Hannity's memory lapse: "I don't remember Chelsea Clinton being attacked"

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

On Hannity & Colmes, Hannity said, in reference to Internet rumors about Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter, "[T]hey tried to make the attack that she has a young daughter, pregnant and engaged. Is that fair that they would attack that? I mean, I don't remember Chelsea Clinton being attacked. I don't remember Al Gore's children being attacked. I thought there was a general rule that children of candidates ought to be left alone." In fact, Chelsea Clinton was not "left alone" -- not by Sen. John McCain, and not by Rush Limbaugh.

On the September 1 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity said, in reference to Internet rumors about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter, "[T]hey tried to make the attack that she has a young daughter, pregnant and engaged. Is that fair that they would attack that? I mean, I don't remember Chelsea Clinton being attacked. I don't remember Al Gore's children being attacked. I thought there was a general rule that children of candidates ought to be left alone." In fact, Chelsea Clinton was not "left alone" -- not by Sen. John McCain, and not by Rush Limbaugh, who has hosted numerous prominent Republicans on his syndicated radio show.

McCain reportedly told a "joke" about Chelsea Clinton in 1998, saying: "Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno." The late columnist Molly Ivins reported of Limbaugh:

On his TV show, early in the Clinton administration, Limbaugh put up a picture of Socks, the White House cat, and asked, 'Did you know there's a White House dog?' Then he put up a picture of Chelsea Clinton, who was 13 years old at the time and as far as I know had never done any harm to anyone.

When viewers objected, he claimed, in typical Limbaugh fashion, that the gag was an accident and that without his permission some technician had put up the picture of Chelsea -- which I found as disgusting as his original attempt at humor.

As Republican strategist Mary Matalin noted on Hannity & Colmes, Sen. Barack Obama denounced public discussion of Palin's family, saying it had no relevance to her qualifications as governor or vice president. He said: "Let me be a clear as possible: I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people's families are off limits and people's children are especially off limits."

From the September 1 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

HANNITY: Let's talk a little bit about the vice presidential choice, Sarah Palin, and your thoughts on her. I can tell you every person that I have met here -- there is an energy. Conservatives, they love her. And there have been numerous attacks by different liberal organizations -- National Organization for Women and some others against her. How do you think they're going to stand up?

MATALIN: Well, you know that there were -- the Democrats are worried by this choice, because they don't know how to attack her. They've tried every which way. They've tried the kitchen sink, but all it's done is revealed their elitism, their sexism, their hypocrisy. They're not going to make it stick. And it's not just about conservatives, although that's a big chunk of it and her position on life, and the obvious talking the talk, not just walking the walk. It's regular mainstream women who've prioritized their families, but wanting to have good jobs, don't want to be overtaxed, get the energy issue.

HANNITY: We're running out of time, but they tried to make the attack that she has a young daughter, pregnant and engaged. Is that fair that they would attack that? I mean, I don't remember Chelsea Clinton being attacked. I don't remember Al Gore's children being attacked. I thought there was a general rule that children of candidates ought to be left alone. And Alan knows I've said that many times.

MATALIN: Right, and in fairness, Barack Obama did --

HANNITY: He did say that, yeah.

MATALIN: -- pretty fast out of the box, said, "off-limits, off-limits." So, credit to him. Credit to every -- let the games begin.

HANNITY: Let the games begin.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
Hannity & Colmes
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine
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