CNN host Brian Stelter caught Sean Hannity riffing on a fake news story about Barack and Michelle Obama supposedly scrubbing mentions of Hillary Clinton from their Twitter feeds yesterday. Before checking the facts, Hannity used that fake news to suggest that the president’s legacy “might be” jail. UPDATED
Stelter explained that the report migrated from a “dubious” website that “publishes a mix of true, slanted and made-up news” to a variety of right-wing sites, including Gateway Pundit. That’s where Hannity picked it up on his radio show yesterday:
First Hannity brought up the Gateway Pundit blog post—which was predicated on a hoax—and asked if it was true: “It says that Michelle Obama had deleted Hillary tweets from her timeline. Did you ever check that out?” The question is apparently directed at his producer.
Later in the hour, Hannity brought it up again. He was talking about revelations from the Wikileaks trove of stolen Clinton campaign emails when he began to read information about Warren and Obama, then said “What?”
A female voice chimed in to report: “Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren have both unfollowed Hillary Clinton, as well as scrubbing their timeline of tweets about her.”
“Wow,” Hannity said, and paused. “That means they know it’s huge. You know why? Because Obama’s implicated! He’s implicated here, and he’s pissed. You know what his legacy might be? Jail.”
Hannity did issue a correction on Twitter after his show.
Correction. Live on radio I read a gateway pundit report that @MichelleObama had deleted mentions of HRC. And a listener said BHO and...— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 1, 2016
Elizabeth Warren did same. Fact is they didn't. I humbly apologize. Live radio— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 1, 2016
Hannity responded to Stelter’s request for a comment about the error, albeit with some very ungracious swipes:
“I received an e-mail LIVE ON THE AIR that linked a Gateway Pundit article. I questioned the accuracy of it on the air. I asked my producer on the air if it was true. She said it was. I also received a listener IM saying that they saw the same. Then THE listener mentioned that there was a report about the other 2.”
Hannity continued: “Bottom line it was brought up in an insignificant way, I was dealing with more important issues like HRC crimes and lies and how CNN has been colluding with the Clinton campaign and CHEATING Bernie Sanders.”
As Stelter also pointed out, Hannity could have easily checked the story with a quick Twitter search. The fact that he didn’t bother – and didn’t even care that he hadn’t bothered – speaks volumes about his lack of integrity.
But let’s not forget Hannity has attacked Stelter as an “idiot pipsqueak,” called for him to be fired and even threatened to sue CNN for slander because Stelter criticized him for irresponsibly promoting baseless conspiracy theories about Clinton.
That lawsuit was never going to happen but I’ll predict Hannity won’t be threatening it again any time soon.
You can listen to Hannity promoting the fake news below, from the November 1, 2016 The Sean Hannity Show, via Media Matters.
Hannity graphic by Nina Brodsky.
UPDATE: Hannity issued an on-air correction on his radio show today.
NOTE TO HANNITY
Everyone in the family is 100 times smarter than you. The bad gene must have missed them.
The world and the entire galaxy will be a better place when Sean Hannity is no longer a part of it.