Limbaugh, Hannity continued to attack Murtha based on inaccurate Sun-Sentinel report

››› ››› MATT SINGER

During their radio shows, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News host Sean Hannity used an incorrect news report to criticize Rep. John P. Murtha, even though the newspaper that published the report has issued a correction.

On June 28, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel corrected its June 25 report claiming Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA) suggested the "American presence in Iraq is more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran," noting that Murtha was, in fact, citing a recent Pew Research Center poll covering the United States and 14 European, African, and Asian countries. Yet even after the Sun-Sentinel issued the correction, nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News host Sean Hannity used the incorrect report to blast Murtha during their radio shows.

During the June 29 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Hannity announced to his listeners: "We've got the latest insanity from John Murtha." Hannity stated that, according to Murtha, "[i]t's not Iran that's the greatest threat in the world, it's not Islamic fascists, it's not terrorism, it's not North Korea, it's not Iran. No, it's the United States." Likewise, on the June 30 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Limbaugh responded to a caller's question about conservative attacks on former President Bill Clinton by claiming that conservatives "didn't suggest that the biggest threat, as Jack Murtha did the other day, to peace in the world is Bill Clinton."

After the Sun-Sentinel published the correction, several conservative commentators who reported on Murtha's alleged statement acknowledged the correction on the air, while others have not yet done so, as Media Matters for America documented.

From the June 29 edition of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:

HANNITY: We've got the latest insanity from John Murtha. It's not Iran that's the greatest threat in the world, it's not Islamic fascists, it's not terrorism, it's not North Korea, it's not Iran. No, it's the United States. [laughs] I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

From the June 30 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

CALLER: It just seems like that, you know, you, over the past however many years, have made a career out of doing everything you can to bash him [Clinton], to badmouth him, and then, you know, when Bush is in office, anyone who disagrees with him is a Bush-hater, and I think you said something to the effect earlier of Democrats are obsessed with getting rid of Bush, and things like that, and that's exactly what the Republicans were doing to all the Clinton administration.

LIMBAUGH: Let's go back, though. I can remember being called a Clinton-hater. There was -- the media came up with a term to describe any critic of Clinton, and that was Clinton-hater. But we never called Clinton a terrorist. We never compared Bill Clinton to Adolf Hitler. We didn't suggest that the biggest threat, as Jack Murtha did the other day, to peace in the world is Bill Clinton.

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