Fox News reportedly "now expresses regret for booking" Andy Martin -- but what about Hannity?
Research ››› ››› ANDREW WALZER & LILY YAN
The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reported that Fox News Channel "now expresses regret for booking [Andy] Martin," who has a history of making anti-Semitic and racially charged comments, on Hannity's America. Kurtz wrote: "[Fox News Senior Vice President Bill] Shine says Hannity disagrees with some of Martin's past comments. 'Having that guy on was a mistake,' Shine says. " But Hannity himself defended Martin's appearance on his show and has not expressed regret on either Hannity's America or Hannity & Colmes for having hosted Martin.
In an October 27 article, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz reported that Fox News Channel "now expresses regret for booking [Andy] Martin" -- who, as Media Matters for America has noted, has, among other things, referred to a judge as a "crooked, slimy Jew" and accused African-Americans of being "willing to corrupt and abuse their public offices" -- on the October 5 edition of Fox News' Hannity's America. As Media Matters documented, Sean Hannity hosted Martin -- identified by Hannity as an "Internet journalist" -- to make what Hannity called "the explosive claim that [Sen. Barack] Obama's role as a community organizer was a political staging ground perpetuated by the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers." Kurtz wrote: "[Fox News Senior Vice President Bill] Shine says Hannity disagrees with some of Martin's past comments. 'Having that guy on was a mistake,' Shine says. 'We obviously didn't do enough research on who the guest was.' " But according to searches of the Nexis and Factiva databases, Hannity himself has not expressed regret or acknowledged having made a mistake regarding Martin on either Hannity's America or Hannity & Colmes, both Fox News shows.
Indeed, when confronted by Robert Gibbs, an adviser to Obama's campaign, on October 7, Hannity defended Martin's appearance on Hannity's America, even though he acknowledged to Gibbs that Martin's comments about Jews are "despicable."
Moreover, as Media Matters noted, at no point during the report featuring Martin did Hannity question any of Martin's assertions or note Martin's history of smears against Obama and his anti-Semitic and racially charged comments.
On the October 7 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Gibbs said to Hannity: "On your show on Sunday ... the show that's named after you ... [t]he centerpiece of that show was a guy named Andy Martin." Gibbs added that "Andy Martin called a judge a 'crooked, slimy Jew' " and that "Martin went on to write that he understood better why the Holocaust took place." During the exchange, Hannity said: "When I interviewed Malik Shabazz, when I interviewed Al Sharpton, when I interviewed all these controversial figures -- you see, on Fox, we actually interview people of all points of view, whether we agree or disagree." Gibbs later asked, "Why am I not to believe that you're anti-Semitic? Why am I not to believe that everybody who works for the network is anti-Semitic because Sean Hannity gives a platform to somebody who thinks Jews are 'slimy'?" Hannity, who told Gibbs that Martin's anti-Semitic comments are "despicable," further asserted: "Mr. Gibbs, I'm a journalist who interviews people who I disagree with all the time, that give their opinion. Fox has all points of view. We're allowing you on the program, and I don't agree with hardly anything Obama says." (As Media Matters noted, Hannity has previously said he is not a journalist.)
From Kurtz's October 27 article:
An early October edition of his weekend show, "Hannity's America," was built around Andy Martin, a conservative writer who maintains an anti-Obama Web site. Martin said on the show that Obama's community-organizing work in Chicago was "training for a radical overthrow of the government." The onetime political candidate has a history of making controversial statements. In a 1983 personal bankruptcy case, according to the Chicago Tribune, he referred to a judge as a "crooked, slimy Jew" and described Holocaust survivors in a filing as "operating as a wolf pack." Martin has denied holding anti-Semitic views.
The program drew a blast from [MSNBC's Countdown host, Keith] Olbermann, who called it "Stalinist," "desperate," "panicky" and based on "a transparent nut job."
Fox, which initially defended the show, now expresses regret for booking Martin, who was interviewed by a producer. Shine says Hannity disagrees with some of Martin's past comments. "Having that guy on was a mistake," Shine says. "We obviously didn't do enough research on who the guest was."