Tuesday night on his Fox News show, Sean Hannity continued his attempt to distance himself from Donald Trump and birtherism. In a mocking tone, Hannity, discussing whether people will demand proof of Osama bin Laden's death, said:
Now we're gonna have the birthers and the deathers. You know, where's the death certificate? Where's Donald Trump? He's gonna be asking for the death certificate. [Fox News, Hannity, 5/3/2011]
This is a continuation of Hannity's backing away from his earlier comments on the birther issue. On April 27, Hannity, discussing the release of Obama's long-form birth certificate, assured us that "this was never a defining issue for me."
This turnaround is ironic, given Hannity's track record of repeatedly demanding that Obama release his long-form birth certificate, as well as cheerleading Trump's efforts in doing so:
- On March 24, Hannity asked: "What's the deal? Produce the birth certificate, it's over, done with." During the segment, he also said that Obama "did talk in his book about how he went and prayers and he went to a Muslim school, and he did talk about all this. And he studied the Quran, and prayers at sunset were some of the most beautiful things he saw in life. So he spent a lot of years of his youth in Indonesia ... And show the birth certificate." [Fox News, Hannity, 3/24/11]
- On March 23, Hannity asked, "What do you think about this birth certificate issue? I mean, it has not been my main issue, but it kind of does get a little odd here after a while. Can't they just produce it and we move on?" [Fox News, Hannity, 3/23/11]
- On March 25, Hannity stated, "Donald Trump brought up the issue of the birth certificate, and it's getting huge buzz around the country," and later asked, "Why can't they just release the birth certificate, you know, and just move on?" [Fox News, Hannity, 3/25/11]
- Later on the March 25 show, Hannity stated: "Do I think he was [born in America]? Yes. Do I think this is odd that they won't produce the birth certificate? It's beginning to get odd to me." Hannity later stated that it's "not true" that Obama has shown his birth certificate. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/25/11]
- On April 5, Hannity said that Obama was born in the United States but demanded that he "show the stupid birth certificate and move on." [Fox News, Hannity, 4/5/11]
Hannity is not the only member of the conservative media hastily backtracking from a birther stance in the wake of Obama's release of his long-form birth certificate. Rush Limbaugh claimed that he "warned people" that birtherism was a "dead end," despite repeatedly promoting the myth. And Fox News' website Fox Nation tried to downplay the network's role in promoting the birther conspiracy by deceptively quoting a study on how much time different news sources gave to the issue.