To Hannity, Ann Romney Is Off Limits, But Michelle Obama Is Fair Game

Fox News host Sean Hannity hypocritically lashed out at MSNBC for comments critical of Ann Romney, claiming NBC's “news brand deteriorate[d] with this attack.” But Hannity has repeatedly attacked First Lady Michelle Obama on everything from policy, to her clothing, to her views on race issues.

Hannity Claims MSNBC's O'Donnell Is “Pathetic” For Running Segment On Ann Romney

Hannity: NBC's “News Brand Deteriorate[d]” After MSNBC Ran Segment On Ann Romney. On the June 19 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity attacked a segment by MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Ann Romney's use of dressage as therapy for multiple sclerosis, claiming O'Donnell “is pathetic” and claiming NBC's “news brand deteriorate[d] with this attack on Ann Romney.” From Hannity:

HANNITY: Now, let's show NBC, by the way, Tom Brokaw are you proud? Brian Williams, are you proud? Watch your news brand deteriorate with this attack on Ann Romney?


HANNITY: Look -- what?

STUART VARNEY (Fox Business host): How low can you go?

DANA PERINO (Fox News contributor): There's two words that you can use to describe MSNBC's actions today -- writ large -- and that is low rent.

HANNITY: Yeah, that's a great way to put it.

PERINO: Attacking a first lady or a first lady -- the wife of a candidate should be off limits. And he also -- he looks so pathetic.

HANNITY: Yeah, he does.

PERINO: He is trying to make this point and it is not working for him.

HANNITY: He is pathetic. All right. [Fox News, Hannity, 6/20/12]

But Hannity Has Repeatedly Attacked Michelle Obama, Both As A Candidate's Wife And As First Lady

Fox News' Sean Hannity: Michelle Obama Sounds “So Bitter And Angry.” On the May 11, 2008, edition of Fox News' Hannity's America, host Sean Hannity said: “This week, Michelle Obama still sounds angry. ... As Michelle Obama stumps for her husband to be the next president of the United States, it seems she doesn't have many positive things to say about America. In fact, her speeches always seem to have a negative tone to them. It seems her view of the United States is one of despair and hopelessness.” Hannity later added: “This raises the question, why does Michelle Obama sound so bitter and angry as she campaigns for the White House?” [Fox News' Hannity's America, 5/11/08, accessed via Nexis]

Hannity Suggests Obama's Marriage Is “Revealing Of His Radicalism, Anti-Americanism, And Anti-Capitalism.” In his book Conservative Victory, Hannity wrote:

But it's been suggested that one of Obama's voluntary relationships is more revealing of his radicalism, anti-Americanism, and anti-capitalism than all of the others: his choice of marital partner. The columnist known as Spengler, writing for the Asia Times, quoted Alexandre Dumas: “When you want to uncover an unspecified secret, look for the woman.” In Obama's case, wrote Spengler, there have been two principal women in his life: his late mother and “his rancorous wife Michelle. Obama's women reveal his secret: he hates America.” [Media Matters, 3/31/10]

Hannity Attacked Michelle Obama Wearing “Great Designer Clothes” In “The Midst Of An Economic Slowdown.” On the April 2, 2009, edition of Premiere Radio Network's The Sean Hannity Show, Hannity said “In the midst of an economic slowdown, Michelle Obama's clothes. But do you remember this Michelle Obama from the election?” After playing a clip of Obama saying “hope is finally making a comeback” Hannity responded “yeah, hope that I can get all these great designer clothes and that everyone will report on it and call me, you know, Jackie Kennedy. And Camelot. It's unbelievable.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 4/2/09 via Media Matters]

Hannity Repeatedly Distorted Passage In Michelle Obama's Senior Thesis To Suggest Alumni Views On Race Are Her Own. During February 2008 broadcasts of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity repeatedly distorted a passage from Michelle Obama's 1985 Princeton senior thesis to suggest that her own view was that "[i]t is possible that Black individuals either chose to or felt pressure to come together with other Blacks on campus because of the belief that Blacks must join in solidarity to combat a White oppressor." Hannity raised the passage to wonder if “race [is] going to now be an issue” for the Obamas. [Fox News, Hannity & Colmes, 2/29/08 via Media Matters]

  • In Fact, Obama Was Describing Attitudes Among Black Princeton Alumni In The 1970s, Not Asserting Her Own Views. In the full context, the line from Michelle Obama's thesis was describing the results of a questionnaire sent to Princeton alumni to assess how their attitudes about the “Black and White communities” have changed over time. [Media Matters, 2/29/08]

Hannity Repeatedly Hosted Malkin To Call Michelle Obama The “Bitter Half” Of The Obama Administration. Hannity has repeatedly hosted conservative commentator Michelle Malkin to attack Michelle Obama. On at least two occasions, Malkin referred to Michelle Obama as her husband's “bitter half.” [Fox News, Hannity, 10/6/10, 5/30/12, via Media Matters]