American morals and values by condemning the GLSEN book list, they are actually undermining the values of tolerance, free inquiry, and self-determination that inform and sustain our democratic way of life in the United States."

5. Hannity repeats "Lie of the Year" nominee: Holdren supports "compulsory sterilization and even sometimes abortion"

From Page 56 of Conservative Victory:

Obama's director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), or "science czar," is John Holdren, another leftist with beliefs outside the American mainstream. In his writings, Holdren seems to approve of and recommend compulsory sterilization and even sometimes abortion, in furtherance of a government population control program.

PolitiFact: Holdren does not support compulsory sterilization or forced abortion. After Glenn Beck offered a similar allegation based on an environmental sciences book Holdren co-authored more than 30 years ago, PolitiFact concluded that "the text of the book clearly does not support that. We think a thorough reading shows that these were ideas presented as approaches that had been discussed. They were not posed as suggestions or proposals. In fact, the authors make clear that they did not support coercive means of population control. Certainly, nowhere in the book do the authors advocate for forced abortions." PolitiFact nominated the smear, which Hannity has repeated on his Fox News show, as one of its "Lies of the Year."

6. Hannity pushes dubious claim that Koh might apply "sharia law in American courts"

From Page 60 of Conservative Victory:

Equally troubling is [State Department legal adviser Harold] Koh's attitude toward the application of Muslim sharia law in American courts. In a 2007 speech to the Yale Club of Greenwich, Connecticut, he said that "in an appropriate case, he didn't see any reason why sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States."

Hannity has repeatedly advanced the dubious claim on his Fox News show. The claim originated in March 2007, when National Review Online blogger Carol Innone posted a letter from New York lawyer Steven J. Stein, who claimed to have heard Koh suggest that Sharia law could be applied in the United States during a Yale University alumni event Stein attended.

Koh and event organizer have refuted claim. The claim has been denied by Koh himself during Senate testimony, Koh's spokesman, and Robin Reeves Zorthian, the organizer of the Yale University alumni event at which Koh supposedly made the Sharia law remarks. Zorthian said that claims about Koh are "totally fictitious and inaccurate" and "never did Koh state or suggest that other forms of law should govern ... the American legal system."

Koh has denounced Iran for imposing strict Sharia law. University of California-Davis law professor Anupam Chander wrote in an April 2, 2009, blog post that "[i]n the 71 articles penned by Harold Koh that appear in the Westlaw law review database, there is but one article that mentions Sharia," and in that article, Koh "denounces the government of Iran for 'impos[ing] a strict form of Sharia law that denies basic rights to women and minorities.' " Slate senior editor and legal reporter Dahlia Lithwick similarly wrote that "Koh in all his academic articles and many public statements has never said anything to suggest some dogged fealty to Sharia."

7. Hannity distortion: Johnsen believes "that pregnancy can be comparable to involuntary servitude"

From Page 60 of Conservative Victory:

Obama appointed Dawn Johnsen to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel despite her radical views -- including that pregnancy can be comparable to involuntary servitude.

PolitiFact: Johnsen compared "forced pregnancy" to involuntary servitude. From a March 24, 2009, PolitiFact article:

The Republicans are referring to a 1989 brief in Webster vs. Reproductive Health Services, a case that tested whether states could prohibit abortions in public health institutions. Johnsen was then legal director of the National Abortion Rights Action League, one of 77 organizations to sign the brief.

Footnote 23, part of the brief that Johnsen said in a Senate hearing that she wrote, said the following: "While a woman might choose to bear children gladly and voluntarily, statutes that curtail her abortion choice are disturbingly suggestive of involuntary servitude, prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment, in that forced pregnancy requires a woman to provide continuous physical service to the fetus in order to further the state's asserted interest. Indeed, the actual process of delivery demands work of the most intense and physical kind: labor of 12 or more grueling hours of contractions is not uncommon."

So Johnsen compared "forced pregnancy" -- not motherhood -- to involuntary servitude.

After we asked the Republican Conference about the claim, staffer Ericka Andersen acknowledged it was wrong. "You are correct that the post was written inaccurately," she told us in an e-mail. She corrected the post to say Johnsen "equated forced pregnancy with 'involuntary servitude.'"

Kudos to the conference for acknowledging the error. But we still find the original claim False.

8. Hannity falsely claims Democrats are "allocating monies" to ACORN to "ensure their own reelection"

From Page 65 of Conservative Victory:

Congress, under Obama's Democrats, is not just passively ceding its powers to the executive branch in areas it shouldn't. In concert with Obama, it too is stealing power from the people. Congressmen are deliberately ignoring their own rules (such as Al Franken cutting off Republican senators speaking in opposition to Obama's agenda); they're voting on legislation when not only have they not read it, but it hasn't even been written; they're spending trillions of dollars we don't have and can't possibly acquire; they're allocating monies to corrupt groups like ACORN to ensure their own reelection rather than for any legitimate legislative purpose; and they're doing all this in defiance of the will of the people.

Obama and Democrats have not been "allocating monies" to ACORN. Hannity offers no evidence or footnote to support his claim about ACORN. However, Hannity falsely claimed on his February 19 Fox News show that Obama's budget "is going to give [ACORN] $3 billion." In fact, Obama's budget contains no language specific to ACORN. In previous years, Republicans have repeatedly claimed that Democrats were going to "give" ACORN millions or billions of dollars when, in fact, the various legislations they reference don't contain any language mentioning ACORN. In September 2009, Hannity falsely claimed that ACORN is "on schedule to get eight and a half trillion dollars of stimulus money."

9. Hannity falsely claims Reid pushed provision for "unrepealable" Medicare board

Hannity: Reid "aims to make the bill's proposed Independent Medicare Advisory Board (IMAB) unrepealable." From Page 65 of Conservative Victory:

But among the Democrats' many shameless attempts to seize power away from the people, the granddaddy of them all is contained in the Senate health-care bill. Unbeknownst to many, that bill contains an amendment, inserted by Majority Leader Harry Reid, that aims to make the bill's proposed Independent Medicare Advisory Board (IMAB) unrepealable. The amendment would change certain Senate rules to prohibit future Congresses from repealing the IMAB (which some refer to as a death panel). But current Senate rules require sixty-seven votes for a rule change. The Democrats, who had already changed the rule with their sixty-vote (not sixty-seven-vote) majority, claimed they weren't changing the rule, just changing a "procedure." But their intentions were clear: Obama's Senate was not only trying to make their provision for death panels unrepealable -- violating our first principles of popular sovereignty at their core -- but in the process they were also violating their own rules through semantic deception.

FactCheck.org: IMAB is repealable. In a January 15 article, when asked if the IMAB "can't be repealed" if enacted into law, FactCheck.org replied: "No ... that could be repealed by a vote of three-fifths of the Senate."

10. Hannity falsely claims Independent Medicare Advisory Board is a "death panel"

From Page 65 of Conservative Victory:

But among the Democrats' many shameless attempts to seize power away from the people, the granddaddy of them all is contained in the Senate health-care bill. Unbeknownst to many, that bill contains an amendment, inserted by Majority Leader Harry Reid, that aims to make the bill's proposed Independent Medicare Advisory Board (IMAB) unrepealable. The amendment would change certain Senate rules to prohibit future Congresses from repealing the IMAB (which some refer to as a death panel). But current Senate rules require sixty-seven votes for a rule change. The Democrats, who had already changed the rule with their sixty-vote (not sixty-seven-vote) majority, claimed they weren't changing the rule, just changing a "procedure." But their intentions were clear: Obama's Senate was not only trying to make their provision for death panels unrepealable -- violating our first principles of popular sovereignty at their core -- but in the process they were also violating their own rules through semantic deception.

Independent Medicare Advisory Board is specifically prohibited from rationing health care or modifying benefits. According to the legislation, when the "projected per capita growth rate under Medicare" exceeds "the target growth rate for that year," the board is required to "develop and submit" to Congress a "proposal containing recommendations to reduce the Medicare per capita growth rate to the extent required by this section." But the legislation explicitly states that the board may not include recommendations to "ration health care," "restrict benefits," or "modify eligibility criteria." From Section 3403 of the Senate health care bill:

(ii) The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums under section 1818, 1818A, or 1839, increase Medicare beneficiary cost sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.

The Congressional Budget Office found that the advisory board provision "would place a number of limitations on the actions available to the board, including a prohibition against modifying eligibility or benefits."

FactCheck.org: The "Medicare Board is no 'death panel.' " From FactCheck.org's January 15 article:

Footnote: Despite a few lingering claims to the contrary, the Medicare Board is no "death panel." The bill explicitly states that its cost-saving proposals:

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Dec 24 2009: ...shall not include any recommendation to ration heatlh care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums...increase Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.

11. Hannity falsely suggests Obama is alone in using saved jobs metric

From Page 82 of Conservative Victory:

When Obama was unveiling his economic plans, he assured us that, because of his intervention, unemployment would not rise above 8 percent, and that it should "save or create at least 3 million jobs by the end of 2010" -- as if "saving" jobs were a measurable statistic. (It's revealing that the mainstream media, as in-the-tank for Obama as they are, still allow him to get away with such a bogus ruse.)

Bush administration also made claims about jobs "saved or created." During the Bush administration, the Department of Agriculture repeatedly stated that its economic initiatives had "saved or created" a specific number of jobs, or would in the future.

CBO also uses saved metric. As Media Matters has noted, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has also used the saved jobs metric when discussing the impact of the stimulus bill.

12. Hannity falsely claims health care legislation funds abortion

Hannity: Democrats are "enabling the federal funding of abortion in the health-care bills." From Pages 100 and 153 of Conservative Victory:

As for Obama's claim that federal funds wouldn't be used for abortion, the truth is that every attempt by congressmen to add language prohibiting the practice was defeated by Obama's Democrats. The bill the Senate passed on Christmas Eve included major taxpayer funding of abortion and, some said, opened the door for the administration to force insurance companies to pay for abortion.

[...]

But he is doing everything he can to advance the cause of abortion -- not choice, but unqualified abortion on demand -- including deceitfully supporting and enabling the federal funding of abortion in the health-care bills that have circulated through Congress in the past year.

Senate bill forbids use of federal subsidies for abortion services except in cases allowed by the Hyde amendment. The health care reform bill passed by the Senate states that if a "qualified health plan" offered under the health insurance exchange provides coverage of abortion services for which public funding is banned, "the issuer of the plan shall not use any amount attributable" to the federal subsidies created under the bill "for purposes of paying for such services." Public funding is currently banned by the Hyde amendment for all abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the pregnant woman is in danger.

Fox's Cavuto: No provisions for federal funding of abortions. While Fox News has repeatedly forwarded the false abortion claims, host Neil Cavuto admitted on March 27 that "we don't see any provision there where federal monies go directly to fund abortions."

PolitiFact: No federal funding. PolitiFact wrote that the "Senate bill states very clearly that public funding through tax credits and government subsidies for elective abortion services offered in the exchange is prohibited. But more than that, the bill sets up a mechanism to ensure that abortion services offered in the exchange are paid entirely from patient premiums, premiums paid by people who have chosen a private plan that covers abortion."

13. Hannity accuses Obama of slander for true statements about Afghanistan

From Page 109 of Conservative Victory:

Obama appeared obsessed with the slanderous notion that the only thing the American military was doing under George W. Bush was murdering innocent people in Afghanistan. "We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there."

Hannity is referencing a remark from Obama from August 13, 2007, which he and other conservatives repeatedly distorted during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Then-Bush Defense Secretary Gates apologized for civilian deaths from airstrikes. Defense Secretary Robert Gates apologized for deaths resulting from coalition airstrikes, saying in a September 17, 2008, statement: "I offer all Afghans my sincere condolences and personal regrets for the recent loss of innocent life as a result of coalition airstrikes. While no military has ever done more to prevent civilian casualties, it is clear that we have to work even harder. I have asked for a detailed briefing this afternoon about our close air support as well as our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations."

Media reports confirm that airstrikes have resulted in "killing civilians." Despite Hannity's assertion that it is "slanderous" to discuss civilian casualties in Afghanistan, accounts of resulting civilian casualties from U.S. airstrikes in the country have been widely reported in the media and have reportedly provoked criticism from Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a British commander stationed there. Additionally, the Associated Press reported in a "Fact Check" the day after Obama's remark: "Western forces have been killing [Afghan] civilians at a faster rate than the insurgents."

14. Hannity criticizes Obama for referring to the "Islamic Republic of Iran" -- just as Hannity and Fox have

From Page 121 of Conservative Victory:

Obama has shown his true foreign policy colors in his dealings with Iran. In his "Nowruz" (New Year's) greeting to the leaders of Iran, he referred to the country several times as "the Islamic Republic of Iran," which validated the standing of the theocratic leaders while offering a kick in the gut to the majority of Iranian people, who oppose them.

Hannity: "Islamic Republic of Iran." From an August 30, 2006, segment (retrieved from Nexis) on Hannity & Colmes: [emphasis added]

HANNITY: In the midst of the western world's nuclear standoff with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the U.S. State Department has granted former Iranian president, Mohammad Khatami, a visa to come to this country next week.

Now, Khatami is planning to attend the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations meetings as well as other speaking events in the United States, and at taxpayer expense, his security will be overseen by the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

And tonight, there are even reports that former President Carter is interested in meeting with Khatami during his visit. In a contact to the State Department, they told us, quote, "We are an open society, tolerant of diverse viewpoints. And after careful deliberation, we've determined that issuing Mr. Khatami a limited visa, and allowing Mr. Khatami to present his views directly to the American people will demonstrate to Iran that the United States upholds its commitment to freedom and democracy."

Fox reporters refer to the "Islamic Republic of Iran." For instance (emphasis added):

  • Reporter Lauren Green on February 12: "In the Islamic Republic of Iran, politics and religion are one. But experts are warning that the Islamic apocalyptic figure called 'The Twelfth Imam' maybe fueling Iran's obsession for nuclear weapons."
  • Reporter Amy Kellogg on August 5, 2009 (retrieved from Nexis): "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in for a second term as president of the Islamic Republic of Iran before the parliament, but it was not a packed house. Dozens of members chose to stay away. The security presence on the streets was as heavy as it's been since the June election, according to an eyewitness." Kellogg's biography states: "In recent years, Kellogg has had extraordinary access to the Islamic Republic of Iran."

15. Falsehood: Obama opposed protecting "babies that survived late-term abortions"

From Page 152-153 of Conservative Victory:

They are adamantly, militantly pro-abortion, to the point where even the very leader of their party, Barack Obama, as an Illinois senator in 2002, spoke out and voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies that survived late-term abortions.

As Obama and other opponents noted, criminal code already prevented killing of children. In attacking Obama, Hannity joined other conservatives in misleadingly referencing Obama's opposition in the Illinois legislature to legislation that amended the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975. Opponents of the bill noted that the legislation was unnecessary, as the Illinois criminal code unequivocally prohibits killing children, and said that the bill posed a threat to abortion rights. When tasked by the Illinois attorney general's office with investigating allegations that fetuses born alive at an Illinois hospital were abandoned without treatment -- the alleged incident that inspired the "Born Alive Act" -- the Illinois Department of Public Health reportedly said that it was unable to substantiate the allegations but said that if the allegations had proved true, the conduct alleged would have been a violation of existing Illinois law. The Obama presidential campaign subsequently cited specific provisions of the Illinois Compiled Statutes in stating that the "born alive principle was already the law in Illinois."

Media figures declare this attack against Obama to be "misleading" and "unfair." The legislation became an issue during the 2008 presidential campaign when Palin attacked Obama by claiming that Obama believes a "child being born alive" should "not receive medical help to save that child's life." Time's Michael Scherer said Palin's attacks were "misleading" while The Washington Post "fact checker" Michael Dobbs wrote that it was "unfair to accuse Obama of supporting the withdrawal of medical treatment from babies."

16. Hannity distortion: DOJ "dismissed" Black Panther voter intimidation case

From Page 184 of Conservative Victory:

They [Democrats] control a corrupt Justice Department whose attorney general has racialized the poll-watching process, and who dismissed a voter intimidation case against his Black Panther friends.

DOJ actually "sought and obtained" "maximum penalty" against one of the individuals. The Bush administration made the decision to file a civil complaint instead of criminal charges against Black Panther members who were accused of "brandish[ing] a deadly weapon" outside of a polling station in Philadelphia, and the Obama administration did not drop the civil case. Rather, the Justice Department "sought and obtained" the "maximum penalty" against one of the two individuals. On December 3, 2009, Department of Justice assistant attorney general Tom Perez testified that "[t]he case was not dismissed" and that the attorneys who reviewed the case "made the determination that, based on the law of the Third Circuit, that the case against the person who wielded the stick, that we should indeed seek the maximum penalty, and that maximum penalty was sought and obtained, and the case against the other defendant should be dismissed, and the case against the national party should also be dismissed."

17. Hannity baselessly claims Obama is sending "SEIU thugs" to "physically attack" tea partiers

From Page 193 of Conservative Victory:

[The Tea Party movement] is truly a grassroots movement, not the artificially contrived, conspiratorial "Astroturf movement" the administration has painted. The only thing artificial anywhere near the Tea Party protests were the counterprotests Obama staged, sending in his SEIU thugs to shout down, bully, intimidate, and physically attack the Tea Party patriots.

Hannity offers no evidence for claim. Hannity offered no evidence that Obama was "sending in" people to "physically attack" members of the tea party movement. Hannity's accusation echoes an August 2009 distortion Andrew Breitbart made in which he claimed that "union thugs were directed by the White House to go to" town hall meetings "and 'punch back twice as hard.' " In fact, White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina reportedly used the expressions to which Breitbart referred while speaking to Senate Democrats -- not to any union groups -- and there is no indication it was anything other than a metaphorical explanation of how the White House plans to respond to political attacks against Senate Democrats. Glenn Beck has similarly called SEIU "thugs" in smearing the union for purported violence.

18. Hannity claims tea party messages are "positive" -- then cites tea party leader who used n-word

Hannity: Lion's share of tea party ideas is "positive." While discussing the tea party movement, Hannity writes that the "lion's share of the ideas coming out of the Tea Party protests are indeed positive, but they lack any kind of organizational unity." In the next paragraph, Hannity positively cites Dale Robertson for challenging "Republicans in name only":

The lion's share of the ideas coming out of the Tea Party protests are indeed positive, but they lack any kind of organization unity -- which is inevitable in such a decentralized, grassroots movement. We also see, within the movement, a good amount of single-issue advocacy -- the kind of passionate activism that can have the power to ignite a movement, but cannot on its own sustain a new "revolution" unless it's consolidated into a unified vision.

The Tea Party protests will continue, as I believe they should. They have been an indispensable catalyst to energize our troops to fight back. They have done more than that as well, supporting, for example, constitutionally conservative candidates against RINOs -- Republicans in name only -- such as helping to oust Florida's Republican Party chairman. "We are turning our guns on anyone who doesn't support constitutionally conservative candidates," said Dale Robertson, who helped start the Tea Party movement two years ago. [Pages 193-194]

Hannity's tea party leader was reportedly kicked out of tea party event for carrying sign with racial slur. The Washington Independent's David Weigel reported on January 4 that "Dale Robertson, a Tea Party activist who operates TeaParty.org, is getting stung for an old photo -- taken at the Feb. 27, 2009 Tea Party in Houston -- in which he holds a sign reading 'Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = Niggar.' " Weigel also reported that "Josh Parker of the Houston Tea Party Society tells me that Robertson was booted out of the event for this sign." Weigel included the following picture:

19. Does Hannity believe Nancy Reagan stands for a "culture of death" because she supports stem cell research?

Hannity: Democrats stand for a "culture of death" because they support embryonic stem cell research. From Page 195 of Conservative Victory:

Obama and his party stand for America's economic bankruptcy, virtual surrender in the war on terror, and a culture of death, from abortion to embryonic stem cell research to health-care rationing tantamount to death panels.

Nancy Reagan supports embryonic stem cell research. From a March 2009 statement:

I'm very grateful that President Obama has lifted the restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. These new rules will now make it possible for scientists to move forward. I urge researchers to make use of the opportunities that are available to them, and to do all they can to fulfill the promise that stem cell research offers. Countless people, suffering from many different diseases, stand to benefit from the answers stem cell research can provide. We owe it to ourselves and to our children to do everything in our power to find cures for these diseases -- and soon. As I've said before, time is short, and life is precious.

Hannity's fifth chapter is titled, "Why I'm a Reagan Conservative."

Dozens of Republicans voted for embryonic stem cell research under Bush. In January 2007, 37 House Republicans joined Democrats in voting for legislation -- later vetoed by President Bush -- that would have expanded federal funding for embryonic stem cells. In the Senate, 17 Republicans joined the Democrats.

20. Hannity forwards false claim that Obama has never said "Islamic extremism"

From Page 208 of Conservative Victory:

On my radio show, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani told me and my audience that he was troubled by Obama's refusal to identify the enemy as broader than Al Qaeda, which Rudy says is only one component of the Islamic extremist enemy we face. "He has yet to use the term 'Islamic extremism,' " Rudy pointed out, which brings into serious question his competence and fitness as a leader.

Obama discusses "Islamic extremism" on CNN. From the July 13, 2008, edition of CNN's Fareed Zakaria: GPS:

ZAKARIA: Do you believe, when looking at the world today, that Islamic extremism is the transcendent challenge of the 21st century?

OBAMA: I think the problems of terrorism and groups that are resisting modernity, whether because of their ethnic identities or religious identities, and the fact that they can be driven into extremist ideologies, is one of the severe threats that we face.

I don't think it's the only threat that we face.

ZAKARIA: But how do you view the problem within Islam? As somebody who saw it in Indonesia ... the largest Muslim country in the world?

OBAMA: Well, it was interesting. When I lived in Indonesia -- this would be '67, '68, late '60s, early '70s -- Indonesia was never the same culture as the Arab Middle East. The brand of Islam was always different.

But around the world, there was no -- there was not the sense that Islam was inherently opposed to the West, or inherently opposed to modern life, or inherently opposed to universal traditions, like rule of law.

And now in Indonesia, you see some of those extremist elements. And what's interesting is, you can see some correlation between the economic crash during the Asian financial crisis, where about a third of Indonesia's GDP was wiped out, and the acceleration of these Islamic extremist forces.

It isn't to say that there is a direct correlation, but what is absolutely true is that there has been a shift in Islam that I believe is connected to the failures of governments and the failures of the West to work with many of these countries, in order to make sure that opportunities are there, that there's bottom-up economic growth.

You know, the way we have to approach, I think, this problem of Islamic extremism ... is we have to hunt down those who would resort to violence to move their agenda, their ideology forward. We should be going after al Qaeda and those networks fiercely and effectively.

But what we also want to do is to shrink the pool of potential recruits. And that involves engaging the Islamic world rather than vilifying it, and making sure that we understand that not only are those in Islam who would resort to violence a tiny fraction of the Islamic world, but that also, the Islamic world itself is diverse.

And that lumping together Shia extremists with Sunni extremists, assuming that Persian culture is the same as Arab culture, that those kinds of errors in lumping Islam together result in us not only being less effective in hunting down and isolating terrorists, but also in alienating what need to be our long-term allies on a whole host of issues.

Gibbs discusses "Islamic extremism." From the September 10, 2009, White House press briefing:

Q Well, let me ask it this way. President Bush used to say repeatedly, "America is a nation at war." He did so on 9/11, but other occasions during the year. My impression is that since taking office, President Obama has purposely tried to turn down the heat on the rhetoric.

MR. GIBBS: Well, look, I think we've certainly cut down on the use of the phrase, but, again, our focus is on getting the policy right. I don't -- I think the President spends part of each of his day in meetings about and thinking about the men and women that we have in Iraq and Afghanistan and that are through -- stationed throughout the world to protect our freedom and to address Islamic extremism. And that takes up part of his day and is something that -- the sacrifice which he's thankful for and I think all of us are thankful for each and every day. Regardless of how it's phrased, he's mindful of the effort of so many on our behalf.

21. More Hannity smears: Marxist, Manchurian candidate, attacks on Michelle Obama

In addition to regularly botching facts, Hannity makes outlandish statements about President Obama, Michelle Obama, and liberals:

Obama may be a "red diaper baby." From the section, "A Red Diaper Baby" on Page 33:

If Obama's socialist ideas seem alien to those of us who were raised on American capitalist values, it may come as no surprise that they have deep roots in his upbringing. Unlike nearly any other American politician, Barack Obama spent his formative years in a land where communism was no abstract principle, but a cause that had recently led to a bloody civil war: Indonesia. The media has devoted little effort to inquiring into the impact these formative years had on his political education. But what we know about his background raises troubling, unresolved questions.

Some have speculated that Obama may have been a "red diaper baby," the child of communist-leaning parents. Certainly his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was an iconoclast and a radical thinker; one classmate called her a "fellow traveler."

Hannity smears Michelle Obama. From Pages 38-39:

But it's been suggested that one of Obama's voluntary relationships is more revealing of his radicalism, anti-Americanism, and anti-capitalism than all of the others: his choice of marital partner. The columnist known as Spengler, writing for the Asia Times, quoted Alexandre Dumas: "When you want to uncover an unspecified secret, look for the woman." In Obama's case, wrote Spengler, there have been two principal women in his life: his late mother and "his rancorous wife Michelle. Obama's women reveal his secret: he hates America."

"Marxist" Obama "couldn't be more of a Manchurian candidate." From Page 40:

In addition to media cover, Obama has another thing going for him: The truth about him and his inner circle is stranger than fiction. He couldn't be more of a Manchurian candidate if he were auditioning for the role in the movie. This stuff is just too bizarre for most Americans to process: an actual Marxist in the White House who has surrounded himself with like-minded miscreants.

Obama dreams of America as a "full-blown socialist state." From Page 71:

Nor would his economic plan bring about the types of change he promised: "change that will grow the economy, expand our middle-class, and keep the American dream alive for all those men and women who have believed in this journey from the day it began."

What could have been more Orwellian? Obama had no intention of keeping the American dream alive -- unless by "American dream" you mean the dream of American leftist radicals to turn this national into a full-blown socialist state.

Liberalism "may be even worse" than terrorism. From Page 198:

The American people have been jolted into realizing that our precious freedom is not guaranteed. There will always be forces committed to taking it away. Today we face a new array of such forces, both externally and internally. I contend that the internal threat of liberalism may be even worse than the external threat of terrorism -- for the terrorists have no prayer against us unless the liberals pave their way.

Obama will leave our children "in poverty and slavery." From Page 208:

I might add that liberals have little credibility in criticizing the compassion of conservatives when you consider that Obama's policies are guaranteed to bankrupt our nation and leave our children and grandchildren in poverty and slavery.

Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
Conservative Victory
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.