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.
On Fox News, Sean Hannity stated, "If Hillary was chosen [as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee], this would have electrified" the DNC. Juan Williams replied: "I agree, but I can't believe you are saying this. You demonized Hillary." Hannity then said: "That's my job ... I led the 'Stop Hillary Express.' By the way, now it's the 'Stop Obama Express.' "
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity said to Fox News contributor Geraldine Ferraro: "[Y]ou've been one of the Clinton supporters that have been very vocal, very unhappy about the way [Sen. Barack] Obama treated [Sen. Hillary] Clinton." Ferraro responded: "And the media treated Clinton." Hannity said: "No, I think I was more fair to the Clintons." In fact, during the Democratic presidential primaries, Hannity asserted: "I'm leading the Stop Hillary Express." Hannity also reportedly referred to his nationally syndicated radio program as "The Stop Hillary Express" during the time and has repeatedly advanced smears of the Clintons.
Fox News' Sean Hannity and Karl Rove each repeated the claim that Sen. Barack Obama paid below market value for his house, despite the fact that the sellers reportedly said that they did not cut the price for Obama.
On his radio show, Sean Hannity falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama had "openly complained about 'white folks' greed.' " Hannity played a clip from the audiobook version of Obama's memoir in which Obama says, "White folks' greed runs a world in need." However, the clip is taken from a passage in which Obama is quoting from a sermon by Rev. Jeremiah Wright. In fact, Hannity himself acknowledged as much on Hannity & Colmes in March, saying, "Even the 'Audacity of Hope' speech or sermon had, you know, 'white greed' in there."
On Hannity & Colmes, Jerome Corsi claimed that the "whole point" of his book The Obama Nation is that the assertion by Sen. Barack Obama that he stopped using illegal drugs when he went to college is "not reliable." But Corsi does not make that point in his book; rather, Corsi falsely asserted that Obama "has yet to answer questions" about his drug use. Sean Hannity asked Corsi, "[D]o we know if he ever sold drugs[?]" -- though Hannity has previously asserted that such a question was a manifestation of "politics of personal destruction."
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.