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Hannity Falsely Claims He Never Impugned Obama's Patriotism

Reported by Ellen - June 29, 2008 -

On Friday night’s (6/27/08) Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity was a vision of innocent surprise when FOX News’ political analyst Kirsten Powers said that he had accused Barack Obama of not being patriotic. Mugging for the camera, Hannity said, “I have never! Never! Never!" Oh, yes he has! It was part of a two-part discussion in which Hannity also allowed false conservative talking points to be reiterated without correction. With video.

I’ve been very critical of Powers in the past but she has drastically improved lately. In this double segment, she more than held her own despite being outnumbered by two high-powered conservatives. Alan Colmes was no slouch either.

Hannity has apparently put aside, at least temporarily, his accusations that Obama is a black militant radical who might be a Stalinist sleeper agent. Hannity's latest attacks accuse Obama of being overly scripted and calculating, a consummate politician. On Friday night, Hannity complained that the Obamas are “controlled by a bunch of political handlers and it’s phony. There’s no sincerity here.”

Powers replied, “There’s nothing phony about the fact that he feels he has to communicate with people about the fact that he’s not a Muslim.”

In his most innocent voice, Hannity said, “Name one Republican who said that.” Well, Seannie-poo, how about your own guests, “Boombox” Ann Coulter and Bill Cunningham who find it so important to emphasize Obama’s middle name? (Hannity even defended Cunningham as a "great American" when he came under fire for it.) How about your colleagues on FOX & Friends who wrongly reported that Obama attended a madrassa? How about your former colleague who “asked” if Barack and Michelle Obama made a “terrorist fist jab” when they bumped fists on stage?

Powers said, “It doesn’t matter who said it, Sean. The fact of the matter is that when you ask people, like 10% of Americans say that they think he’s a Muslim. So he has to do a better job of communicating about that, about the patriotism which you certainly have accused him of not being patriotic.”

“I have never! I have never! Never! Never!” Hannity said with overdone ingenuousness.

Powers said, “I am sure that I have heard you say that.”

“No, You have not! ...In all honesty, I never have.”

Powers said that he has certainly insinuated it. She reasoned, what does it matter if Obama was in Rev. Wright’s congregation “unless you think he shares the views of Rev. Wright?”

Hannity quickly moved on to one of the other guests.

Powers is entirely correct. Sean Hannity has repeatedly and intentionally tried to paint Obama as unpatriotic in various ways: By asking if Obama was "making a statement" when he was caught not saluting the flag during the Star Spangled Banner (even though one salutes the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance, not the Star Spangled Banner); by suggesting that he's too Afrocentric; overstating and hyping Obama's relationship with former 60's radical (now a university professor) William Ayers, often referred to by Hannity as an "unrepentant terrorist;" accusing Obama of smearing and slandering "hard-working Americans," that, Hannity claimed, reflected Obama's "real attitudes." In the same segment, Hannity added, "We've now seen this with the Obamas on a number of occasions: I've never been proud of my country, America is a mean country." And that's not counting the time Hannity suggested Obama might be a secret Stalinist.

In Part 2 of the discussion, Powers neatly summed up the less-than-genuine aspects of John McCain: “I’m amazed that people still continue to insist that he’s this straight-talking maverick who, you know, you know who he is,” she said. “I don’t know who he is. Does he support comprehensive immigration reform or did he get the message and he’s only gonna focus on the border? ‘Cause he doesn’t seem to be able to figure that out... He opposed offshore drilling. And now he supports offshore drilling.”

Colmes asked one of the two conservative guests, John Fund, “Would John McCain today vote for McCain Kennedy?”

Fund’s silence spoke volumes. Powers’ snicker stood out all the more.

When Fund finally answered, he tried to change the subject. “I’d like to inject a fact here,” he said. “Gasoline is now $4.80 a gallon.”

“You’re ignoring my question,” Colmes said. “Why are you ignoring me?”

Fund answered that McCain changed his position because “he actually listens to voters.”

Before Colmes could respond, Sean Hannity took over for his share of the discussion. With his innocent face, Hannity said, “Senator McCain did have a position on drilling when gas was $1.50 a gallon and he has a little bit different position at $4.50 a gallon.”

Powers laughed and said, “I just am incredulous, Sean, that you believe that.”

The other guest was Dennis Prager. Prager, you may recall, so offended the United States Holocaust Memorial Council’s Executive Committee with his attack on Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison that they took the astonishing step of censuring him. It was astonishing because Prager IS a member of the Council. Prager was appointed by President Bush who declined to remove him.

“The reality is we will get much more oil, much sooner, if we drill in utterly remote locations that affect no one and the caribou mate better when there are pipelines.” Prager declared authoritatively.

But Prager is not, as far as I can tell, an expert in wildlife or ecology. It’s doubtful he bothered to do any independent research before mouthing this right wing talking point because Prager is just plain wrong about the caribou.

Fund jumped in with another discredited right-wing talking point. “If we wait another 18 months, the Chinese, using Cuban help, are going to be doing horizontal drilling into the oil that’s near Florida. That oil is going to be sucked up like a straw if we don’t do something about it. That’s the reality,” Fund said.

No, it isn't, at least not according to Florida's Republican Senator Mel Martinez and McClatchy newspapers.

But "Great American" Hannity either didn't know or didn't care enough to correct either misstatement on the "We report. You decide" and "fair and balanced" network.