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Dick Morris' Many Smears Of Obama Go Uncorrected, Unchallenged On Hannity & Colmes

Reported by Ellen - June 6, 2008 -

Dick Morris, the toe-sucking tax delinquent, was back on Hannity & Colmes last night (6/5/08), this time to accuse Barack Obama of financial and other improprieties via insinuation, innuendo and more guilt by association. Morris falsely implied that Obama paid less than market value for the property he purchased from just-convicted Chicago businessman Antoin Rezko. Morris also implied that Obama is corrupt because he comes from Chicago, which Morris characterized as “a cesspool” of dirty politics. And, of course, Morris took a few swipes at Hillary Clinton along the way. With video.

Now that Obama has clinched the nomination, FOX News’ affection for Hillary Clinton seems to have disappeared as quickly and suddenly as it materialized. Hannity didn’t argue when Morris called her a vulture and claimed that she has not given up her presidential ambitions. Morris said, “Hillary is hovering, you know the vulture who’s hovering overhead? ...It’s like her boss gave you the job but she was the runner up, so she has the desk next to you. So any time you mess up, any time you don’t get a client... and the point is what she’s gonna do is not release her delegates so that when the superdelegates could put her over the top and if Obama stumbles or there’s a scandal or there’s a tape, she’s in the (wings).”

Hannity brought up Rezko. “The Rezko relationship goes back 20 years,” Hannity said in what seems like another of his distortions. As best I can determine, Rezko began donating money to Obama in 1995. Hannity continued, “And they have this property scheme of theirs together.” Presumably, Hannity was referring to Obama’s purchase of property from Rezko which, though he admits now it was a mistake was not a “scheme” at all. As Media Matters noted, “Several news outlets have reported that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing on Obama's part regarding the real estate deal with Rezko.”

Morris complimented Hannity on his good job at “projecting the Jeremiah Wright issue and the Ayers and all of that.” Morris added, “But that’s only half the negatives on Obama. The other half is that he comes from a cesspool. There is nothing dirtier than Chicago politics. The last two governors of Illinois are either in jail or on their way to jail. And there is nothing filthier than chicago politics. And he came up in Chicago politics with this guy Rezko. And then they did this real estate deal. And hey, a losing real estate deal on Whitewater haunted the Clintons for 20 years. This is one where he made money. And it’s not clear – Rezko paid market price for his property. He didn’t pay market price for his. And they came from the same seller. Who’s to say that that wasn’t a switch?”

Who’s to say that it was? Even the L.A. Times article called Obama Dogged By Ties To Donor never suggests such a thing. Furthermore, as Media Matters noted in a post about another time Morris made the same false claim, when the Obama’s purchased a strip of the Rezko property to add to their own, they paid more than its appraised value.

Unfortunately, Alan Colmes was out ill and substitute co-host Kirsten Powers either didn’t know or didn’t care about the baselessness of Morris' claims about Obama. She didn’t even confront him on his “vulture” language.

Powers began her segment by asking meekly, “I just want to go back to you talking about with Hillary that she’s going to hold on to her delegates. Is there anything really wrong with that when you think about it?”

Yes, Morris thought there was but rather than dwell on it, Morris took control of the conversation in order to add that Obama “made his first blunder yesterday when he put Eric Holder on his three-person committee that is vetting vice presidential nominations.”

Morris asserted, “The last time Eric Holder exercised his judgment, he was the one that told Bill Clinton it was OK to pardon Mark Rich. Marc Rich who was a fugitive, who renounced his American citizenship, who tried to smuggle two steamer boxes full of documents out of the US ‘til Giuliani seized the plane, who defrauded the American government out of $100 million by claiming old oil was new oil.”

FOX News had started in on this nearly eight-years-old issue regarding Holder the night before and Morris published a piece about it in that day’s New York Post, the same paper Powers publishes in (and a sister company to FOX News). So it’s very disappointing that Powers seemed to have no idea that Morris had just made another distortion.

For one thing, the Rich pardon was not, as Morris claimed, “the last time Holder exercised his judgment.” As The Swamp reported, “Since leaving the Clinton White House, Holder has served, for the last six years, as a corporate litigator and white-collar defense attorney at the powerhouse D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling. He was recently retained by the National Football League to probe allegations of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick’s involvement in illegal dogfighting.” Furthermore, Associated Press reports, “Seven and a half years after the most controversial incident of his legal career, Holder enjoys a stellar reputation among his Washington colleagues.”

There was even a photo of Holder at the ready that went up on the screen. It should not have been a surprise to Powers that his name and his record were going to be discussed.