On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity asserted of Sen. Barack Obama: "I never hear the inspiring -- where is the inspiring rhetoric about how great this country is? I never hear him talk about that." In fact, Obama has regularly talked about "how great this country is"; during a speech in Iowa in January, Obama said: "Hope is the bedrock of this nation -- the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be."
On Fox News, Sean Hannity asserted, "Bill Clinton says that Barack Obama may not be ready to be president." But Clinton did not say that. Rather, during an interview with ABC's Kate Snow, Clinton said, "[Y]ou could argue that no one is ever ready to be president," adding, "I mean, I certainly learned a lot about the job in my first year." Clinton went on to praise Obama, saying that "[h]e's shown a keen strategic sense" and "he's smart as a whip."
On his radio show, Sean Hannity said that Sen. Barack Obama "can't point to a single instance in which President Bush or McCain or Karl Rove or Sean Hannity or talk radio or any other major Republican has made an issue of Obama's race." In fact, Hannity asserted on the March 2 edition of Hannity's America: "As more is learned about Barack Obama's positions, his past, and his affiliations, it seems that the 'change' candidate has all the same problems with race as those before him," and later added, "It's only fair to ask: Do the Obamas have a race problem of their own?" Media Matters has also documented numerous examples of other radio and TV personalities making "an issue of Obama's race."
Sean Hannity asked Democratic strategist Michael Brown: "Can you name any prominent Republican that has brought up -- that has said that [Sen. Barack Obama] is not patriotic, or that he's got a funny name, or that he doesn't look like those presidents on dollar bills? Do you know any prominent Republican that has said any of these things?" Indeed, there have been numerous instances of Republicans -- as well as Hannity himself -- who have questioned Obama's patriotism or brought up his "funny name."
Jerome Corsi, author of the book, The Obama Nation, falsely claimed on Hannity's America that Sen. Barack Obama said, "Even if a child was born ... the woman still had the right to kill the child in an abortion." Corsi similarly falsely asserted on Hannity & Colmes that "[a]fter a child's born, Obama ... in the [Illinois] state Senate, wanted the child killed if the mother desired an abortion," and on Sean Hannity's radio program, said that "Obama's on record as let's kill the baby if that's what the mother wants." In fact, Obama has never supported giving people the right to kill their children.
On his radio program, Sean Hannity repeated the already debunked allegation that Sen. Barack Obama leaked a written prayer he placed in the Western Wall during his visit to Jerusalem. While a spokesman for Ma'ariv reportedly told other Israeli publications that the Obama campaign approved the publication of the prayer and that Obama gave copies of it to the media before he went to the Western Wall, The New Republic's Zvika Krieger wrote in a blog post: "I finally heard back from the Ma'ariv spokesman, who denied that the Obama campaign leaked the memo to them or gave them approval to print it, and who disavowed the alleged spokesman who gave quotes to at least four Israeli publications."
Sean Hannity falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama canceled a visit with wounded soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center "because the cameras weren't ... allowed and the campaign wasn't allowed." But in discussing an ad by Sen. John McCain's campaign that makes the same claim, NBC's Andrea Mitchell stated, "The McCain commercial on this subject is completely wrong, factually wrong." Further, ABC's Jake Tapper and Time's Karen Tumulty both noted that McCain's campaign has provided "no evidence" to support the assertion that Obama canceled the visit because "the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras."
Sean Hannity falsely suggested on his radio show that Sen. Barack Obama "c[ame] up" with his plan for Afghanistan, including calling for the deployment of more troops there, only after his recent visit to the country. But Obama has been calling for an increase of U.S. troops in Afghanistan since at least 2006 and has specifically proposed the addition of at least two combat brigades since 2007.
In a discussion with Newt Gingrich on Fox News, Sean Hannity mischaracterized Sen. Barack Obama's comments about taking unilateral action against terrorism targets in Pakistan, if necessary, suggesting that Obama advocated "invading Pakistan." Rather, in an August 2007 speech, Obama said: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets [in Pakistan] and President [Pervez] Musharraf won't act, we will." Further, just two days earlier on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Gingrich himself spoke in favor of taking action against terrorists in Pakistan.
Sean Hannity falsely suggested that federal areas legally available for leasing by oil companies contain no oil. In fact, federal agencies have estimated that more oil exists on the tens of millions of acres of federal areas currently legally available for drilling than there is in the areas currently off limits to drilling.
On his radio program, Sean Hannity falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama's proposal "for rescinding the Bush tax cuts" would result in "families of four that make $50,000 a year ... paying another $2,000 in taxes a year." In fact, Obama has proposed cutting taxes for middle-class families and rolling back President Bush's tax cuts only on people who are making $250,000 a year or more.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity aired a deceptively cropped statement from Bill Clinton's remarks at the Aspen Ideas Festival in asserting that Clinton was "obviously taking a shot at Senator [John] McCain," omitting the context showing that Clinton was discussing what Nelson Mandela means to him. Hannity also falsely asserted that Clinton's statement and recent comments by Wesley Clark were part of "a series of attacks on Senator McCain's military record."
On his radio show, Fox News' Sean Hannity touted a Washington Examiner blog post claiming that Sen. Barack Obama got a "discount" and a "Countrywide-like sweetheart mortgage deal" from Northern Trust for the purchase of his house. But the Examiner's only source for that claim in the blog post was a Washington Post article that did not cite any evidence that the interest rate Obama received was in any way out of the ordinary or in any way the result of preferential treatment.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity criticized the purchase of credits to offset one's "carbon footprint," asserting, "Those offsets -- that is the biggest hoax in the world. ... You know what it's like? You go cheat on your wife, and then say, 'Honey, but don't worry. I bought an offset.' Good luck." Hannity has yet to address the pledge by News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch "to be carbon neutral, across all our businesses" -- which includes Fox News -- "by 2010."
On Fox News, Dick Morris asserted that as president, Sen. Barack Obama "would double the capital gains tax. That means that you get far less when you sell your home, or your 401(k) or your stock plan," and added, "[H]e would increase the limit on Social Security taxes, which means instead of paying 12 1/2 percent of the first $100,000, you pay it on everything that you're making." Morris' claims are false or highly misleading.