CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter outlined how Fox host Sean Hannity “embraced a piece of fake news about President Obama deleting endorsements of Hillary Clinton from his Twitter account.”
Stelter reported in a November 1 article that Hannity’s decision to promote the story that “could have been disproven by a quick Twitter search ...illustrates how fake new stories expand and spread from fringe web sites to nationally syndicated radio shows with millions of listeners”:
Sean Hannity on Tuesday embraced a piece of fake news about President Obama deleting endorsements of Hillary Clinton from his Twitter account.
Hannity used the made-up news to claim that President Obama's legacy might be “jail.”
The deleted-tweets claim could have been disproven by a quick Twitter search.
The progression of events illustrates how fake news stories expand and spread from fringe web sites to nationally syndicated radio shows with millions of listeners. In this case, the fake news originated on a dubious site called “Your News Wire,” which publishes a mix of true, slanted and made-up news. Then, like a game of telephone, by the time the story got to Hannity, even the fake facts were wrong.
By 4 p.m., the made-up claims were on “The Sean Hannity Show.” Hannity was talking about revelations from the Wikileaks trove of stolen Clinton campaign emails. He began to read information about Warren and Obama, then said “What?”
A female voice chimed in to report: “Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren have both unfollowed Hillary Clinton, as well as scrubbing their timeline of tweets about her.”
“Wow,” Hannity said, and paused. “That means they know it's huge. You know why? Because Obama's implicated! He's implicated here, and he's pissed. You know what his legacy might be? Jail.”
Hannity later apologized for advancing this false news story, tweeting “correction. Live on radio I read a gateway pundit report that @MichelleObmaa had deleted mentions of HRC. And a listener said BHO and …” “Elizabeth Warren did same. Fact is they didn’t. I humbly apologize. Live radio”: