Hume: "[W]e regret the error" in report of Jerusalem Post story about Obama's half brother

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

On Special Report, Brit Hume issued a correction following his false claim that Sen. Barack Obama's half brother had told The Jerusalem Post that Obama had a "Muslim background." But while Hume suggested that his only "error" was in repeating a flawed report in the Post, he did not acknowledge that he had falsely claimed Malik Obama had spoken with The Jerusalem Post. The Post did not claim that Malik Obama spoke to the newspaper; the article indicated that Malik Obama gave an interview to Israel's Army Radio, not the Post.

During the June 24 edition of Fox News' Special Report, host Brit Hume issued a correction following his false claim on June 16 that Sen. Barack Obama's half brother had told The Jerusalem Post that Obama had a "Muslim background." On the June 24 program, Hume stated: "[L]ast week, we quoted The Jerusalem Post in the story about Barack Obama's half brother Malik Obama. The Post reported that in an interview with Israeli Army Radio, Malik Obama said his brother would be a good president despite his Muslim background. It now turns out that the Post did not quite understand what Malik Obama was saying in the interview and paraphrased him incorrectly. Malik Obama did not say that his older brother has a Muslim background. The Jerusalem Post has since removed the story from its website, and we regret the error."

But while Hume acknowledged an "error," he understated its extent. Suggesting that his only "error" was in repeating a flawed report in the Post, Hume did not acknowledge that he had falsely claimed Malik Obama had spoken with The Jerusalem Post. The Post did not, in fact, claim that Malik Obama spoke to the newspaper. As Media Matters for America documented, the article indicated that Malik Obama gave an interview to Israel's Army Radio, not the Post. Hume did not mention Israel's Army Radio in his June 16 report. ABC senior national correspondent Jake Tapper -- who reported that ABC News had obtained audio of the Malik Obama interview, which he posted online -- wrote that the Post article "was a sloppy paraphrase that emerged as false evidence."

Media Matters also noted that on the June 19 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Laura Ingraham Show, guest host Monica Crowley falsely asserted that Malik Obama "went on the record to The Jerusalem Post, of all places, and said, 'Oh yeah, Obama's got a really solid Muslim background.' " During her discussion, Crowley played an audio clip of Hume's June 16 remarks about Malik Obama.

From the June 24 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

HUME: And finally, last week, we quoted The Jerusalem Post in the story about Barack Obama's half brother Malik Obama. The Post reported that in an interview with Israeli Army Radio, Malik Obama said his brother would be a good president despite his Muslim background. It now turns out that the Post did not quite understand what Malik Obama was saying in the interview and paraphrased him incorrectly. Malik Obama did not say that his older brother has a Muslim background. The Jerusalem Post has since removed the story from its website, and we regret the error.

From the June 16 edition of Special Report with Brit Hume:

HUME: Barack Obama is a practicing Christian, married in a Christian church, whose children were also baptized in that church. His campaign has emphasized his faith in part to dispel what the campaign calls an online smear campaign which contends among other things that Obama was raised a Muslim. There is even a statement on his official campaign website reading, quote, "Obama has never been a Muslim, and is a committed Christian."

But Obama's half brother is not so sure. Malik Obama tells The Jerusalem Post that "if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background."

The article was also accompanied by an image of Malik Obama holding a photo of him and Barack Obama both in Muslim dress, reportedly taken when the two first met back in 1985.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity, Religion
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Brit Hume
Show/Publication
Special Report with Brit Hume
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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