Conservative commentators have asserted that President-elect Barack Obama is to blame for the decline of the stock market since the election. But several analysts disagree, citing weak corporate reports and the release of unemployment statistics.
Sean Hannity asserted that Barack Obama's new White House chief of staff, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, is "one of the hardest left-wing ... radicals" and stated that the choice of Emanuel shows that Obama is "hard, hard left." But contrary to Hannity's assertion, a study using every non-unanimous vote cast in the House in 2007 to determine relative ideology placed Emanuel in a tie for the ranking of 126th most liberal Democratic congressman, and news reports have labeled Emanuel as "a centrist," who has "worked at good relations with Republicans."
After being pressed by Fox News contributor Juan Williams about "having an anti-Semite on his show," Fox News' Sean Hannity again declined to express regret for hosting Andy Martin on Hannity's America. Martin has, among other things, referred to a judge as a "crooked, slimy Jew," and Fox News' senior vice president reportedly expressed regret over Martin's appearance, calling it "a mistake."
Sean Hannity falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama promises "to nationalize our health care," and said his is a "false promise." In fact, Obama has not proposed, much less promised, to nationalize health care.
Fox News' Sean Hannity again repeated the false claim that in a 2001 interview, "Sen. Obama said it's a tragedy, quote, that redistribution of wealth was not pursued by the Supreme Court." In fact, the "tragedy" Obama identified during the interview was that the civil rights movement "became so court-focused" in trying to bring about political and economic justice.
Numerous conservative radio hosts, including Chris Baker, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Jim Quinn, Michael Savage and Brian Sussman, echoed the false claim, originating on the Drudge Report, that Sen. Barack Obama said in a 2001 interview that he regretted that the Supreme Court has not addressed the redistribution of wealth. In fact, the "traged[y]" Obama identified during the interview was that the civil rights movement "became so court-focused" in trying to bring about political and economic justice.
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.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama "said" he is "going to ... cut tens of billions of dollars in our military." In fact, Obama has said he would cut "tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending," not overall defense spending.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity again claimed that "[n]obody in the Republican Party" is bringing up race in the context of the presidential campaign. In fact, several Republican officials and supporters have brought up the issue of Obama's race, made racial innuendos, or used his middle name.
In an interview with Sen. John McCain, Fox News' Sean Hannity misstated Sen. Barack Obama's position on defense spending, then invited McCain to criticize Obama for proposing to "slow the development of Future Combat Systems" without noting that the McCain campaign itself has said that program "should be ended."
Sean Hannity defended the presence of Andy Martin on the October 5 edition of Hannity's America by saying, "I'm a journalist who interviews people who I disagree with all the time, that give their opinion. Fox has all points of view." But Hannity told the New York Daily News that he "doesn't call himself a journalist, but rather a talk show host." And in 2004, Hannity said: "I'm not a journalist. I am an outspoken, compassionate, thoughtful, independent-thinking conservative. ... Unlike these other guys that claim to be fair."
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity defended his report featuring Andy Martin -- who has called a judge a "crooked, slimy Jew" and accused African-American public officials of corruption -- by saying: "I'm a journalist who interviews people who I disagree with all the time, that give their opinion. Fox has all points of view." However, during the report, Hannity did not challenge any assertion or statement by Martin, nor did he mention any of Martin's anti-Semitic and racially charged statements.
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 his radio show, Sean Hannity played a cropped version of recent comments by Sen. Hillary Clinton, which included her praise of Gov. Sarah Palin's debate performance but excluded the portions of her comments praising Sen. Joe Biden's debate performance and asserting that "[t]he Obama-Biden ticket" is "better for America" than the "McCain-Palin ticket." Hannity then stated: "I just had to play that 'cause you just know the Clintons are just -- why do I bet, and this is just a guess on my part, that Hillary and Bill [Clinton] go in there, and they vote for John McCain? I just know it."