On his radio show, Sean Hannity played a cropped version of recent comments by Sen. Hillary Clinton, which included her praise of Gov. Sarah Palin's debate performance but excluded the portions of her comments praising Sen. Joe Biden's debate performance and asserting that "[t]he Obama-Biden ticket" is "better for America" than the "McCain-Palin ticket." Hannity then stated: "I just had to play that 'cause you just know the Clintons are just -- why do I bet, and this is just a guess on my part, that Hillary and Bill [Clinton] go in there, and they vote for John McCain? I just know it."
On Fox News' Hannity's America, Sean Hannity hosted Andy Martin -- identified by Hannity as an "Internet journalist" -- who made what Hannity called "the explosive claim that [Sen. Barack] Obama's role as a community organizer was a political staging ground perpetuated by the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers." At no point during the segment did Hannity note Martin's history of smears against Obama or Martin's history of anti-Semitic and racially charged comments.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity praised Gov. Sarah Palin for citing Sen. Barack Obama's remark that more coalition forces are needed in Afghanistan "so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there." Hannity did not note that Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently offered Afghans "sincere condolences and personal regrets for the recent loss of innocent life as a result of coalition airstrikes" and that news outlets have repeatedly reported that U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan have resulted in civilian casualties.
On two recent editions of Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity claimed that Franklin Raines is an "economic adviser" to Sen. Barack Obama, in one case citing "The Washington Post" as a source for his claim. However, both Raines and the Obama campaign have denied that Raines advises Obama in any way, and a washingtonpost.com Fact Checker item examined several Post items cited in a McCain ad that makes the same claim and concluded that the ad "exaggerat[ed] wildly" in its claim that Raines "advises" Obama.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity and Mary Matalin falsely claimed that cutting taxes raises revenues. In fact, several former and current Bush administration economists have stated that tax cuts -- including those passed under President Bush -- produce a net decrease in revenue. For example, Treasure Secretary Henry Paulson said during his confirmation hearing, "As a general rule, I don't believe that tax cuts pay for themselves."
Following the first presidential debate, Sean Hannity promoted the results of a Fox News text-message poll that found that Sen. John McCain won the debate, but did not mention that viewers were allowed to begin voting for "who [they] thought won" just 10 minutes into the debate.
Referring to Sen. John McCain's announcement that he was going to "suspend" his campaign, Sean Hannity and Fox News contributor Pat Caddell asserted on Hannity & Colmes that McCain is "not running ads." In fact, as Alan Colmes noted, and as Media Matters documented, McCain campaign television ads ran throughout the day following McCain's announcement.
Sean Hannity falsely asserted that former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines is "a chief economic adviser" to Sen. Barack Obama. A McCain campaign ad claims that Raines "advises" Obama -- a claim that Raines and the Obama campaign have denied -- but even that ad did not claim that Raines is a "chief" adviser.
On his radio show, Sean Hannity did not challenge Sen. John McCain's false claim during an interview that Alaska "provides 20 percent of America's energy requirements." In fact, according to the most recent figures of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Alaska is responsible for "just 3.5 percent of the country's domestic energy production," and only 2.4 percent of the energy the U.S. consumes.
Sean Hannity asked if there was "danger" in Sen. Barack Obama's speaking of "economic crisis"; but Hannity did not mention that Sen. John McCain has also said, in a speech and in a campaign ad, that the "economy is in crisis."
Since the release of an Obama campaign ad asserting that Sen. John McCain "admits he still doesn't know how to use a computer, can't send an email," several Fox News figures and talk-radio hosts have claimed that McCain doesn't use a computer or email because of injuries he sustained during his service in the Vietnam War. But the McCain campaign itself did not make this claim in response to the ad, reportedly responding that "John McCain travels with a laptop."
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity made misleading assertions about Sen. Barack Obama's positions on civilian deaths in Afghanistan, military spending, and nuclear weapons, and then asked, "[D]oes that sound like a guy that has the experience to be the commander in chief?"
On Hannity & Colmes, Mike Huckabee and Howard Wolfson both disagreed with Sean Hannity's claim that Sen. Barack Obama was "talking about [Gov.] Sarah Palin" when he made his "lipstick on a pig" comment. Wolfson asserted: "[T]here's no question that he was referring to [Sen.] John McCain, not Sarah Palin, and I think anything to the contrary is ridiculous."
On Hannity & Colmes, Alan Colmes stated that "there are those who have said" that Sen. Barack Obama is a Muslim, but "it's not a Fox thing." On his radio show, Sean Hannity also said that "[n]o one has ever suggested that" Obama is a Muslim. In fact, 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.
On Hannity & Colmes, Hannity said, in reference to Internet rumors about Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter, "[T]hey tried to make the attack that she has a young daughter, pregnant and engaged. Is that fair that they would attack that? I mean, I don't remember Chelsea Clinton being attacked. I don't remember Al Gore's children being attacked. I thought there was a general rule that children of candidates ought to be left alone." In fact, Chelsea Clinton was not "left alone" -- not by Sen. John McCain, and not by Rush Limbaugh.