Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh continue to suggest that President-elect Barack Obama is to blame for the decline in the stock market, referring to the state of the stock market as an "Obama recession." In fact, analysts have refuted the proposition that the market decline has anything to do with anticipation of Obama's presidency.
Conservative commentators have asserted that President-elect Barack Obama is to blame for the decline of the stock market since the election. But several analysts disagree, citing weak corporate reports and the release of unemployment statistics.
Beyond the echelon of widely known conservative radio hosts with national audiences lies a vast network of lesser-known syndicated and regional radio hosts who have become key components of an echo chamber for conservative talking points and falsehoods. Like their better-known counterparts, these syndicated and regional radio hosts have played active roles this election season in promoting falsehoods and smears in an all-out effort to foment hate and distrust among their listeners for President-elect Barack Obama. While the hosts vary in the degree of vitriol they spew and in their ratio of rebuttable falsehoods to unbridled smears, Media Matters for America and Colorado Media Matters have identified common themes that many, if not all, have promoted over the past year.
Rush Limbaugh played an audio clip "montage" from Charlie Rose's interview of Tom Brokaw, in which Limbaugh asserted that Rose and Brokaw were "trying to figure out who Obama is." In fact, Limbaugh heavily edited the clip, at one point falsely suggesting that Brokaw expressed the opinion that "there's a lot about him [Obama] that we don't know," when in fact Brokaw attributed that assertion to "conservative commentators."
Rush Limbaugh distorted comments by Sen. Barack Obama in a 2001 radio interview and falsely characterized Obama as "an anti-constitutional professor" who has "flatly rejected" the U.S. Constitution. Obama made the comments in a panel discussion of how the Founders addressed the issue of slavery in the Constitution; he did not reject it, as Limbaugh falsely claimed, but called it "a remarkable political document."
Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, and Jerome Corsi suggested or asserted that the true purpose of Sen. Barack Obama's current trip to Hawaii is not to visit his ailing grandmother, as Obama claims, but rather to address rumors -- widely debunked -- that Obama has failed to produce a valid U.S. birth certificate. However, in addition to FactCheck.org and a Hawaiian Health Department official, even Corsi's employer, the right-wing website WorldNetDaily, has reportedly determined that the birth certificate provided by the Obama campaign is authentic.
Rush Limbaugh and KSFO's Lee Rodgers repeated a variation of the claim that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gave "5 million illegal aliens" subprime loans that they have not paid back. Quinn & Rose's Jim Quinn also cited the 5 million statistic without citing a source for the figure. None of these radio hosts noted that HUD has reportedly stated that this statistic is false.
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank Project, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 "[b]ecause he came up with a way to offer loans to poor people who couldn't pay them back." But Grameen Bank's monthly report for August 2008 shows a repayment rate of 98.08 percent.
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh made numerous false statements about Obama's health-care plan, his employment history, his legislative record, his work on behalf of veterans, and whether he puts his hand over his heart during the national anthem.
Rush Limbaugh baselessly asserted that "Sarah Palin's emails, personal emails, have been hacked, no doubt by Obama thugs." Limbaugh also repeated the claim that Sen. Barack Obama's campaign "dropped 30 people up there in Alaska trying to dig up dirt on" Palin, a claim Obama and Democratic officials have reportedly denied.
Rush Limbaugh said of the investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin's dismissal of Alaska public safety commissioner Walter Monegan: "This is pure sexism in Alaska on the part of these old boys trying to get rid of Sarah Palin, and she didn't put up with it, and she didn't bend over and let them have their way."
Cropping and distorting a report by NBC News' Lee Cowan, Rush Limbaugh baselessly suggested that the audience at Sen. Barack Obama's September 9 campaign event in Virginia chanted, "No more pit bull," a reference to Gov. Sarah Palin, in response to what Limbaugh called Obama's " 'lipstick on a pig' joke." In fact, Cowan was reporting live from the Virginia event at which Obama made his "lipstick" remarks and said: "[A]t an Obama rally we were at earlier today in Michigan, the crowd actually started chanting 'No more pit bulls.' "
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh continued to repeat the falsehood that Sen. Barack Obama favors "infanticide," saying that Obama "believes and favors infanticide. Not just abortion, but infanticide." He added: "This guy approves of abortion in the fourth trimester."