Fox News host Sean Hannity claimed that his “comments on the topic of Judge Roy Moore were clear and unambiguous both on radio and on TV” with regard to the Washington Post report that the Alabama Republican Senate candidate had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old when he was 32. Here are the “clear and unambiguous” things Hannity and his guests said on his TV and radio programs the day the story was published:
1) Hannity and his guests repeatedly said that it's possible the women are lying
Hannity: “Then you have false allegations that are made, and you know -- how do you determine? It's ‘He said, she [said].’" [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 11/9/17]
Hannity: “How do you know if it's true? How do we -- what's true? What's not true? How do you ascertain the truth?”
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Here's some really fascinating questions. How do you know if it's true? How do we -- what's true? What's not true? How do you ascertain the truth? What happens when it's 38 years later? It's a serious topic, and -- because if it’s true and people act like this, it's disgusting, it's despicable, it's criminal. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 11/9/17]
Hannity: “We do have Ten Commandments. One of the commandments is ‘thou shalt not bear false witness.’ We know human beings break, with regularity, the other nine commandments. Did they break this one?”
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): If people -- you know some people -- do people lie? Now we do have Ten Commandments. One of the commandments is “thou shalt not bear false witness.” We know human beings break, with regularity, the other nine commandments. Did they break this one? I mean, it's something to think about. Why is it so bad? Because you can ruin somebody’s reputation with an allegation. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 11/9/17]
Daily Mail’s Katie Hopkins to alleged victim: “I am pointing my finger” at Moore’s accuser “and I’m saying to that woman, you disgust me.”
KATIE HOPKINS: I am pointing the finger straight at -- let's just pick this one woman that’s been talking about with Roy Moore allegedly -- I am pointing my finger at her, and I'm saying to that woman, you disgust me. You spent 38 years thinking about this before you said anything; now you decide to speak. You disgust me. Because what you're doing, woman, is you're making it so that every other woman like me, who likes working with men, who's happy just cracking on next to men, who actually finds men rather better to work for than women, because the sisterhood doesn't exist -- you're making women poison to work for. If I was employing someone now, would I employ a woman, especially if I was a man? No, I would not. And women like this do women like me a massive disservice. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 11/9/17]
Hannity: “But then also, are there false allegations? And when it's ‘he said, she said’ or whatever, how do you tell the difference?”
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): There are evil people. And maybe for years there was a stigma associated with telling the truth. And maybe -- you know what? Maybe people now feel emboldened because some women have told the truth. But then also, are there false allegations? And when it's “he said, she said,” or whatever, how do you tell the difference? You know what I mean? I mean because I actually, in all of these cases, I'm sure some of these women are telling the truth. But how do we determine who are and who aren't? [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 11/9/17]
Hannity: Women who report sexual harassment “will lie to make money.”
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): This goes back to what you said. Do people do it for money, do they do it political reasons? How come -- is that more common than people would think?
MERCEDES COLWIN: Oh, definitely. They’ll do this –
HANNITY: They will lie to make money. [Fox News, Hannity, 11/9/17]
Legal analyst Mercedes Colwin: Victims of predators are “very few” and “far between.”
MERCEDES COLWIN: I mean, there are individuals that have come forward with these outrageous allegations and --
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): And that hurts all women that are victims.
COLWIN: Yes. I used to work in sex crimes in the [district attorney’s] office. It was very pitiful to see that because some jurors don’t believe it because they’ve gone -- in their own lives, there’re people who have made these accusations for money. You see this time and time and time again. And sexual harassment, that term is coined everywhere. Frankly, there are -- the laws are very clear as to what it takes in order to be a violation of the law. You have to have some sort of damage. And these individuals -- a lot of these women, it's all about money. And they bank on the fact that these corporations have a reputation that they want to save.
HANNITY: And this is where you thread the needle because there are women that are victims of predators.
COLWIN: Yes, there are, there are. But very few and far between. [Fox News, Hannity, 11/9/17]
2) Hannity and a guest on his show implied The Washington Post can’t be trusted
Hannity: Wash. Post “hates anything Republican, anything conservative.”
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): I got a heads-up this morning that something was coming, and sure enough it showed up on Breitbart first, and then The Washington Post second. I’m looking at the Drudge Report now: “Alabama rot: Judge Moore hit with sex accusations.” That is the headline. And first the Breitbart came out with, after endorsing Democrat in Alabama, now this guy [Jeff] Bezos is the guy who owns The Washington Post. He also owns Amazon.com. Anybody who has used Amazon. So he’s a really wealthy guy, bought The Washington Post. The Washington Post hates anything Republican, anything conservative. They hate anything -- I mean, they did what, a nine-week investigation -- investigative report on me? [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 11/9/17]
Fox’s Gregg Jarrett: “I am suspicious” of the allegations “because of the source, The Washington Post.”
GREGG JARRETT: I am suspicious of this because of the source, The Washington Post, which has a dog in this fight, having endorsed his opponent. The timing of it -- on the eve of an election. And finally, he was a huge, and has been a huge, public figure in Alabama, the best known son of Alabama in many ways, and yet none of this came to surface in almost four decades and so that gives me reason to question the credibility of these people. [Fox News, Hannity, 11/9/17]
3) Hannity repeatedly said people shouldn’t rush to judgement against Moore
Hannity: Media are forcing this case into a “court of public opinion.”
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): I actually believe in presumption of innocence until being proven guilty. The media, now in the court of public opinion, there’s -- 38 years later, you got a million Republicans now saying, “Oh Judge Moore, if you did this, you got to go.” [Republican Sen.] John McCain, “Even if you’re innocent, you got to go. Even if you didn’t do it, you got to go.” They're all establishment figures. You see a pattern here? [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 11/9/17]
Hannity invoked Duke Lacrosse case; Michael Brown, who was shot by a white cop in Ferguson, MO; George Zimmerman, who fatally shot Trayvon Martin; and Freddie Gray, killed in police custody to suggests there’s a history of accusers lying.
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Look at examples where many of my so-called colleagues in the media and other people rush to judgment. Look at the Duke Lacrosse case, for example. I didn't rush to judgment. College students had their lives ruined when they were, it turns out, falsely accused of rape. Everyone in the media, everyone on the left, they rushed to judgement. They were convicting these kids before the truth ever came out. No benefit of the reasonable doubt. No presumption of innocence. And in fact, a group of 88 Duke professors, without any evidence, signed their names to a paid advertisement in a Duke school newspaper that read, quote, “Regardless of the results of the police investigation, what is apparent every day now is the anger and fear of many students who know themselves to be objects of racism and sexism, who see illuminated in this moment's extraordinary spotlight what they live with every day.” That was a rush to judgment. And I said it was at the time.
“Hands up, don't shoot” turned out to be a lie. Some still regurgitate that lie today. George Zimmerman was found innocent in the Trayvon Martin case by a jury of his peers. And all of the cops in the Freddie Gray case were acquitted. [Fox News, Hannity, 11/9/17]
4) Hannity suggested the “establishment” is out to get Moore
Hannity: The “swamp,” “the sewer,” and the “establishment” are out to get Moore.
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): John McCain has now just called for Roy Moore to withdraw, whether or not the allegations are true.
OK, so now you've got the swamp, you've got the sewer, you've got the establishment -- they hate Roy Moore. Roy Moore, to them, is another Ted Cruz, another Mike Lee, somebody they can't control. Rand Paul. They can't control those guys. The last thing they need is another one of them that actually believes in the promises they make, et cetera. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 11/9/17]