On Fox News' Hannity's America, Sean Hannity hosted Andy Martin -- identified by Hannity as an "Internet journalist" -- who made what Hannity called "the explosive claim that [Sen. Barack] Obama's role as a community organizer was a political staging ground perpetuated by the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers." At no point during the segment did Hannity note Martin's history of smears against Obama or Martin's history of anti-Semitic and racially charged comments.
During the October 5 edition of Fox News' Hannity's America, Sean Hannity hosted Andy Martin -- identified by Hannity as an "Internet journalist" -- to make "the explosive claim that [Sen. Barack] Obama's role as a community organizer was a political staging ground perpetuated by the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers." At no point during the segment did Hannity note Martin's history of smears against Obama or Martin's history of anti-Semitic and racially charged comments. In 2007, in a document Martin submitted in a lawsuit he filed against Media Matters for America, Martin claimed that "African-American judges ... circle the wagons and try to protect Barry [Obama]." He also said that the actions of an African-American judge who presided over the case "show that African-Americans are willing to corrupt and abuse their-public offices to defend their own sleazy candidate for office." Further, as the Chicago Tribune and several federal courts have noted, Martin -- who also goes by the name of Anthony Martin-Trigona -- has called a judge a "crooked, slimy Jew, who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race."
During the segment, Martin baselessly claimed that Obama's work as a community organizer was "training for a radical overthrow of the government." Martin also baselessly claimed that Obama "probably had met William Ayers in New York, and was coming here [to Chicago] to lay the foundations for what he thought would be some sort of political movement that he thought he would be a part of." Martin further claimed that if Obama is elected president, "[w]e're basically going to be ... in the throes of a socialist revolution, which attempts to essentially freeze out anybody who's not part of this radical ideology."
In an October 6 article, The New York Times reported on Martin's Hannity's America appearance, noting that Martin offered "unsubstantiated accusations that Mr. Obama's work as a community organizer in Chicago was 'training for a radical overthrow of the government.'" The Times also reported that Martin "is credited as being among the first -- if not the first -- to assert in a chain e-mail message that Mr. Obama was secretly a Muslim."
Martin also claimed that Obama "had virtually no impact in his so-called community organizing career except to lay the foundation for his future radical associations." As purported evidence of those "radical associations," Martin continued:
MARTIN: It was then, also, I believe, that he was exposed perhaps by Louis Farrakhan to Khalid al-Mansour. Because it's while he's a community organizer that Khalid al-Mansour starts raising money to promote Obama to Harvard Law School.
So, obviously, in Ayers' mind and al-Mansour's mind, Obama had proven his reliability. He was somebody that could be trusted to do what he was told. And all of a sudden, they now are going to take him to the next level.
Contrary to Martin's theory that Obama "probably had met William Ayers in New York," The New York Times reported on October 3 that, in 1995, "at a lunchtime meeting about school reform in a Chicago skyscraper, Barack Obama met Mr. Ayers, by then an education professor. ... [Campaign spokesman Ben] LaBolt said the men first met in 1995 through the education project, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and have encountered each other occasionally in public life or in the neighborhood." The Times also wrote that "the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called 'somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.' "
Columbia University professor Todd Gitlin first noted Martin's appearance on Hannity's America in an October 5 post on TPMCafe.
As Media Matters has also documented, Martin has advanced smears against Obama. For example:
- "Free Obama's White Grandmother": As Media Matters documented, in a March 28, 2007, column for NewsMax.com titled "Free Obama's White Grandmother," Martin wrote that Obama, whom he called "one of the most racist politicians in America today," has "locked the grandmother who actually raised him away in a closet," adding: "[T]he 'segregation' of Madelyn Dunham, Obama's white grandmother, and only real grandmother, has to be one of the cruelest and most mendacious political kidnappings this nation has ever seen." Martin wrote that Dunham "is the 'Prisoner of Obama,' and of Obama's racist myth that he is 'Black' and not 'Black and White.' "
- Birth certificate: Martin falsely claimed in a September 22 column that "[w]e have not seen a valid Obama birth certificate." In fact, as Media Matters has repeatedly documented, in addition to posting a copy of Obama's birth certificate on the campaign website, the Obama campaign reportedly provided the original to FactCheck.org, whose staff reported that they "have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate," and that it "meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship."
- Obama lying about his upbringing: As Media Matters has noted, discussing Martin's purported research on Obama, author Catherine Moy said in March 2007: "He started doing the research on this. I interviewed him yesterday. He said it was not a madrassa, but that they did teach the Quran, and they did teach that Jews are pigs. So that it -- you know, those kind of things that the Quran teaches, all of those things in the Quran that offend so many, he was taught." The claim that Obama attended a madrassa as a child -- originating in InsightMag.com -- has been thoroughly debunked.
Washington Post staff writer Matthew Mosk wrote in a June 28 article that Institute for Advanced Study political theorist Danielle Allen "discovered that theories about Obama's religious background had circulated for many years on the Internet. And that the man who takes credit for posting the first article to assert that the Illinois senator was a Muslim is Andy Martin." From the article:
Martin, a former political opponent of Obama's, is the publisher of an Internet newspaper who sends e-mails to his mailing list almost daily. He said in an interview that he first began questioning Obama's religious background after hearing his famous keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. In an Aug. 10, 2004, article, which he posted on Web sites and e-mailed to bloggers, he said that Obama had concealed his Muslim heritage. "I feel sad having to expose Barack Obama," Martin wrote in an accompanying press release, "but the man is a complete fraud. The truth is going to surprise, and disappoint, and outrage many people who were drawn to him. He has lied to the American people, and he has sought to misrepresent his own heritage." Martin's article did not suggest an association between Obama and radical Islam.
Martin was trying to launch a Senate bid against Obama when he says he first ran the Democrat's name by a contact in London. "They said he must be a Muslim. That was interesting to me because it was an angle that nobody had covered. We started looking. As a candidate you learn how to harness the Internet. You end up really learning how to work the street. I sort of picked this story up as a sideline." Martin said the primary basis for his belief was simple -- Obama's father was a Muslim. In a defamation lawsuit he filed against the New York Times and others several months ago, Martin says that Obama "eventually became a Christian" but that "as a matter of Islamic law began life as a Muslim" due to his father's religion.
Martin said he posted his 2004 article on Web sites, and distributed it by e-mail to authors of other popular blogs. But he said he had nothing to do with the chain e-mail that got Allen's attention. "I'm not trying to smear anybody," Martin said. "I just felt that was an underreported story."
But Martin said he understands how his initial article has taken on a life of its own. "There's nothing sinister here. I was thinking of running for Senate and was looking for a story to put some sizzle on the plate."
Nation Washington editor Christopher Hayes wrote in an October 25, 2007, article that "even if the identity of the [Obama-madrassa] e-mail's author was unrecoverable, it was still possible to trace back the roots of its content" and cited Martin:
On August 10, 2004, just two weeks after Obama had given his much-heralded keynote speech at the DNC in Boston, a perennial Republican Senate candidate and self-described "independent contrarian columnist" named Andy Martin issued a press release. In it, he announced a press conference in which he would expose Obama for having "lied to the American people" and "misrepresent[ed] his own heritage."
Martin raised all kinds of strange allegations about Obama but focused on him attempting to hide his Muslim past. "It may well be that his concealment is meant to endanger Israel," read Martin's statement. "His Muslim religion would obviously raise serious questions in many Jewish circles where Obama now enjoys support."
Hayes then quoted Martin saying of the false Madrassa emails:
"Everybody started calling me" when the e-mail first made the rounds, Andy Martin told me. "They said, 'Hey, did you write this?' My answer was 'they are all my children.' "
Martin has a history of other controversial assertions as well. For instance:
- "[V]iciously anti-Semitic assertions": In the United States v. Anthony Martin-Trigona (1985), the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit wrote that Martin had previously made "viciously anti-Semitic assertions":
Martin-Trigona filed a lawsuit against [Bankruptcy] Judge Lavien (among others); the complaint is rife with viciously anti-Semitic assertions such as that "Defendant Lavien has flatly asserted it is permissible for him to meet in secret with Jewish lawyers to determine how to loot plaintiff's property."
In his action filed in the Southern District of New York against a bankruptcy judge, Martin-Trigona v. Lavien, Civ. No. 83-2944 (S.D.N.Y.), Martin-Trigona referred to the judge as a "crooked, slimy Jew, who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race." In his complaint in Martin-Trigona v. Lavien, Civ. No. H-83-305 (D.Conn.), he stated, among other comments:
"Jews, historically and in daily living, act through clans and in wolf pack syndrome....
"Non-Jewish lawyers in Connecticut refer to the Jewish cabal, uphemistically [sic], as 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves'....
"No sociological evidence exists that Jews have superior intelligence or any other special characteristics, other than the herd instinct...." In re Martin-Trigona, 573 F.Supp. 1245, 1263 (D.Conn.1983) (Appendix C.).
The U.S. District Court for District of Connecticut wrote in an order on June 23, 1983, granting a permanent injunction (retrieved from the Lexis database) against Martin that his "recent suits have taken on the ugly taint of anti-Jewish bigotry and suggest a substantial deterioration of an already problematical personality." From the order:
Anthony R. Martin-Trigona's recent suits have taken on the ugly taint of anti-Jewish bigotry and suggest a substantial deterioration of an already problematical personality. In one such action, of which this court takes judicial notice, he referred to a United States Bankruptcy Judge as a "crooked, slimy Jew, who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race." Martin-Trigona v. Lavien, Civ. No. 83-2944 (S.D.N.Y.), Unsworn Declaration in Support of Motion to Recuse, para. 2 The complaint in the above-captioned case of Martin-Trigona v. Lavien, Civ. No. H 83-305 (D.Conn.), is replete with such accusations and charges, of which the following excerpts are cited as examples:
This is a civil rights law suit against a group of Jews [who have] conspired ... to steal plaintiff's property.
This property was seized by the defendant Jews.
The "bankruptcy judges" ... have been Jews.
The trustees ... have been Jews.
The counsel for said trustees have been Jews.
The Jews speak and intrigue among themselves.
[They] meet in secret ... to determine how to loot plaintiff's property.
... Jewish bankruptcy judges appoint Jewish bankruptcy trustees who choose Jewish lawyers to represent them.
... Jews, historically and in daily living, act through clans and in wolf pack syndrome.
... Jews hate Christians, and have paranoid delusions.
Jews work through a national network.
Non-Jewish lawyers in Connecticut refer to the Jewish cabal, euphemistically, as "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves."
No sociological evidence exists that Jews have superior intelligence or any other special characteristics, other than the herd instinct [sic].
The plaintiff ... is beset by a horde of bankruptcy Jews who are trying to steal his property. [citations to page numbers in complaint omitted]
In a 1993 decision involving Martin, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit stated:
Anthony Martin-Trigona has sued literally hundreds, if not thousands, of attorneys, judges, their spouses, court officials, and other human beings. In summarizing the district court's findings, which it was careful to point out considerably understated his activities as a litigant, the Second Circuit said that:
Martin-Trigona is known to have filed over 250 civil actions, appeals, and other matters throughout the United States, which have been pursued with "persistence, viciousness, and general disregard for decency and logic." He has used legal pleadings to ventilate his contempt and hatred of persons of Jewish heritage and to level accusations which "have often been personal, have often emphasized racial or religious affiliations, and have often involved the members of ... judges' and counsel's families." The purpose, nature and effect of his resort to multiple litigation has been to involve as many persons in as many confounding legal processes as possible.
737 F.2d at 1259 (footnote omitted). That was eight years ago. Even a cursory search with Westlaw and Lexis reveals that his litigiousness has continued unabated since that time. Volumes could be written about Anthony Martin-Trigona's vexatious lawsuits, but any such treatise would have to contain annual pocket parts to provide any hope of keeping current.
As Media Matters noted, in a February 10, 2006, article, the Chicago Tribune reported that Martin "has expressed anti-Semitic attitudes in the past." The Tribune also reported:
Martin also has expressed anti-Semitic attitudes in the past. When he ran for Congress in Connecticut in 1986, the name of his congressional campaign committee included the phrase "to exterminate Jew power in America," Federal Election Commission records show.
In a 1983 personal bankruptcy case, he referred to a federal bankruptcy judge as a "crooked, slimy Jew, who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race."
In a related court filing in the case, he also expressed sympathy to the perpetrators of the Holocaust.
"I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did, when Jew survivors are operating as a wolf pack to steal my property," Martin wrote in an April 21, 1983, personal bankruptcy proceeding.
The October 6 Times article on Martin's Hannity's America appearance reported:
Mr. Martin came under strong attack from liberals on Monday. Many noted that the Republican Party of Florida decided against backing his bid for the State Senate in 1996 after receiving documents from his Congressional race 10 years earlier in Connecticut listing the purpose of one of his political committees as "to exterminate Jew power in America and to impeach the judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City."
Mr. Martin had previously said the documents were forged, and again denied their authenticity on Monday. He also denied harboring anti-Semitic sentiment, saying "it's peripheral, it draws you away from the issue."
In Martin v. Brock (2007), Martin claimed that he has never engaged in "litigation activity or opinion commentary [which] even remotely rises to the level of anti-Semitism." However, federal District Court Judge Blanche M. Manning wrote "that three courts have found to the contrary." From the opinion:
Mr. Martin's complaint alleges that he has never engaged in "litigation activity or opinion commentary [which] even remotely rises to the level of anti-Semitism." Complaint at 7. However, the court takes judicial notice of the fact that three courts have found to the contrary. See Martin-Trigona v. Shaw, 986 F.2d 1384, 1387 (11th Cir. 1993) (noting that the plaintiff "has used legal pleadings to ventilate his contempt and hatred of persons of Jewish heritage"); U.S. v. Martin-Trigona, 759 F.2d 1017, 1019 n.3 (2d Cir. 1985) (noting that one of the plaintiff's complaints was "rife with viciously anti-Semitic assertions"); In re Martin-Trigona, 737 F.2d 1254, 1256 (D. Conn. 1984) (stating that the plaintiff has used "pleadings and other legal papers, the contents of which are set out in their appalling detail in the district court's opinion, as a vehicle to launch vicious attacks upon persons of Jewish heritage").
- "African-American judges": In a June 2007 motion, Martin unsuccessfully sought to recuse Manning from presiding over Martin v. Brock because, in part, "her impartiality in this case can obviously be questioned." Martin claimed that "African-American judges ... circle the wagons and try to protect Barry [Obama]." Martin later claimed that judges such as Manning "show that African-Americans are willing to corrupt and abuse their-public offices to defend their own sleazy candidates for office. It's wrong." From Martin's motion:
I have noted that when Obama is criticized, African-American judges such as political hack and corrupt alderman/Judge Timothy Evans circle the wagons and try to protect Barry from the reality of his financial shenanigans while serving as a state senator and U.S. Senator in Illinois.
7. I have been fighting Obama's and Manning's and Evans' style of judicial corruption at the Daley Center and 219 S. Dearborn for thirty-five (35) years, since I graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law. I hold African-American judges to the same high standards as I expect of any judge: be fair and appear fair. Obey the law, not your emotions. Don't be a crook and don't corrupt the administration of justice.
7. I ask that Judge Manning recuse herself and take her reprehensible behavior elsewhere. I know what African-Americans riding the CTA would call the type of justice I received. I will not dignify their behavior by using the same terminology. I believe I received racist justice from Judge Manning.
8. Ironically, Judge Manning has not helped Obama, any more than crooked County Chief Circuit Judge Timothy Evans is helping Obama by his dirty tactics; they show that African-Americans are willing to corrupt and abuse their-public offices to defend their own sleazy candidates for office. It's wrong.
Additionally, as Media Matters documented, the February 2006 Tribune article reported that Martin's Selective Service record "showed he had a 'moderately-severe character defect manifested by well documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character.' " From the article:
In 1973, the Illinois Supreme Court refused to allow Martin admission to the bar. The court's decision noted that Martin, a University of Illinois law school graduate who was previously known by the name Anthony R. Martin-Trigona, had a Selective Service record that showed he had a "moderately-severe character defect manifested by well documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character."
Still, the court noted that "issues raised as to [Martin's] mental stability" did not need to be considered in light of other matters it cited in deciding that Martin lacked the qualities of "responsibility, candor, fairness, self-restraint, objectivity and respect for the judicial system" required for the administration of justice.
Among issues the high court cited in denying his law license were Martin's criticism of members of a bar review panel as "emotionally ill" and "scum," his filing of a petition asking that a parking violation be lifted because it was "entered by an insane judge" and his description of an attorney as "shaking and tottering and drooling like an idiot," according to court records.
Leading up to Obama's February 10, 2007, announcement that he would run in the Democratic presidential primary, Martin wrote that "[d]uring Obama Week leading up to February 10th, we will release our CIA-style psychological profile on him; that analysis will cast more light on Barack's supple psyche and his ability to seamlessly deny objective reality."
From the October 5 edition of Fox News' Hannity's America:
HANNITY: And coming up next, Barack Obama, the community organizer. Now, was this the beginning of a grand scheme perpetuated by radicals? You'll be hearing from a man who says it is.
HANNITY: Not much has been made of Senator Obama's community organizing days. Now, he says it was a life-altering experience that prepared him to lead America. But our next guest reveals the background story of how community organizing is part of a grand scheme perpetuated by none other than William Ayers.
[begin video clip]
OBAMA: A lot of people don't know what a community organizer is, and, in fact, I didn't know what a community organizer was entirely when I became one. I had been inspired by the civil rights movement and the idea of people working at a grassroots level to bring about change, to get people involved in shaping their own destiny.
HANNITY: Well, community organizing definitely has shaped Senator Obama's destiny. In 1985, fresh from Columbia University, Obama returned to Chicago to become just that: a community organizer, a job he says qualifies him in part to hold the nation's highest office. But what exactly is a community organizer? After all, he didn't even know what it was when he started as one.
MARTIN: I think a community organizer, in Barack Obama's case, was somebody that was in training for a radical overthrow of the government. You have to really stretch to believe his story that he was living in New York City, he was earning 50 or 60 thousand dollars a year, and he left this to come to Chicago to a city where he knew no one to suddenly start, quote, "organizing," unquote, people.
In my opinion, Barack Obama had already been influenced by his radical ideology and philosophy, probably had met William Ayers in New York, and was coming here to lay the foundations for what he thought would be some sort of political movement that he would be a part of.
HANNITY: Andy Martin is a Chicago-based Internet journalist and author of the book, Obama: The Man Behind the Mask. Now, he makes the explosive claim that Obama's role as a community organizer was a political staging ground perpetuated by the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers.
MARTIN: My view is that the community organizing was actually kind of a sham event, that really Bill Ayers was testing him. Because the way these radicals work, they don't give you a big project until you've passed muster with a small project. And so they sent him out to Chicago to see what he would do. He passed the test.
OBAMA: I decided to become a community organizer. I'll organize black folks, at the grassroots.
It was in these neighborhoods that I received the best education that I ever had.
HANNITY: Between June of 1985 to May of 1988, Barack Obama served as a director of the Developing Communities Project, that's a church-based community organization on the city's far South Side -- and his first true test as a community organizer. Obama has said his success there included helping to set up a job-training program at a local steel plant and a tenants' rights organization at a local housing project.
MARTIN: He had virtually no impact in his so-called community organizing career except to lay the foundation for his future radical associations. It was then, also, I believe, that he was exposed perhaps by Louis Farrakhan to Khalid al-Mansour. Because it's while he's a community organizer that Khalid al-Mansour starts raising money to promote Obama to Harvard Law School.
So, obviously, in Ayers' mind and al-Mansour's mind, Obama had proven his reliability. He was somebody that could be trusted to do what he was told. And all of a sudden, they now are going to take him to the next level. All that comes of the years in Chicago. Obama wasn't organizing a community; he was organizing his career and organizing his life step to the next level. That's all he did in Chicago.
HANNITY: The Chicago years proved formative. From his early days as a community organizer to the present, Senator Obama surrounded himself with the city's most radical elements. One need look no further than his current neighborhood, and we sent our own Ainsley Earhardt to check it out.
EARHARDT: This is the elite Kenwood community here in Chicago, and I'm actually walking down Barack Obama's street. You can see behind me Secret Service and police officers are blocking it off so we can't get too close. Back in 2005, Barack Obama purchased the house for $1.65 million. It was a controversial deal. Coincidentally, he bought it the same day that the Rezko family purchased the land next door. And it just so happens they live half a mile from William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist, part of the Weather Underground.
And this is it.
Would he be interested in interviewing with us?
And just down the street from those homes is the house of Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam. There have been numerous reports linking Senator Barack Obama with Farrakhan and the people of his church.
HANNITY: It's this neighborhood and in this house, home to William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, that Obama was first introduced to the city's most influential radicals and liberals back in 1995. That gathering was the beginning of Obama's rapid rise from community organizer to a man one step away from becoming your next president.
MARTIN: You know, there's a model for all this, and the model is Hugo Chavez. Bill Ayers has been to Venezuela and admires Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan dictator. Chavez, in turn, learned from Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution. So, if you love the Cuban Revolution and Castro, and if you love what's happening in Venezuela with Hugo Chavez, you'll love Barry Obama -- Barack Obama, as he calls himself -- in the White House. It's -- we're basically going to be on the -- in the throes of a socialist revolution, which attempts to essentially freeze out anybody who's not part of this radical ideology.