Hannity reasserts control over Fox News' witch hunt of Obama appointees
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On his Fox News program, Sean Hannity aired a list of "10 people who President Obama has appointed or nominated to work on your behalf in your government," and asked, "Should any of them be fired?" Hannity's case for dismissing the advisers largely consisted of false attacks, distortions, and trivial guilt by association.
After going through "entire list," Hannity asks, "Should any of them be fired?"
From the September 18 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: And over the past few months we have sounded the alarm about the White House's green jobs czar, Van Jones, who was forced to step down just weeks ago.
JONES [video clip]: This moment is deeper than a solar panel. Deeper than a solar panel. Don't stop there. Don't stop there. No, we're going to change the whole system. We're going to change the whole thing. We're not going to put a new battery in a broken system. We want a new system.
HANNITY: But those men are just the tip of the iceberg. Now, tonight we bring you a special report about 10 people who President Obama has appointed or nominated to work on your behalf in your government. Now you judge for yourself: Are the president's 10 representative of your vision for America?
Now, you've heard the entire list. Folks, don't go anywhere, because coming up next, we have a very, very special edition of our great, "Great American Panel." They're going to react to the president's top 10. And you've got to ask yourself the question: Should any of them be fired?
Hannity's case against top 10 list is largely based on falsehoods, distortions, and trivial guilt by association
Hannity claims Carol Browner supports "redistribution of wealth" because of link to an international federation of progressive political parties. Referring to Obama administration energy official Carol Browner, Hannity said:
HANNITY: Now, The Washington Times reports that, as recently as December 2008, Browner's name appeared as one of the directors of the group Socialist International. Now, the group's own website proclaims that they support a, quote, "new world order to replace the current concentration of power in a few economic hands." Well, that sounds like redistribution of wealth, now, doesn't it?
Hannity distorts Rosa Brooks' statement on Al Qaeda. Hannity stated: "Now, during her previous career as a columnist for the L.A. Times, [Defense Department official Rosa Brooks] wrote a July 2007 column claiming that before 9-11 Al Qaeda was a little more than obscure group of extremist thugs and that U.S. policies have since turned them into a vast global threat. So I guess she's suggesting it was our fault." In fact, in her July 20, 2007, Los Angeles Times op-ed, Brooks attributed to "most experts" the conclusion that Al Qaeda "was little more than an obscure group of extremist thugs." She also wrote that the group was "well financed and intermittently lethal" in 2001.
Hannity alleges that Mark Lloyd's position on corporate and public broadcasting "sounds like something that may happen in Venezuela." Hannity asserted of Federal Communications Commission chief diversity officer Mark Lloyd: "Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that Lloyd has criticized corporate ownership of media and has advocated taxing station owners to subsidize public broadcasters. And if that sounds like something that may happen in Venezuela, well, you may be right."
Hannity links David Hamilton to recent ACORN videos based on one month of fundraising he did for ACORN in 1979. Hannity declared: "Now, besides once being a board member of the Indiana ACLU, [Obama's 7th Circuit Court of Appeals nominee David] Hamilton was also a one-time fundraiser for -- you guessed it -- the group ACORN. By the way, I wonder what he thinks of all the videotapes that have been released in the past week." However, Hamilton's work for ACORN reportedly consisted of "raising contributions door-to-door for the advocacy group ACORN for one month after college" in 1979, as Media Matters has noted.
Hannity advances dubious claim that Harold Koh may believe "we should also apply Sharia law here in the United States." Hannity stated that State Department legal adviser Harold Koh "advocates a, quote, 'transnational legal process,' meaning that judges should not follow American law when making decisions but also follow global, quote, 'norms.' " Hannity added: "Now, does he think we should also apply Sharia law here in the United States?" Hannity has previously asserted as fact that Koh "advocates the use of Sharia law in America." But that characterization -- originated by a lawyer who claimed that at a 2007 event, Koh said that Sharia law "could, in an appropriate instance ... govern a controversy in a federal or state court in the US" -- has been disputed by both the host of the event where Koh purportedly spoke about Sharia law and by Koh himself.
Notorious Clinton-basher Hannity puts Samantha Power on the list for calling Clinton a "monster." Hannity said that National Security Council adviser Samantha Power "had been a foreign policy adviser during the campaign until she referred to then-Senator Hillary Clinton as a, quote, 'monster' and was fired. But now she's back. And by the way, I wonder if she and Hillary made up and are having coffee together." Hannity -- who has previously said that "demoniz[ing]" Clinton is "my job" and repeatedly smeared her -- provided no other justification for including Power on the list.
Hannity distorts Cass Sunstein's position, falsely claims he supports "basically creating a nation of forced organ donors." Hannity falsely claimed that Cass Sunstein, Obama's nominee to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has said that "the state should own the organs of the deceased, basically creating a nation of forced organ donors." In fact, Sunstein recommended that states should consider either presumed consent or mandated choices, policies he said would save lives while "preserving freedom." Under "presumed consent" policy, citizens "would be presumed to be consenting donors" and could "easily" opt-out. Under a "mandated choice" policy, individuals could be required to make their preference known in order to renew their driver's license.
Hannity claimed John Holdren has "come close to advancing" theories that "kind of sound like forced sterilization." Hannity asserted that White House science and technology adviser John Holdren has "written about population control and has come close to advancing some very unusual theories, including the idea that sterilization capsules could be implanted in people when they reach puberty or by spiking drinking water with chemicals to prevent pregnancy. Now, doesn't it kind of sound like forced sterilization? It does to me." Hannity has previously claimed that Holdren "spoke out in defense of compulsory abortion and sterilization." But Holdren never advocated for any kind of involuntary birth control; he co-authored an environmental sciences book more than 30 years ago that discusses "compulsory control of family size" including sterilization as a possible consequence for countries whose expanding birth rates are not curbed by "milder methods."