Fox host Sean Hannity has come under fire for reviving the debunked myth that the 2012 presidential election was rigged by Democrats suppressing votes in Philadelphia in order to back up Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s allegation that the 2016 election is rigged.
On August 2, Hannity, a Trump sycophant, defended Trump’s false and widely criticized claim that the 2016 presidential election is “rigged” by reviving the debunked myth that the 2012 election was rigged against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Hannity suggested Democrats suppressed votes in Philadelphia, saying “The Philly Inquirer, one week after the 2012 election, pointed out that in 59 separate precincts in inner-city Philadelphia, that Mitt Romney did not get a single vote, not one.”
On August 7, CNN host Brian Stelter called out Hannity’s failure to probe Trump’s “dangerous” claim, saying Hannity “failed [his] audience this week.” Stelter also debunked Hannity’s claim that Democrats suppressed votes in Philadelphia, saying a “Google search would show that there are also precincts in other states, like in Utah, where Obama did not get a single vote.”
Hannity lashed out at Stelter in response, writing, “Hey Brian check Philly enquirer after 2012. How many districts not a single Romney vote. Check Cleveland. Do u prep?" Stelter told Politico that Hannity was “conveniently ignoring the point of my commentary, which is that it's dangerous for a talk show host to promote conspiracy theories about election-rigging.”
A Philadelphia elections inspector also criticized Hannity’s conspiracy, calling it “absurd & personally insulting.” Ryan Godfrey wrote that there is “absolutely no way to erase votes from the machines” and explained that Romney, of course, did not get much support “in those 59 [precincts] almost entirely poor and almost entirely black communities [with] [less than] 1% registered [Republicans]” while “running against the first black president.”