Hannity repeated false allegation that Obama distributed Western Wall prayer to media

››› ››› TOM ALLISON & ZACHARY ARONOW

On his radio program, Sean Hannity repeated the already debunked allegation that Sen. Barack Obama leaked a written prayer he placed in the Western Wall during his visit to Jerusalem. While a spokesman for Ma'ariv reportedly told other Israeli publications that the Obama campaign approved the publication of the prayer and that Obama gave copies of it to the media before he went to the Western Wall, The New Republic's Zvika Krieger wrote in a blog post: "I finally heard back from the Ma'ariv spokesman, who denied that the Obama campaign leaked the memo to them or gave them approval to print it, and who disavowed the alleged spokesman who gave quotes to at least four Israeli publications."

On his nationally syndicated radio program, Sean Hannity repeated the already debunked allegation that Sen. Barack Obama leaked a written prayer he placed in the Western Wall during his visit to Jerusalem. On the July 30 broadcast of his radio show, Hannity asserted of Obama: "[E]verything was well orchestrated, all the timing -- you know, for example, even the release of the note that he put at the Western Wall, that was all leaked to the press, and that was a big deal as well." In fact, while a spokesman for the Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv reportedly told other Israeli publications that the Obama campaign approved the publication of the prayer and that Obama gave copies of it to the media before he went to the Western Wall, The New Republic's Zvika Krieger wrote in an update to a July 28 blog post at The Plank: "I finally heard back from the Ma'ariv spokesman, who denied that the Obama campaign leaked the memo to them or gave them approval to print it, and who disavowed the alleged spokesman who gave quotes to at least four Israeli publications." On July 29, Krieger wrote that a Ma'ariv spokesman "told me definitively that 'the Obama campaign did not give us a copy of the letter or approve it for printing.' "

Hannity also again repeated the false claim that Obama did not visit wounded troops at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany because he could not bring cameras. Hannity said: "Now, I think that suggests that John McCain is right, that he was wrong not to visit the troops, there's never an excuse not to visit them, and if he wants to be commander in chief, that should have been his top priority, not whether or not he can get a photo op out of this thing." As Media Matters for America has documented, on the July 25 broadcast of his radio program, Hannity asserted: "So, if you want my take on this -- if you want to remember one thing about this trip -- is that Barack Obama chose to work out rather than see the wounded troops because he couldn't bring [CBS News anchor] Katie Couric, [ABC News anchor] Charlie Gibson, and [NBC News anchor] Brian Williams with him." Subsequently, on the July 29 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Hannity asserted that Obama "abandon[ed] the troop visit because the cameras weren't around -- allowed and the campaign wasn't allowed."

From the July 30 broadcast of ABC Radio Network's The Sean Hannity Show:

HANNITY: So, the bottom line here is he could have gone but he couldn't bring his campaign staff, he couldn't bring all the hangers-on, he couldn't have this be a campaign event and a photo op for him, and I stand by my position that this is why he didn't go. And it just shows where his priorities are. And this whole, you know -- everything was well orchestrated, all the timing -- you know, for example, even the release of the note that he put at the Western Wall, that was all leaked to the press, and that was a big deal as well, everything choreographed, all the TV cameras in place for every single step of the visit. And meanwhile, you know, the troops were put, you know, aside because, well, there wasn't any benefit politically and he'd be better off spending that time working out. Now, I think that suggests that John McCain is right, that he was wrong not to visit the troops, there's never an excuse not to visit them, and if he wants to be commander in chief, that should have been his top priority, not whether or not he can get a photo op out of this thing.

Network/Outlet
ABC Radio Networks
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
The Sean Hannity Show
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine, Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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