Hannity Gives Discredited Birther Corsi A Platform To Sell His Unsubstantiated Conspiracy Theories
Reported by Ellen - October 14, 2009 -
Discredited author and birther Jerome Corsi got a double segment on Hannity last night (10/13/09) to spin unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about President Obama and his "One World" policies. Although Corsi’s inflammatory and almost apocalyptic theories included accusations that Obama and his like-minded cronies are "post-American" and out to destroy the dollar and U.S. sovereignty, Sean Hannity never challenged Corsi to back up any of his claims. Furthermore, Hannity never noted Corsi’s record of falsehoods and wild assertions. Instead, Fox News producers promoted Corsi’s book by repeatedly showing photos of it and suggesting viewers go to Foxnews.com to hear audio excerpts of it. With video.
As Media Matters reported, Fox News legitimized Corsi before he even went on the air with a promo touting Hannity’s “exclusive” interview with “bestselling” Corsi. The announcer said his new book “uncovers how (Democrats’) policies are threatening our freedoms.” As he spoke a graphic read, “Latest uncovers threatening policies.”
Hannity introduced Corsi by saying that his previous books have “shined (sic) a spotlight on the controversial records” of John Kerry and Barack Obama. Hannity somehow forgot to mention that Corsi’s books have also contained numerous falsehoods.
Corsi wasted no time getting to his latest conspiracy theory. “Barack Obama is a globalist and the attack on American sovereignty, the giving away of the United States, has never been greater than under Barack Obama.”
Hannity gave the book his immediate endorsement. Noting that it’s “controversial,” Hannity quickly said, “There’s so many areas where I find agreement. There’s so much information here.”
Unrepentant bigot Hannity went immediately to the Community Reinvestment Act. It’s a favorite target of his. That's not surprising in that he uses it to attack both Democrats and, implicitly, minorities.
Corsi, who called the Act the “Community Redevelopment Act,” said it was used to “extort banks into giving loans to people who didn’t deserve them.” Chalk that up as Corsi’s First Falsehood. As Business Week reported, “loans made under the CRA program were made in a more responsible way than other subprime loans.”
“This was a strong Democratic initiative that carried through ACORN. In fact, Barack Obama was a lawyer for ACORN, helping ACORN extort banks in the subprime aream,” Corsi said. Count that as Corsi Falsehood #2. As the New York Times reported, Obama was part of a team of lawyers that represented ACORN in a lawsuit to compel Illinois to comply with federal laws intended to enhance access to the polls. The Justice Department and the League of Women Voters were other parties in the lawsuit and were on the same side as ACORN.
Corsi, whose bio indicates he's an expert in political science, not economics, went on to offer his analysis of the economic crisis. Unlike Corsi, I will respect my limitations and not attempt to analyze his assessments.
But before long, Corsi was back to his conspiracy theories. Hannity expressed some skepticism but not enough to challenge anything Corsi said. Hannity said, “You talk about a global New Deal. A lot of people hear that, they think ‘conspiracy.’”
Corsi said there’s an international version of the New Deal, “with groups like the U.N... the World Bank, the international Monetary Fund, they want to redistribute U.S. wealth to the world. And Barack Obama, instead of talking about the U.S. economy, the U.S. worker, is focusing on our world position.”
Ding, ding, ding, that’s Corsi Falsehood Number Three. Take a look at Whitehouse.gov right now. The biggest headline is about health insurance reform. There’s much more there about the U.S. economy and U.S. workers (Cash for Clunkers, H1N1 flu, Helping Families Save Their Home Act, etc.) than anything foreign.
Hannity said admiringly that Corsi, with “great specificity and detail and you name names,” wrote “that there are people in this country that want America… to redistribute wealth… to the world.” As Corsi went on to explain, Fox News producers helpfully posted a banner stating, “Corsi: Globalists plan to put America on the chopping block.”
Their goal? Destroying the dollar. Not only did Hannity echo Corsi’s work, so did the Fox News producers who displayed a graphic of Corsi’s book along with a “Destroying the Dollar” banner. Supportive banners ran throughout the segment, including one that urged viewers to go to Foxnews.com's "Great American Blog" for "audio excerpts from Corsi's book."
Obama is in on this “attack” and has even “endorsed the plan,” Corsi told Hannity.
In Part 2, Corsi zeroed in on another globalist out to put America on the chopping block: one of Fox News’ favorite scapegoats, George Soros.
“We the people (may) be circumvented at the altar of this One World – what?” Hannity asked.
“One World government,” Corsi replied. “Our sovereignty would be subject to the dictates of the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the U.N. In Soros’ view, we’ve got an international economy. So the international governance organizations should set the rules.”
“He has said this,” Hannity said. “You’ve gone through and you’ve looked at…”
“I cite his writings,” Corsi said. “I quote page by page out of Soros’ writings.”
That was all the fact checking Hannity needed.
Corsi went on to say that Soros “is betting against the dollar. He doesn’t want U.S. sovereignty or U.S. economic strength to be predominant. So you get this global vision that dictates his backing of Barack Obama.”
No fact checking needed there, either. Hannity chimed in, “Look at all the groups that he’s formed… All these Democratic groups… many of which attack me, personally.” Hey, Hannity, if you spot that check for us from Soros, do let us know. I’ve never had any communication from him. But you act as though you know him.
Meanwhile, the Fox News producers continued rolling out the simpatico banners. “Corsi: Valuable jobs are out-sourced, natl borders erased” and “Radical left promoted socialism.”
The Obama administration was also due for some more blame, of course. According to Corsi, Obama has “undermine(d) the dollar.”
Hannity began to show some skepticism, though not enough to do any independent fact checking. “I don’t dispute your facts, but do you really believe that they (the Obama administration) in their mind, want America to cease to exist?”
“What I show is President Obama is post-American,” Corsi answered. “He believes in this internationalism. Listen to his speeches… He puts down American exceptionalism.”
“Are these just socialist policies or are these policies that… really surrender American sovereignty?” Hannity asked.
“They really surrender American sovereignty. And I document that,” Corsi said. He went on to attack Zbigniew Brzezinski, who endorsed Obama but has never served as a formal advisor. But Corsi made it sound as though Obama and Brzezinski were soulmates. According to Corsi, Brzezinksi “would have the (U.N.) Security Council determine what the president could or could not do in foreign affairs, including Afghanistan or Iran.”
Corsi continued by repeating a false claim from the last segment. “Barack Obama’s much more concerned with what the world opinion is when he should be concerned with the people who are losing their homes and their jobs, the American middle class and that’s why I’m calling… for the rise of 21st Century American patriots.”
Not surprisingly, Corsi is a fan of the tea partyers and they make him hopeful for the future. He advised people to get their personal affairs in order (pay off debt, consolidate families (whatever that means)) “then go back to the fundamental principles of the Constitution… and just say ‘no.’”
“Dr. Corsi, I have no doubt you’ll be attacked first thing in the morning,” Hannity said, as he wrapped up the interview.
With this kind of vicious, unfounded propaganda, supported by a major media outlet, I don't see a reason to wait.