Sean Hannity promotes “thoroughly debunked” Afghanistan helicopter conspiracy theory

On Tuesday night’s broadcast of Fox News’ Hannity, host Sean Hannity aired a debunked viral video — that Hannity himself admitted to not having verified — that purported to show Taliban fighters dangling a hanged man from a Blackhawk helicopter while flying over Kandahar, Afghanistan.

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Citation From the August 31, 2021, edition of Fox News' Hannity

Hours before Hannity's show, CNN reporter Daniel Dale noted at 3:29 p.m. EDT that the claim had been “thoroughly debunked.” Vice noted that “Even a cursory glance at the video reveals that the person is moving around and is strapped into a chest harness. At one point, the person even reaches up and holds onto the rope.”

Baseless conjecture about the video, including claims that the man was an American interpreter, was spread by prominent conservatives on Twitter, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Fox News analyst Gregg Jarrett, and pastor Greg Locke. In the hours leading up to Hannity’s broadcast, Cruz publicly corrected his false claims, and multiple debunks were published – including Vice’s and one from Snopes. The fact check from Alt News, cited by Dale, quoted a source from Afghan news agency Aśvaka who said that “the person was controlled and hanging from the helicopter to fix the flag at the governor’s building in Kandahar.”