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Morris and Hannity Promote Discredited Smear That Obama Would Not Get Security Clearance

Reported by Ellen - November 4, 2008 -

On last night's Hannity & Colmes (11/3/08) Dick Morris and Sean Hannity put forth as fact the smears found in a recent chain email that alleges Barack Obama would not be eligible to be hired by the FBI because his “association” with William Ayers would make him ineligible for security clearance. Politifact.com, which fact checks many of the claims and attacks being made in the 2008 campaign, has ruled that charge completely false. In fact, one of the three national security experts Politifact interviewed said that Obama's background would make him an excellent candidate. With video.

It was another Obama smearathon on the show, with a “fair and balanced” guest line up of four conservatives (Dick Morris, Mary Matlin, Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckbaee) and one Democrat (Tom Vilsack). Morris was the leadoff hitter.

The discussion with Morris began with Alan Colmes. Colmes began by citing the latest polls which were favorable to Obama.

Morris responded, “Nobody has any idea how this election is gonna go. Not a pollster, not a candidate, not a political consultant.” That's a far cry from some of Morris' previous predictions. In June, for example, Morris said, “Obama can't possibly be elected.”

Now, Morris said, that because the turnout will be so high, “We have no idea how to model it.”

Well, that's not what other pollsters seem to think. Karl Rove, for example, not exactly an Obama-friendly pundit, predicts that Obama will get 338 electoral votes to McCain's 220.

Not surprisingly, Hannity agreed with Morris that the polls are unreliable. But moments later, both were citing them. Morris asserted, without objection from Hannity, that a sign of Obama's weakness is that he's not doing better in the polls, "to whatever extent you can believe it." Riiight.

Then Hannity quickly moved on to show the latest Rev. Wright attack ad in its entirety. Hannity said, "I want to run (the ad) for you and see if you think this could help what is now Rasmussen 4 point race in the state of Pennsylvania." Actually, Rasmussen had it as a 6 point race. But why worry about numbers if you can't trust them, eh?

Morris ran through Obama's other “radical associations” and said, “He probably couldn't get security clearance, Sean.”

“And that's a point I've made often,” Hannity said (though I have never heard him say it). “Could he become an FBI agent? Could he become a CIA agent?”

“No,” Morris said. “Forget the FBI. He couldn't be a staffer on the National Security Council.”

But Politifact reported,

“All three of the attorneys we contacted agreed unequivocally that Obama's relationship with Ayers would not be an automatic disqualifier, as the claim suggests. In fact, (Mark, an attorney who specializes in security-clearance work) Zaid said someone with Obama's record – a law degree from Harvard, teaching experience at the University of Chicago Law School – would be an excellent candidate.

"The agencies would be fighting over him," Zaid said.