On Hannity & Colmes, Dick Morris again falsely claimed Clinton said Chelsea "was saved only because she ducked into a coffee shop" on 9-11

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

Dick Morris falsely claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton "says Chelsea [Clinton] was in danger on 9-11, jogging around the towers of the World Trade Center and was saved only 'cause she ducked into a coffee shop." In fact, Hillary Clinton made no such claim; rather, she said that her daughter had "gone, what she thought would be just a great jog. She was going to go down to Battery Park, she was going to go around the towers. She went to get a cup of coffee and -- and that's when the plane hit."

On the March 24 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Dick Morris falsely claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton "says Chelsea [Clinton] was in danger on 9-11, jogging around the towers of the World Trade Center and was saved only 'cause she ducked into a coffee shop." Morris added: "She -- turns out she was in bed at home, and a friend woke her up and said, 'Watch this on TV.' " Morris then asserted of Hillary Clinton, "She's always saying this stuff that isn't true ... and she gets nailed."

Morris made a similar false claim on the May 4, 2004, edition of Hannity & Colmes, saying:

MORRIS: Katie Couric interviewed her on the Today show seven days after 9-11. And she completely fabricated her story, made it up. ... That Chelsea jogged around the World Trade Center and was only protected because she went into a coffee shop and that she heard and saw the planes hit. Chelsea wrote an article four months later, saying she was 40 blocks -- 60 blocks away and watched it on TV, 80 blocks away, was not in danger.

In fact, Clinton did not say that Chelsea was jogging "around the towers of the World Trade Center" when the planes hit. On the September 17, 2001, edition of Dateline NBC, Hillary Clinton said that her daughter had "gone, what she thought would be just a great jog. She was going to go down to Battery Park, she was going to go around the towers. She went to get a cup of coffee and -- and that's when the plane hit." From the September 17, 2001, edition of Dateline NBC:

CLINTON: She'd gone, what she thought would be just a great jog. She was going to go down to Battery Park, she was going to go around the towers. She went to get a cup of coffee and -- and that's when the plane hit.

JANE PAULEY (host): She was close enough to hear the rumble.

CLINTON: She did hear it.

PAULEY: And to see the smoke in person, not on television.

CLINTON: No. Of course, Bill was in Australia. And, you know, he was so upset by what he was seeing on television that I didn't want to tell him that I couldn't find her until I found her. I told him that, you know, everything's fine, don't worry. But I couldn't do it with the level of assurance that I needed until I could find her a couple of hours later.

A November 9, 2001, UPI article about a piece Chelsea Clinton wrote in Talk magazine corroborates Hillary Clinton's claim that Chelsea did, in fact, leave her apartment to have coffee the morning of the September 11, 2001, attacks:

"When the World Trade Center collapsed on Sept. 11, I was 12 blocks away, (and) nothing has been the same since," Clinton wrote in the December/January issue of Talk magazine, on sale Friday in New York.

[...]

Clinton had been staying with her high school friend Nicole Davison in her apartment near Union Square for a few days in September before she went to England to study at Oxford. After they had coffee together, Davison went to work and Clinton returned to the apartment.

Davison called Clinton with the news of the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center. Clinton turned on the television and watched the second plane crash into the second WTC tower, and tried to reach her mother in Washington, but after speaking to her assistant, the phone line went dead.

[...]

Panicked, Chelsea Clinton left the apartment and found herself running toward downtown "in the direction everyone else was coming from," in search of a public telephone. She was desperate to call her mother and her father, who was on a speaking tour in Australia.

Chelsea Clinton was downtown in line at a pay phone when she heard the rumble of the second tower collapsing. Later she found Davison and another friend, and the three spent the day walking uptown. Chelsea Clinton wrote that she had an "irrational medley of thoughts" running through her head.

As Media Matters for America documented, in a May 24, 2007, appearance on CNN to promote her book The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton (Regnery, May 2007), Bay Buchanan made similar false claims about Hillary Clinton's account of her daughter's whereabouts on the morning of September 11, 2001.

Also during the March 24 edition of Hannity & Colmes, after asserting, "[Hillary's] always saying this stuff that isn't true ... and she gets nailed," Morris stated: "It's like Al Gore, 'I invented the Internet,' [Erich Segal's 1970 romance novel] 'Love Story was about me.' " Contrary to Morris' assertion, Gore did not say that he "invented the Internet" or that "Love Story was about me." As Media Matters has documented, during the March 9, 1999, interview on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer that gave rise to the myth, Gore said: "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet." Following that interview, numerous media outlets falsely reported that Gore had asserted that he had "invented the Internet" -- a falsehood media figures continue to repeat. As Media Matters has also noted, in a September 22, 2000, article, the Los Angeles Times reported: "Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House and a Republican who is no friend of the Gore campaign, said earlier this month, 'Gore is the person who, in the Congress, most systematically worked to make sure that we got to an Internet.' "

Further, Morris' assertion that Gore said "Love Story was about me" has been debunked. While Morris and other media figures asserted during the 2000 campaign that Gore had claimed he was the "subject" of Love Story, Princeton history professor Sean Wilentz and many others have noted:

Gore never made the claim. ... Schmoozing one night about the movies with two Time reporters, Gore had mentioned an interview, reported in the Nashville Tennessean, in which Segal claimed that Gore and Tipper were the models for his story. There was such an interview, but the Nashville reporter misquoted Segal, who actually said that Al, and not Tipper, had served as one of his models.

From the March 24 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

MORRIS: She says Chelsea was in danger on 9-11, jogging around the towers of the World Trade Center and was saved only 'cause she ducked into a coffee shop. She -- turns out she was in bed at home, and a friend woke her up and said, "Watch this on TV."

SEAN HANNITY (co-host): Right.

MORRIS: She's always saying this stuff that isn't true, just like this, and she gets nailed.

HANNITY: Does this now --

MORRIS: It's like Al Gore, "I invented the Internet," "Love Story was about me."

HANNITY: Yeah.

MORRIS: I mean, it becomes almost a joke.

HANNITY: Well, I think this now is -- it creates a danger of this becoming a joke here. But she's been trying to say that "the difference between myself and Barack Obama is, I've got these foreign policy credentials, I've got this experience here." This contradicts all of this.

MORRIS: Of course.

HANNITY: This is her number one selling point.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Dick Morris
Show/Publication
Hannity & Colmes
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine, Hillary Clinton
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.