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.
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."
On his radio show, Sean Hannity did not challenge Sen. John McCain's false claim during an interview that Alaska "provides 20 percent of America's energy requirements." In fact, according to the most recent figures of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Alaska is responsible for "just 3.5 percent of the country's domestic energy production," and only 2.4 percent of the energy the U.S. consumes.
Calling into Sean Hannity's radio show, Mark Levin said of the National Organization for Women: "It's not the National Organization of Liberal Women. It's the National Organization of Ugly Women." Moments later, after Hannity stated, "[a]pparently [Sen. Barack] Obama took a shot at me again," Levin responded, "Obama's obsessed with you. ... Maybe he's attracted to you."
On his radio show, Sean Hannity falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama had "openly complained about 'white folks' greed.' " Hannity played a clip from the audiobook version of Obama's memoir in which Obama says, "White folks' greed runs a world in need." However, the clip is taken from a passage in which Obama is quoting from a sermon by Rev. Jeremiah Wright. In fact, Hannity himself acknowledged as much on Hannity & Colmes in March, saying, "Even the 'Audacity of Hope' speech or sermon had, you know, 'white greed' in there."
On The Sean Hannity Show, Newt Gingrich said of Sen. Barack Obama's speech in Berlin: "I think saying that you are the -- a citizen of the world, talking to 200,000 Germans is very dangerous because the average American does not want to elect a president of the world." In fact, Obama referred to himself in the Berlin speech as "a citizen -- a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world." Further, he is not the first U.S. public official to refer to himself as a "citizen of the world"; President Reagan did so in a June 1982 speech to the United Nations.
On his radio show, Sean Hannity said that Sen. Barack Obama "can't point to a single instance in which President Bush or McCain or Karl Rove or Sean Hannity or talk radio or any other major Republican has made an issue of Obama's race." In fact, Hannity asserted on the March 2 edition of Hannity's America: "As more is learned about Barack Obama's positions, his past, and his affiliations, it seems that the 'change' candidate has all the same problems with race as those before him," and later added, "It's only fair to ask: Do the Obamas have a race problem of their own?" Media Matters has also documented numerous examples of other radio and TV personalities making "an issue of Obama's race."
Jerome Corsi, author of the book, The Obama Nation, falsely claimed on Hannity's America that Sen. Barack Obama said, "Even if a child was born ... the woman still had the right to kill the child in an abortion." Corsi similarly falsely asserted on Hannity & Colmes that "[a]fter a child's born, Obama ... in the [Illinois] state Senate, wanted the child killed if the mother desired an abortion," and on Sean Hannity's radio program, said that "Obama's on record as let's kill the baby if that's what the mother wants." In fact, Obama has never supported giving people the right to kill their children.
On his radio program, Sean Hannity repeated the already debunked allegation that Sen. Barack Obama leaked a written prayer he placed in the Western Wall during his visit to Jerusalem. While a spokesman for Ma'ariv reportedly told other Israeli publications that the Obama campaign approved the publication of the prayer and that Obama gave copies of it to the media before he went to the Western Wall, The New Republic's Zvika Krieger wrote in a blog post: "I finally heard back from the Ma'ariv spokesman, who denied that the Obama campaign leaked the memo to them or gave them approval to print it, and who disavowed the alleged spokesman who gave quotes to at least four Israeli publications."
Sean Hannity falsely suggested on his radio show that Sen. Barack Obama "c[ame] up" with his plan for Afghanistan, including calling for the deployment of more troops there, only after his recent visit to the country. But Obama has been calling for an increase of U.S. troops in Afghanistan since at least 2006 and has specifically proposed the addition of at least two combat brigades since 2007.
On his radio program, Sean Hannity falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama's proposal "for rescinding the Bush tax cuts" would result in "families of four that make $50,000 a year ... paying another $2,000 in taxes a year." In fact, Obama has proposed cutting taxes for middle-class families and rolling back President Bush's tax cuts only on people who are making $250,000 a year or more.
On his radio show, Fox News' Sean Hannity touted a Washington Examiner blog post claiming that Sen. Barack Obama got a "discount" and a "Countrywide-like sweetheart mortgage deal" from Northern Trust for the purchase of his house. But the Examiner's only source for that claim in the blog post was a Washington Post article that did not cite any evidence that the interest rate Obama received was in any way out of the ordinary or in any way the result of preferential treatment.
Sean Hannity claimed on his radio show, "[W]e've got China, you know, joining with Cuba, they're drilling 60 miles off our shores of Florida." But Vice President Dick Cheney has reportedly issued a correction for making the same claim, as has George Will, whom Cheney cited as the source of his claim.
On The Sean Hannity Show, Tom DeLay falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama is "in favor of a bill to fingerprint every American in this country and have a national fingerprint database." In fact, the bill to which DeLay was apparently referring would require employees of banks that apply for "licensing and registration as a State-licensed loan originator," as well as individuals who apply for licenses, to submit fingerprints to "to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and any governmental agency or entity authorized to receive such information for a State and national criminal history background check."
During the April 16 debate, George Stephanopoulos asked Sen. Barack Obama to explain his "relationship" with former Weather Underground Organization member William Ayers and to "explain to Democrats why it won't be a problem." The previous day, Stephanopoulos appeared on The Sean Hannity Show and New York radio station WOR's The Steve Malzberg Show, where both Hannity and Malzberg suggested to Stephanopoulos that he ask Obama about Ayers.