After ABC's Jake Tapper quoted "an anonymous Democratic Party official" saying that Hillary Clinton's "securing the nomination is certainly possible -- but it will require exercising the 'Tonya Harding option,' " numerous media figures have repeated the "Tonya Harding option" analogy in reference to the Clinton campaign -- some going so far as to assert that it is a specific strategy adopted by the campaign.
Syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Dick Morris and his wife, Eileen McGann, falsely asserted in a column that Sen. Hillary Clinton "said that Chelsea [Clinton] was jogging around the World Trade Center on 9/11 and happened to duck into a coffee shop when the airplanes hit. She said that this move saved Chelsea's life." In fact, Hillary Clinton made no such claim.
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."
After airing portions of a controversial sermon by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of Sen. Barack Obama's church, Bill O'Reilly -- who described Wright's comments as "anti-American, to say the least" -- asked Dick Morris, "If you were [Sen. John] McCain, do you use this against Obama?" Morris replied, "He doesn't have to. You just did. And the talk radio people around the country" will. Morris continued: "[T]he other media, the other conservative media can make a big deal of it."
Syndicated columnist Dick Morris asserted on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes that Sen. Hillary Clinton's "temper is a cool, angry, 'I'll, you know, slit your throat in the middle of the night' temper." As Media Matters for America has noted, media figures have repeatedly portrayed Clinton and her advisers as violent or ruthless.
On Hannity & Colmes, Dick Morris claimed that the Federal Election Commission "won't let us run" Hillary: The Movie, a film about Sen. Hillary Clinton, "in movie theaters," adding that "[t]he Clinton appointees [on the FEC] are blocking it." But David Bossie, the film's executive producer, was recently quoted as saying, "I can put it in theaters, I just can't let anybody know it's there," referring to an FEC requirement that Citizens United, which released the film, comply with disclosure requirements under campaign finance law to advertise the film.
While discussing Sen. Hillary Clinton's emotional response to a question, Dick Morris stated on Hannity & Colmes that "I believe that there could well come a time when there is such a serious threat to the United States that she breaks down like that." Morris added, "I don't think she ought to be president." On Fox & Friends, Laura Ingraham similarly asserted: "[R]emember we have Islamic jihadists, [Osama] bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and all these other freaks that want to come to the United States and wreak havoc upon our population. We can't have people who break down and start crying at the most difficult moments."
On Hannity & Colmes, Dick Morris asserted that "the reason everybody was focused on him [Wayne DuMond] is he was castrated while he was in prison by his fellow inmates by a knife." But that was not the reason Mike Huckabee gave for "focus[ing]" on DuMond, and it is not what Huckabee -- or news reports -- said happened. In his book, From Hope to Higher Ground, Mike Huckabee wrote of DuMond: "Prior to his trial, two men broke into his home, hog-tied him, and castrated him. They left him to bleed to death."
On Fox News' Fox & Friends, while discussing retired Brig. Gen. Keith Kerr's question during the November 28 CNN/YouTube Republican debate, Dick Morris said, "You know, listen, let's put the blame where it's due. This is a dirty trick by the Hillary Clinton campaign." On Fox & Friends First, R. Emmett Tyrrell replied, "I think so," when Steve Doocy asked, "So, are you saying that the Clintons had something to do with CNN doing a bad job vetting these questioners?" Tyrrell later stated that "the Clintons ... have played fast and loose with ethics since day one. This is a pattern."
In a Hannity & Colmes discussion of Robert Novak's column claiming that "[a]gents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information" about Sen. Barack Obama, Dick Morris said of Novak: "I know that Robert Novak is almost never wrong," adding: "He's never proven wrong. He's always right." Media Matters for America has identified numerous instances in which Novak has been "proven wrong" -- by others, and by himself.
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In a FrontPageMag.com column, Dick Morris purported to offer "corrections" to President Clinton's "syrupy five minute ad" for Sen. Hillary Clinton. But Morris made no fewer than seven different claims about the video or Sen. Clinton that contained outright falsehoods or are contradicted by other sources.
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