Fox News' Sean Hannity falsely claimed that President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair said they believe that in 18 months, "the new [Iraqi] prime minister [Nuri Kamal al-Maliki] will have security forces capable of taking control of all Iraqi provinces." But neither Bush nor Blair made such a statement. Responding to a reporter's question about whether it is "realistic to think that Iraqi forces will be able to take control of all Iraq by the end of next year," Bush did not address the issue, while Blair merely said it is "possible."
On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Neal Boortz made misleading claims about the Fair Tax Act, introduced by Rep. John Linder, which would replace all existing federal taxes with a national retail sales tax on most consumer and government purchases. In fact, Boortz relied on an unusual method of describing sales tax rates. Moreover, according to President Bush's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, Boortz significantly understated the tax rate necessary for the Fair Tax Act to be revenue-neutral.
On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, host Sean Hannity and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth co-founder John E. O'Neill attacked Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) for saying that a pending military report will show that U.S. Marines deliberately killed innocent Iraqi citizens during a November 2005 raid in Haditha. Murtha served in the Marines for 37 years prior to joining the United States Congress. Yet, while condemning Murtha for discussing the Haditha incident, Hannity did not similarly fault Fox chief White House correspondent Brett Baier, who earlier that day also noted the pending report.
On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity and John O'Neill, co-founder of the discredited Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth, attacked Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV) for saying that the American military presence in Iraq is helping to fuel the insurgency there, a position held by several U.S. generals conducting the war in Iraq.
On May 5, Fox News' Sean Hannity declared that Rep. Patrick Kennedy's (D-RI) announcement that he will enter a treatment program for a prescription drug addiction was the "big news of the day," while completely ignoring the resignation of CIA director Porter Goss. The Kennedy story spanned four entire segments and received more than 20 minutes of airtime on the May 5 edition of Hannity & Colmes, while news of Goss's resignation appeared in only two short "newsbreaks" that were separate from the show itself.
Sean Hannity compared voting for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) to voting for Hamas or Hezbollah. When a caller to his radio show questioned the prospect of democracy spreading in the Middle East by noting that people are "vot[ing] for Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas on the West Bank," Hannity replied: "Well, you could vote for Hillary Clinton tomorrow, too, for crying out loud."
Fox News' Sean Hannity claimed that "the federal government and the state and local governments take about 50 percent of our income." Hannity's claim is contradicted by the conservative Tax Foundation, which has calculated that Americans' total tax burden has never exceeded 33.6 percent of income in a given year.
On Fox News, numerous media figures asserted that Rep. Tom DeLay's (R-TX) decision to resign from Congress will hurt Democrats' ability to campaign against congressional Republicans' record of corruption -- and DeLay's part in it -- during the November 2006 midterm elections. But such predictions overlook the widening ethics scandals involving DeLay and the Republican Party.
Following recent demonstrations in which protesters marched against proposed legislation that would criminalize undocumented workers, some in the media have criticized the demonstrators for carrying Mexican flags. But these same media figures have not complained about people waving other nations' flags, such as Irish flags at St. Patrick's Day events, Italian flags at Columbus Day events, or Israeli flags at Israel Day events.
Fox News' Sean Hannity accused Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of "hypocrisy" on illegal immigration because of her criticism of a recently passed House immigration bill, which she said "would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself." Hannity said: "But this is the same lady that said, 'Oh, I'm against illegal immigration.' That's just such hypocrisy." Hannity claimed her criticism made her a hypocrite when it comes to opposing illegal immigration, when, in fact, she has supported other immigration reform bills.
On Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity falsely claimed that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) "says immigration reform is un-Christian." Hannity & Colmes later aired footage of a March 22 press conference in which Clinton condemned specific legislation, H.R. 4437 -- not "immigration reform" -- that opponents contend would subject private citizens and charitable organizations to prosecution if they offer any assistance to illegal immigrants.
The campaign against purportedly biased reporting on the Iraq war -- forwarded by President Bush, White House officials, and array of conservative media figures -- has continued on the airwaves and in print.
Sean Hannity claimed that the current unemployment rate "is literally ... lower than the '70s, '80s, and '90s." But while the current unemployment rate is, in fact, lower than the average unemployment rate for the 1990s it is higher than in 1998, 1999, and 2000 -- the last three years before President George W. Bush took office.
President Bush and senior aides have claimed that Americans are increasingly disillusioned about the Iraq war because the mainstream media report only the violent and tragic events occurring there -- an accusation that has simultaneously been advanced by an array of conservative media figures.
When Fox News host Sean Hannity featured Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL), a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Florida, he failed to challenge her about her relationship with disgraced defense contractor Mitchell Wade. While Hannity did ask Harris to comment about $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions received from Wade, he did not press Harris about her request to the Defense Appropriations Committee for a $10 million counterintelligence project that would have benefited Wade's company, MZM Inc.