Hannity falsely claimed "Obama can't point to a single instance in which ... Sean Hannity or talk radio" has "made an issue of Obama's race"
Research ››› ››› MARK BOCHKIS & ZACHARY ARONOW
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."
Four days after falsely suggesting that no "prominent Republican" has "said that [Sen. Barack Obama] is not patriotic, or that he's got a funny name," Sean Hannity claimed on the August 4 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program that Obama "can't point to a single instance in which President Bush or [Sen. John] McCain or [former White House senior adviser] Karl Rove or Sean Hannity or talk radio or any other major Republican has made an issue of Obama's race." In fact, as Media Matters for America noted, Hannity asserted on the March 2 edition of Fox News' 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?"
Hannity has also repeatedly distorted what Michelle Obama wrote in her 1985 Princeton University senior thesis, taking the following phrase from the thesis out of context to suggest that she has divisive views of race: "because of the belief that Blacks must join in solidarity to combat a White oppressor." As Media Matters documented, the full paragraph in the thesis makes clear that Obama was purporting to document attitudes among black Princeton alumni who attended the school in the '70s, and not asserting her own views.
Media Matters has also documented numerous examples of other radio and TV personalities making "an issue of Obama's race."
Radio host Rush Limbaugh:
- On the June 2 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, while discussing Obama's presidential candidacy, Limbaugh asserted that the Democratic Party was "go[ing] with a veritable rookie whose only chance of winning is that he's black."
- On May 21, Limbaugh said that "Barack Obama is an affirmative action candidate." Speaking about 'feminazis,' " Limbaugh asserted: "They forgot affirmative action for black guys. And because of that, every bit of their plan has gone up in smoke now, because they -- if -- they had to come out in favor of affirmative action for black guys, and that's -- see, this is one of the things that really irritates the women. And there are women all over this country fit to be tied -- trust me on this. ... [L]iberals eventually are going to be devoured by their own policies. And it has happened here. Because Barack Obama is an affirmative action candidate." He concluded, "So, it's just -- they just forgot that one thing: affirmative action for black guys. And if they had remembered to oppose that, then they wouldn't face the situation they face today."
- Limbaugh stated during his May 14 broadcast that "[i]f Barack Obama were Caucasian, they would have taken this guy out on the basis of pure ignorance long ago."
- On the January 24, 2007, edition of his radio show, Limbaugh referred to Obama and actress Halle Berry as "Halfrican American[s]," stating that "Barack Obama has picked up another endorsement: Halfrican American actress Halle Berry." Limbaugh then said: " 'As a Halfrican American, I am honored to have Ms. Berry's support, as well as the support of other Halfrican Americans,' Obama said." Limbaugh then conceded that Obama "didn't say it."
Fox News contributor Monica Crowley:
- Guest-hosting the June 23 broadcast of Talk Radio Network's The Laura Ingraham Show, Crowley forwarded a wholly unsubstantiated smear that Obama has lied about his ethnicity. A caller to the show claimed that Obama is "not really African-American. He's Arab. Forty-three percent Arab, 6 percent African negro, and half white. And that is the biggest fraud being perpetrated on us all." In response, Crowley said that "according to this genealogy -- and again, because I haven't done the research, I can't verify this -- but according to this guy Kenneth Lamb, Barack Obama is not black African, he is Arab African." Crowley continued: "And yet, this guy is campaigning as black and painting anybody who dares to criticize him as a racist. I mean, that is -- it is the biggest con I think I've ever seen."
Radio hosts Melanie Morgan and Brian Sussman
- On the December 4, 2006, broadcast of San Francisco radio station KSFO's Sussman, Morgan & Vic, in speaking to a co-host -- apparently Sussman -- Morgan referred to Obama as an, "as you call, 'Halfrican.' " Sussman responded, "Halfrican ... his father was from Kenya, his mother's white." He added that, "in my opinion -- 'cause my opinion is your average white guy," Obama "is not allowed to wear the African-American badge because his family are not the descendants of slaves, OK? He can't identify with the discrimination and the slavery and all of that that's gone into these black families for generations."
Sussman also said, "I have ... nothing against mixed-race people," but later added, "I get offended and I know I have many black friends who get offended when he [Obama] stands in front of that black audience talking like he's from the hood, born and raised, and ... can identify with all of their issues. He can't!"
Radio host John Gibson:
- On the June 6 edition of his Fox News Radio show, Gibson said to a caller who spoke favorably of Obama: "You don't know what Barack Obama stands for. You just like him because he's -- he's -- he's like you and you want to see one of you up there, and you don't care what he stands for." The caller responded: "[H]e's not one of me. ... He's not one of me just because he's a black guy or something like that. That doesn't make him one of me. He's standing for him, not me."
- During the April 9 broadcast of his radio show, Gibson told a caller, "[Y]ou are the third or fourth caller in a row who is -- has identified yourself to [associate producer] Christine as African-American. And when I talk to you, you obviously are smart, well-educated, well-read, and all that, and I think that your loyalty to Obama here is an issue that goes beyond the issues." When the caller asserted, "No, it's not -- it's not beyond the issues," Gibson said, "It is a racial solidarity bond you have with Obama. Tell me -- I dare you to deny that." Moments later, Gibson added: "You're sticking with Obama, because he's ... he's a brother." Gibson also asserted about Obama: "He is lying to your face but he knows you are so -- you so identify with him on the basis of race, you will not even see the lies."
CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck:
- On the February 12, 2007, broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Beck featured Philadelphia-based conservative radio host Dom Giordano, who claimed that "the mainstream media has dubbed [Obama] to be African-American" and said, "If you start to, you know, delve around the edges, say, 'Wait a minute, isn't he mixed race? Weren't we told that last year?' Or whatever, biracial. Not allowed to say that anymore." Beck responded by saying "he's very white in many ways," adding, "Gee, can I even say that? Can I even say that without somebody else starting a campaign saying, 'What does he mean, "He's very white?" ' He is. He's very white."
After the interview, Beck attempted to clarify his comments to executive producer and head writer of The Glenn Beck Program, Steve Burguiere, who is known on- air as "Stu." Beck claimed that Obama "is colorless," adding that "as a white guy ... [y]ou don't notice that he is black. So he might as well be white, you know what I mean?" In addition, Beck said: "I guarantee you, there will be blogs today that will have me being a racist because I say that."
- On the January 25 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Beck asserted: "[I]f [Sen.] Hillary Clinton wants to be consistent, I believe, affirmative action, she should give Barack Obama an additional five percentage points just for the years of oppression."
From the August 5 broadcast of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
HANNITY: But I think they made a real tactical mistake here by playing the race card the way they did. It's -- because Senator McCain has gone out of his way not to do this. You know, they're making the argument that Obama is a risky choice for president. And that is the right argument to make because he doesn't have experience. And after all, if Obama had his way, we would already have been defeated in Iraq. We would have lost a major war. That's a risky experiment.
You know, when Obama says they're going to scare Americans by saying that he doesn't look like all those presidents on dollar bills, he can't mean anything other than race. In fact, Obama tipped his hand when he said it back in June: "Oh, and did I mention he's black?"
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.
As for his name, earlier in the campaign, when my buddy Bill Cunningham in Cincinnati, great American that he is, criticized -- he was criticized by McCain for saying Barack Hussein Obama. The only one that keeps bringing up Obama's middle name is Barack Obama. So the charge is without merit. And it is his name, by the way.