Sean Hannity asserted that the economic stimulus bill would amount to spending at least $217,000 for every job created, echoing a false calculation from a press release issued by the Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee and repeated by numerous media figures. In fact, by calculating the per-job cost by dividing the estimated total cost of the stimulus package by the estimated number of jobs created -- and thus suggesting that the sole purpose of that package is to create jobs -- these media figures ignored other tangible benefits stemming from the package, such as infrastructure improvements and education, health, and public safety investments.
While interviewing Rudy Giuliani, Sean Hannity repeated the false claim that "[s]ixty-one" Guantánamo detainees who have been released are "back on the battlefield" to support his assertion that President Barack Obama is "an ideologue." Hannity and Giuliani also repeated the claims that fiscal stimulus packages were ineffective during the Great Depression and during Japan's "lost decade," but both those claims have been challenged by economists.
Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity have falsely asserted or suggested that Robert Reich, speaking at a congressional forum, proposed that jobs created by the economic stimulus package should exclude white males. In fact, Reich has repeatedly stated that he favors a stimulus plan that "includ[es] women and minorities, and the long-term unemployed" in addition to skilled professionals and white male construction workers, not one that is solely limited to them.
Announcing a "Fox News Alert" on the "sordid details" behind Caroline Kennedy's withdrawal from consideration for New York's Senate seat, Sean Hannity reported that "there are even rumors tonight of marital issues." But Hannity previously accused The New York Times of trafficking in "innuendo [and] rumor" about Sen. John McCain's personal life.
Since President Barack Obama signed an executive order requiring that the Pentagon's detention facilities at Guantánamo be closed within a year, numerous media figures and outlets have repeated or failed to challenge the claim that 61 former detainees held there have returned to the battlefield. In fact, the figure, which comes from the Pentagon, includes 43 former prisoners who are suspected of, but have not been confirmed as, having "return[ed] to the fight."
Ignoring the additional costs of security, transportation, and other expenses incurred by federal, state, and local governments in conjunction with former President Bush's 2005 inauguration, Fox News' Sean Hannity allowed former Gov. Mitt Romney to claim that "[President] Barack Obama spen[t] three times" what Bush spent on his 2005 inauguration. In doing so, Hannity allowed his show to become the latest media outlet to promote the false comparison between the costs of Obama's inauguration and Bush's 2005 inauguration.
On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity claimed that Rev. Gene Robinson "bashed President Bush" in a prayer published in GQ magazine and then stated: "You know, all along, I actually thought pastors were supposed to spread the love of God, not fan the flames of partisan hatred." However, Hannity frequently praised the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, whom he described as a "very dear friend," despite Falwell's history of inflammatory partisan statements.
Discussing demonstrations held around the country against degrading lyrics in the music industry, Sean Hannity said, "I don't like the lyrics that refer to women as 'B's' and 'ho's.' " But in August 2007, Hannity aired concert footage of Ted Nugent, whom he referred to as a "friend," calling then-Sen. Barack Obama a "piece of shit" and referring to Sen. Hillary Clinton as a "worthless bitch."
Fox News' Sean Hannity falsely claimed that President-elect Barack Obama's economic plan gives money to "people that don't pay any taxes," echoing the oft-repeated myth from the presidential campaign that Obama's proposed tax cuts would go to people who don't pay taxes. In fact, Obama has proposed giving the tax credit to "working families," which means they do pay Social Security and Medicare taxes.
In criticizing the appointment of Leon Panetta as CIA director, Sean Hannity asserted that Panetta "wrote a piece back in August for Washington Monthly, 'No Torture. No Exceptions,' said we cannot and must not use torture under any circumstances." Hannity falsely suggested that Panetta's article was a lone commentary when, in fact, it was part of a series of essays written by critics of the Bush administration's "enhanced interrogation techniques" from across the political spectrum, including prominent Republicans.
On Hannity & Colmes, referring to the Minnesota Senate election, Dick Morris baselessly claimed that Al Franken and the Democrats are "stealing it right in front of our eyes" and asserted that both disputed ballots and their duplicates were counted, resulting in votes being counted "twice." Morris and Sean Hannity echoed claims in a Wall Street Journal editorial that alleged double counting of duplicate ballots during the recount. But the Journal simply asserted that there was double counting, echoing an accusation by Norm Coleman's campaign.
On Hannity & Colmes, Newt Gingrich falsely asserted that following 9-11, Dennis Hastert "did not get a private plane," adding that "[t]here's no reason for anyone but the president and vice president of the United States to have that level of security." In fact, at the time, the House sergeant-at-arms, the Defense Department, and the White House agreed that military planes should be made available to the speaker of the House for national security reasons, and Hastert was the first speaker to use one.
Discussing 1980 photos of President-elect Barack Obama published in Time, Sean Hannity asked, "[W]hy didn't we see these pictures beforehand?" and "You think the media maybe thought, well, it might not hurt -- it might not help Barack Obama?" Similarly, Fox News hosts asked, "Was Time magazine sitting on these photos until after the election?" In fact, according to Time, the photographer, Lisa Jack, a fellow student of Obama's at the time and now a psychologist, "put the negatives in a safety-deposit box, so that they could not be used until after the election."
For the second day in a row, Sean Hannity stated on his radio show that he was presenting an award to Media Matters: "[A]s we announced yesterday on the program, our first annual Left Wing Obamamania Media Sleaze PC Police Award has gone to the group Media Matters." Hannity originally announced this award hours after Media Matters named him the Misinformer of the Year.
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On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity suggested that President-elect Barack Obama -- the first African-American elected president -- was named Time magazine's Person of the Year because Vice President-elect Joe Biden chose Time's Jay Carney as his communications director. Hannity stated: "Shocker: The president-elect is crowned Time magazine's Person of the Year; this after Time magazine's D.C. bureau chief accepts a job in the Obama White House. Ah, I'm sure it's a coincidence."