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“Great American” Sean Hannity and “We Like America” FOX News Smear Obama Again

Reported by Ellen - October 24, 2007 -

Hannity & Colmes interrupted their nearly wall-to-wall California-fire coverage last night (10/23/07) for the sole purpose of calling into question Barack Obama’s patriotism again, this time for not saluting the flag during the Star Spangled Banner. Unfortunately for Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes foiled the effort by showing a hilarious photo of President Bush (that could have come from us) with his hand elsewhere... let’s just say it was well below his heart. With video.

Could there be anything more patriotic than running for president? Why would anybody go through such an ordeal if they didn’t love their country?. Yet, FOX News (you know, the one network that Roger Ailes claims “likes America”) has repeatedly and baselessly tried to paint Obama as somehow un-American and unpatriotic. This time, it was because of some instance where Obama was caught without his hand over his heart during the national anthem. This just a few weeks after trumping up the “issue” surrounding Obama’s decision not to wear a flag lapel pin. And yet, the “fair and balanced” network’s prime time debate show still hasn’t found time to look into questions surrounding Rudolph Giuliani’s failure to provide 9/11 firefighters with adequate radios.

In a not-so-subliminal message, “Obama Flag Flap” appeared on the screen along with a photo of a non-saluting Obama standing with the saluting Bill Richardson and Hillary Clinton. But Colmes took a page from Hannity’s play book (way to go, Alan!) by saying in his introduction that “conservatives continue their assault on (Obama’s) patriotism, if you can believe that.”

Colmes then showed the same hilarious photo our Donna used in her post about FOX & Friends discussing this “issue” earlier in the day. In that photo, Bush is standing in a sea of people holding their hearts while Bush’s hand is well, as Colmes put it, “I think he’s got his organs mixed up.”

The only guest for the discussion was Dick Morris. Since Obama opposes Clinton, I suppose it’s not surprising that Morris would take Obama’s side and call the issue “ridiculous” and “a stupid controversy.” Before long Morris and Colmes (who, for a pleasant change of pace got significantly more time in the segment than Hannity did) moved on to discussing the Republican presidential candidates. Morris said, “I think (Fred) Thompson is waging the worst campaign I’ve ever seen.”

Hannity, however, wasn’t about to let his opportunity to smear a patriot go by. But first, the tough bullyboy was obviously thrown by the taste of his own medicine, i.e. the photo of Bush. Hannity said in a somewhat sulky tone, “First of all, at least the president wasn’t making a statement and he did have his hand over his heart in the right place, Alan. That was a cheap shot – one little, you know, freeze frame picture for one second.” Fact check: If that's where Bush's heart is, well, you can supply the punchline.

Happily, Colmes laughed it off by saying, “Obama’s a cheap shot.”

Hannity said, “But the difference here is Barack Obama made a statement about the Iraq war with the flag pin.” Fact check: Actually, Obama said he stopped wearing the pin because he felt that it had become a shallow and often phony gesture.

Hannity continued, “And to not do it here, people are raising questions about why. Is this another statement?”

“I doubt it,” Morris said. “He was probably just dreaming of something off somewhere and didn’t focus on the fact that there was a pledge of allegiance going on.”

“Maybe he was contemplating invading Pakistan again,” Hannity said. Fact check: Obama never advocated invading Pakistan. But just last week, FOX News fave Mark Steyn DID, while guest hosting for Hannity. Somehow, I suspect Hannity will never fault Steyn for what he did say yet continue to smear Obama over what he didn’t.

Morris said, “What is pathetic about Obama is, he could win this election. He could defeat Hillary right now. All he has to do is get up there and say, ‘If you are elected president, you will keep troops in Iraq. You told the New York Times that and you would do that. I would pull them out. I’m the peace candidate, you’re the war candidate.’”

Interestingly, Morris didn’t consider that Obama might not have said that because he might not believe it. In other words, standing on principle didn’t seem to occur to Morris.

Update: Check out this description of the segment, prominently placed on the Hannity & Colmes website. Funny how it conveniently omits the photo of Bush and Morris' assessment of Thompson's campaign.