On Hannity & Colmes, Dick Morris baselessly claimed that William Ayers "hired" Sen. Barack Obama as chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge "to distribute the $50 million that Ayers raised" for the educational organization. However, The New York Times reported that "according to several people involved, Mr. Ayers played no role in Mr. Obama's appointment," while the Obama campaign also has said that Ayers did not "arrange" Obama's CAC chairmanship.
On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity repeatedly cited Sen. Barack Obama's 2007 remark that "[w]e've got to get the job done there [in Afghanistan] and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there," calling the statement a "lie." Hannity did not note that Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently offered Afghans "sincere condolences and personal regrets for the recent loss of innocent life as a result of coalition airstrikes" and that news outlets have repeatedly reported that U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan have resulted in civilian casualties.
On Fox News' Hannity's America, Sean Hannity hosted Andy Martin -- identified by Hannity as an "Internet journalist" -- who made 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." At no point during the segment did Hannity note Martin's history of smears against Obama or Martin's history of anti-Semitic and racially charged comments.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity praised Gov. Sarah Palin for citing Sen. Barack Obama's remark that more coalition forces are needed in Afghanistan "so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there." Hannity did not note that Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently offered Afghans "sincere condolences and personal regrets for the recent loss of innocent life as a result of coalition airstrikes" and that news outlets have repeatedly reported that U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan have resulted in civilian casualties.
Conservative radio host Armstrong Williams criticized vice-presidential debate moderator Gwen Ifill over her upcoming book about African-American political leaders, saying she "should have disclosed" it, and that it is "ultimately impossible" for her not to favor Sen. Barack Obama, because she has a "financial stake" in his winning the presidency. However, beginning in 2003, Williams did not disclose that he received $240,000 in Education Department funds to promote No Child Left Behind. The Government Accountability Office found that the Department of Education's actions constituted "covert propaganda" in violation of the law.
On two recent editions of Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity claimed that Franklin Raines is an "economic adviser" to Sen. Barack Obama, in one case citing "The Washington Post" as a source for his claim. However, both Raines and the Obama campaign have denied that Raines advises Obama in any way, and a washingtonpost.com Fact Checker item examined several Post items cited in a McCain ad that makes the same claim and concluded that the ad "exaggerat[ed] wildly" in its claim that Raines "advises" Obama.
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On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity and Mary Matalin falsely claimed that cutting taxes raises revenues. In fact, several former and current Bush administration economists have stated that tax cuts -- including those passed under President Bush -- produce a net decrease in revenue. For example, Treasure Secretary Henry Paulson said during his confirmation hearing, "As a general rule, I don't believe that tax cuts pay for themselves."
Media figures have recently accused Democrats of attempting to direct millions of dollars in government money to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in the financial bailout bill. The accusation is false. Neither the draft proposal nor the version of the bill that was voted down in the House contained any language mentioning ACORN. Those making the false claim were misrepresenting a provision -- since removed -- that would have directed 20 percent of any profits realized on troubled assets purchased under the plan into the Housing Trust Fund* and the Capital Magnet Fund.
Several media figures have asserted that Gov. Sarah Palin faces "low" or "lowered" expectations in the upcoming vice-presidential debate and that she therefore faces a lower bar for victory than Sen. Joe Biden. They have made these assertions despite criticism by at least one member of the media over the media's setting of a lower bar for Palin and despite praise of her performance in the Alaska gubernatorial debate by others in the media and by McCain campaign surrogate Mitt Romney.
Fox News host Brit Hume and correspondent Bret Baier suggested that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were heavily involved in the subprime mortgage market "years ago," and falsely suggested that Rep. Barney Frank has opposed stricter regulation of Fannie and Freddie. Neither Hume nor Baier noted that Fannie and Freddie were not active in the subprime market in 2003, or that Frank has supported and authored bills to strengthen oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
On Fox News' America's Newsroom, Megyn Kelly falsely suggested it was publicly revealed that PBS' Gwen Ifill was the author of the forthcoming book, The Breakthrough, only after it was announced she would moderate the upcoming vice presidential debate. In fact, media outlets, including the Associated Press, reported that Ifill was the book's author well before the announcement.
On The O'Reilly Factor, after guest Tonya Reiman claimed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's body language during a recent speech suggested she "practices the speech too much," Bill O'Reilly responded: "You know who used to do that, who practiced for hours before making a speech? And I'm not making any comparison here. So, don't -- you crazy left-wing websites out there, it's not a comparison. Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler practiced for hours, all of his ... gestures and everything else before he went out there."
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Fox News' Neil Cavuto contradicted reporting by Fox News by suggesting that the financial bailout bill would not have failed if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "had just shut up earlier and not characterized it one way or the other" in a speech she gave before the vote. However, Fox News producer Chad Pergram reported before Pelosi spoke that Republicans "may only have 40 to 60 of their members" supporting the bill, a number that Pergram said "leaves us very short there." Additionally, several GOP House members have said that Pelosi's speech did not cause Republicans to switch their votes.
Several conservatives in the media have recently blamed the Community Reinvestment Act for the current financial crisis -- when, in fact, the CRA does not apply to institutions making the vast majority of troubled loans underlying the crisis. It applies only to depository institutions, such as banks and savings and loan associations. Experts have estimated that 80 percent of high-priced subprime loans were offered by financial institutions that are not subject to the CRA.