During a segment of his Fox News show devoted to attacking the Obama administration for its handling of the Trayvon Martin case, Sean Hannity played clips of racist statements about the case that aired on New Black Panther Radio. Hannity also suggested that President Obama has ties to the New Black Panther Party (NBPP). It's an outrageous claim; after all, the NBPP has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. And it's also a totally false claim.
Deneen Borelli, a Daily Caller columnist and Fox contributor, claimed during the segment that "[in] 2007, Obama spoke with the Black Panthers while he was running for election." Hannity responded: “There's a picture of that, by the way, with Malik Zulu Shabazz.”
While Hannity did not elaborate on this supposed connection between Obama and the NBPP, Hannity has previously falsely claimed that, in 2007, Obama was “hanging out” with the group.
Last October, Hannity promised to “show a tape” of Obama “hanging out during the campaign” with a member of the NBPP. In fact, the tape actually showed Obama participating in events marking the 42nd anniversary of the 1965 march from Selma, which ended when the civil rights marchers were attacked by law enforcement at Edmund Pettus Bridge. The extent of the connection between Obama and the NBPP was that during the event, both Obama and NBPP leader Malik Zulu Shabazz gave speeches from the same podium, and both were part of the crowd that then marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Obama was not “hanging out” with anyone from the NBPP during the event. Rather, as pictures from the event show, Obama was in the company of such civil rights icons as the late Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and Rev. Joseph Lowery.
This weekend, The Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson predicted that Fox News, in its election coverage, might “hint at” racially charged language that aims to otherize Obama. Hannity has wasted no time in proving Henderson right.