Hannity Wages All-Out Campaign To Promote Birther Conspiracy Theory
Sean Hannity has aggressively embraced false claims that President Obama has not produced a copy of his birth certificate. In fact, Obama's campaign released a birth certificate during the 2008 campaign.
Hannity Repeatedly Asks Why Obama Hasn't Released His Birth Certificate
Hannity: Obama "Grew Up In A Foreign Country," "Lived In Indonesia As A Kid." From the March 23 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: 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?
REP. MICHAEL BURGESS (R-TX): Well, obviously, there's some value to the White House not producing it. I don't know what that could be. This easily could be ended, could have been ended a couple of years ago. I don't know --
HANNITY: Jerry, that's a reasonable position. Is he right?
JERRY SPRINGER (talk show host): Well, no. I'll tell you why.
HANNITY: Release -- do you have your birth certificate?
SPRINGER: No, I finally -- well, because I was born in England, and it was during the war, and really, I had to go through a whole process for my Social Security -- because I'm on Medicare now. I had to finally get --
LEEANN TWEEDEN (model and Fox Sports host): You had to track it down, and you did, right? And you had to produce it, right?
SPRINGER: But I found it. I found it. I found it. But because I was born in England, I can't be president anyway.
TWEEDEN: Right. But he had to produce the material, and he did, and now he has Medicare.
SPRINGER: But you know what, I understand why there's a resistance to it.
SPRINGER: Because isn't this interesting? Of all our 43 presidents, of the 43 presidents --
HANNITY: Don't bring up race. Do not bring up race. Do not bring up race. It is a constitutional requirement.
SPRINGER: I understand, but why have not of the 43 people we had has run -- be president of the United States, never once were you asking, "Where is your birth certificate? "
BURGESS: It was an issue -- it was an issue for John McCain.
HANNITY: Because he lived in Indonesia as a kid. He talked about, you know, the prayer at sunset being one of the most beautiful things he's ever seen.
HANNITY: So, so, he grew up in a foreign country. So some have said, all right, you grew up in Hawaii, it's a constitutional requirement, show us. What's the big deal?
SPRINGER: Well, I might do it -- I would do it. But I'm not going to be angry at him because he doesn't. And I -- you know --
HANNITY: Isn't it odd? The whole issue goes away.
SPRINGER: You know very well -- this is an issue for all those people that would love to -- that keep making, "Well, his name is Hussein" --
BURGESS: It has nothing to do with his name.
HANNITY: He said it. "I, Barack Hussein Obama." We weren't allowed to say it until he said it. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/23/11 ]
Hannity Defends Birthers: "Why Are They Crucified And Beaten Up And Smeared And Besmirched?" Interviewing WorldNetDaily editor and CEO Joseph Farah on his radio show, Hannity said that Farah has "been beaten up so badly in the press" for pursuing the birther issue, and that birthers have been "crucified and beaten up and smeared and besmirched":
HANNITY: All right. Now, Joseph, you've done the most work of anybody that I know here on the issue, and we heard Donald Trump -- if you ask the question, "All right, well, why not just show us the certificate?" "Ah, you're a birther! You're a birther, that's what you are." It's not been my number-one issue, but I've been following it, and I've been saying, why are all of those people that just ask to see it, why are they crucified and beaten up and smeared and besmirched the way they are?
FARAH: Well, Sean, I learned a long time ago as an investigative reporter that when public officials refuse to show you documents, there's usually a reason they're refusing to do so. As you point out, we've been researching this for two and a half years with a team of investigative reporters, a battery of private detectives and, really, the support of millions of Americans. And I thank Donald Trump for raising this issue. I think it's something that as a, you know, potential presidential candidate, it sort of raises the stakes here.
And I think it's very appropriate for Americans to begin to question if there's a reason that Obama will not produce this simple document that, you know, we all have to produce at various points in our lives, and when the governor of Hawaii, who claims to be a lifelong friend of Obama, cannot find this document, cannot produce it, it's natural that this becomes an increasingly big issue, an issue that I think touches on both national security --
HANNITY: And by the way, this is not the first time in history that this question has come up now, is it?
FARAH: No. There are other presidents who have served, and there are a couple of incidents where, you know, there are questions about their eligibility, and there have been cover-ups in the past --
HANNITY: Well, Jeffrey --
FARAH: -- but that certainly doesn't justify throwing the Constitution out.
HANNITY: I think it was Jeffrey Lord. Didn't he bring up the issue of Arthur, Chester Alan Arthur?
HANNITY: And apparently was accused of having been born in Canada, not Vermont, and also of coming to the U.S. from Ireland at 14? I think he did a blog a couple years back on this, but anyway --
FARAH: And Jerry's [Corsi] going to deal with that in his book at some length, and I think that people will be surprised by what he found in the historical record on that.
HANNITY: But you know something? It seems to me that this is -- Donald Trump is right in the sense that this is simple. This is basic. Now, if I wanted -- I know I was born in Metropolitan Hospital in New York, December 30, 1961. By the way, I was born to be a conservative because I was a tax deduction for that year, Stanley.
But in all seriousness, Joe, I don't understand why they just don't put the issue to rest, why -- I know this has been important because you want to constitutionally get an answer. I don't know why you have been beaten up so badly in the press. I'm sure when Corsi's book comes out, it's going to be a huge controversy. Donald Trump is under fire, and he just asked a simple question, and it was even suggested in that exchange he's racist somehow. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 3/24/11 ]
Hannity: "Produce The Birth Certificate, It's Over And Done With." From the March 24 edition of Hannity:
HANNITY: First of all. What's the deal? Produce the birth certificate, it's over and done with. Chris Matthews wants it.
BERNARD McGUIRK (Imus in the Morning executive producer): This is why Donald Trump should throw his hair into the ring, because he legitimized this issue. He legitimized it, and people say, well, why not just show it? Plus, the other thing it took away is that Joy Behar was conspicuously silent. She's a bully. 'Cause she'll go over -- she will go after people like the senator, the Nevada Senate candidate, Christine O'Donnell, but nothing there. She's a coward and a bully --
HANNITY: Sharron Angle, you're talking about.
McGUIRK: Sharron Angle. She called her the B-word. Right there, Donald Trump, well, she's got nothing to say, because, you know.
HANNITY: Well, wait a minute --
CAROLINE HELDMAN (Occidental College assistant professor): I think we're asking for the birth certificate because we have a black man in the White House. We don't ask --
HANNITY: Wait a minute --
HELDMAN: We have othered him. The idea that he's not a citizen is ludicrous.
HANNITY: Hang on a second. Let me teach you some history.
HELDMAN: Please, teach me, Sean.
HANNITY: This has happened before. It was Harrison's vice president -- hang on, it became an issue whether he or not he was born in Canada and whether or not he had come from Ireland, and people wanted to see the birth certificate.
McGUIRK: John McCain, too.
HANNITY: John McCain -- hang on, that's another issue.
HELDMAN: No, let's look at John McCain. There wasn't a big push during the campaign for McCain's certificate, and there was for Obama's.
HANNITY: Yes, there was. They thought he was born in Panama.
HELDMAN: Indeed, but why not have equal attention paid to those two? Much more attention was paid to Obama, and it is absolutely ludicrous for mainstream media to be supporting this.
ROBERT EHRLICH (former Maryland governor): Well, I don't like the issue either, but why not put it to bed? Why not stop --
HELDMAN: Because it is insulting, and it's racist.
McGUIRK: It's racist.
HELDMAN: Because we wouldn't be asking a white president for his birth certificate.
HANNITY: They asked John McCain for it in the last presidential cycle.
HELDMAN: Who? Did he have an entire group --
HANNITY: I have a story on NBC where they were saying -- they're raising the whole question, was he born in America?
HANNITY: There was a response to that question being raised --
HANNITY: You're quoting the Constitution. Doesn't it talk about naturalized citizens, 35 years of age?
HELDMAN: Of course it does. But, you know, there's no way that there's collusion between a paper in Honolulu and the doctor coming --
HANNITY: Let me ask you a question. If I asked you for your birth certificate, could I get it?
HELDMAN: I assume that you could, Sean.
HANNITY: Does it go all the way back to 1975?
HANNITY: All right. Could you get your birth certificate?
MCGUIRK: In a heartbeat. Absolutely.
HANNITY: Metropolitan Hospital --
HANNITY: Look, what I like about this is everyone else -- every pejorative, they're all birthers and this and that. And then, Chris Matthews was the guy that was asking more than anybody. So, they're attacking it -- why don't we just get rid of it and move the issue aside so it never comes up again?
HELDMAN: How about just common sense takes over and it never comes up again?
HANNITY: Wait a minute, but he did talk in his book about how he went -- and prayers and he went to a Muslim school and he did talk all about all this. And he studied the Koran and prayers at sunset were some of the most beautiful things he saw in life. So he spent a lot of his youth in Indonesia.
McGUIRK: Show the birth certificate and get it over with.
HANNITY: Show the birth certificate.
HELDMAN: Wait, what does Indonesia have to do with being born in the United States? How is that material to whether or not he was born in the United States? What is the logic?
HANNITY: Why won't they release the birth certificate?
HELDMAN: What is the logic? What's the connection?
HANNITY: Why don't they just release it and get it over with? We don't have to talk about it --
HELDMAN: Because it's insulting.
EHRLICH: In fact, I'm tired of talking about it now.
HANNITY: So the only reason they don't release it is because it insults him. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/24/11 ]
Hannity: "It's Beginning To Get Odd To Me" That "They Won't Produce The Birth Certificate." From the March 25 edition of Hannity:
HANNITY: Since [Donald Trump] brought up this issue of the birth certificate on The View, he's now in a tie for fifth place, two points behind Sarah Palin. What does that mean?
RON DANIELS (civil rights activist): Well, Sarah Palin is not in particularly good shape. She's plummeting. I mean, what -- Donald Trump, he'll fire the whole country, man. I mean, I don't see -- this is not serious. Donald --
DEE DEE BENKIE (Republican strategist): He hires people, too.
DANIELS: Donald Trump -- this is a big publicity stunt. He's a great guy doing his television thing. It's all about that. Donald Trump doesn't want to be president of the United States.
PETER JOHNSON JR. (Fox News legal analyst): He's a superb communicator, and I think what he's touching on is reality. And he's saying a lot of things that people think that may -- might be afraid of saying or can't articulate in the kind of straightforward way that he does. I don't believe he'll run --
DANIELS: Like Obama's not an American, like he's not --
JOHNSON: He didn't say that. He didn't say that, Professor.
HANNITY: He actually said he believed that he was born in America.
JOHNSON: He said the opposite.
HANNITY: Just provide the certificate so we can move on.
JOHNSON: Yes, but he said -- there's a lot of common sense in what he says. I don't believe he'll run because I don't think he can endure it, but --
BENKIE: The question is, what happens if he does? I think he could win. Who knows? You never know. It's a mixed bag this time.
HANNITY: What are we to make of what he's -- the question he's raising? You know, John McCain had questions about whether he was born in America. Dick Cheney had to prove his residency in Wyoming. If we want to take it back further, other presidents have been questioned about their residency. What's wrong with asking about, "OK, can you just show us the birth certificate?" I was born in the same year as the president --
DANIELS: It's been shown.
HANNITY: -- 1961, which I've --
DANIELS: But it's been shown. The Hawaiian authorities have shown the birth certificate.
HANNITY: Wait a minute.
DANIELS: I mean, what's up with that?
HANNITY: Wait a minute.
DANIELS: I mean, how do you even dwell on this, Sean? I'm shocked.
HANNITY: I actually carry a copy of the Constitution, and he's a constitutional scholar, because in the Constitution, it's a requirement that you be born in this country.
DANIELS: Do you believe Obama was born in America?
HANNITY: Yes. I believe he has been.
DANIELS: Oh, so that's the end of it.
HANNITY: I don't get to make the final decision. But the answer is, do I think he was? Yes. Do I think he's -- do I think this is odd that they won't produce the birth certificate?
DANIELS: Well, I think --
HANNITY: It's beginning to get odd to me. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/25/11 ]
Obama Has Released Birth Certificate
Certificate Released During 2008 Campaign. In June 2008, Obama's presidential campaign released a certification of live birth issued by the state of Hawaii. FactCheck.org confirmed that it has "seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false." [FactCheck.org, 8/21/08 ]
Hannity Joins Other Fox Hosts, Outlets In Promoting Birtherism
Fox Nation Promotes USA Today Article On "'The View' Erupt[ing] After Trump Demands Obama's Birth Certificate." On March 23, the Fox News blog Fox Nation posted a video clip of Trump speaking on The View along with a few quotes from a USA Today article about the interview. [Fox Nation, 3/23/11 ; USA Today, 3/23/11 ]
Van Susteren Uses Trump's Comments To Promote The Idea That "There Are Too Many Missing Pieces" Surrounding Obama's Birth Certificate. On the March 23 edition of Fox News' On the Record, host Greta Van Susteren introduced a segment on Trump's View comments by saying, "Is Donald Trump a birther? Donald Trump is putting President Obama on the spot, telling him, 'Show the birth certificate.' But why is Trump doing that? Well, he tells the ladies on The View there are too many missing pieces." After playing a clip of Trump's comments, Van Susteren said, "Barbara Walters tried to change the subject, but as you saw, it didn't quite work," before moving on to the next story. Van Susteren did not question Trump's comments and failed to mention the June 2008 release of Obama's birth certificate. [Fox News, On the Record, 3/23/11 ]
Trump Spreads Birther Theories On Fox & Friends. On the March 28 edition of Fox & Friends, Trump said that he was "starting to wonder ... whether or not [Obama] was born in this country." None of the Fox & Friends hosts challenged his views. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/28/11 ]
Fox Nation Promotes Corsi's Upcoming Birther Book. On March 28, Fox Nation posted a video promoting a new book by discredited author Jerome Corsi about Obama's birth certificate. [Fox Nation, 3/28/11 ]