Much to Sean Hannity’s dismay, Fox News issued a long-awaited retraction on Tuesday of a story involving slain Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich pushed heavily by the host. Naturally, Hannity hit back via Twitter, slamming liberal watchdog Media Matters for America for trying to get him fired.
IMPORTANT! Mediamatters is trying to silence me, get me fired, pressure my advertising on radio & TV. Liberal Fascism. I need your help!!
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 23, 2017
“In case you haven’t been following it, the Seth Rich conspiracy holds that before his death (or, in this version of events, assassination) in July Mr. Rich had been involved in the leaking of Clinton campaign emails to WikiLeaks, which the United States intelligence community has attributed to Russian-sponsored hackers,” The New York Times summed up on Wednesday, just before Hannity lost his first advertiser amid fallout.
But Media Matters and others have been debunking Hannity’s fake news for years. Here are 5 of his more baseless theories:
1. CIA framed Russia for hacking the DNC
Fox News reported on Russia’s hacking the DNC as well as the January 6 Intel report. Yet, less than 48 hours after a Wikileaks dump of the Vault 7 documents (March 7), Hannity began citing Breitbart’s reporting of the scoop: “WikiLeaks: CIA Uses ‘Stolen’ Malware To ‘Attribute’ Cyberattacks To Nations Like Russia.”
The Fox News host was joined on his show by retired 9/11-truther and torture proponent Army Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Schaffer.
“Sean, we did it. Not me, but our guys, former members of NSA, retired intelligence officers used these tools to break in there and get the information out. That’s what the Democrats don’t want to talk about because it doesn’t fit their narrative,” Shaffer said.
“You’re telling me this whole Russian story that the media has been running with for months and months and months — that it was our people that did it, and they put the fingerprints of the Russians on it?” Hannity asked.
“That’s right,” Shaffer said, although he then admitted on-air he had no proof.
2. Hillary’s Health
“During the attack, a stand-down order was given, and our troops were told to change their clothes four times, and we needed, you know, permission from the Libyans to actually save Americans, and that’s what they were discussing,” Hannity said, shortly after the GOP’s report on the 2012 attack, was released on June 28, 2016.
Politifact rated Hannity’s comment mostly false.
“Average Americans are feeling the pain of Obamacare and the healthcare overhaul train wreck,” Hannity announced in an October 2013 episode. “and six of them are here tonight to tell us their stories.”
One week later, Salon reporter Eric Stern had tracked down all six guests, proving their Obamacare misnomers were easily debunked.
5. Voter Fraud
Hannity continues to cite Philadelphia’s overwhelming preference for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012 as proof of voter fraud.
“In 59 separate precincts in inner city Philadelphia, Mitt Romney did not get a single vote! Not one!” he reiterated last August, nearly four years later.
“Maybe I’m being conspiratorial,” he added. to which CNN’s Brian Stelter. answered, “Yes, Hannity, you are.”
Essay: Trump is sowing doubt about the legitimacy of the election. It’s dangerous. Press has a duty to challenge him https://t.co/V6CCyZIfdF
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 7, 2016
Additionally, Fact.check.org has considered this an open-shut case as of January 2013.
“It’s not mathematically impossible,” Lori Robertson wrote. “The 59 districts are in areas of the city that are mainly African American, as the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. And Obama received 93 percent of the black vote nationwide.”
‘Drinking the Kool-Aid’: Famous anti-cult attorney explains what Trump has in common with notorious People’s Temple leader
Los Angeles-based attorney/journalist Paul Morantz is famous for his work against cults — most notably, Synanon, which tried to kill him in 1978 by placing a rattlesnake in his mailbox. And in a scathing op-ed for his website, Morantz compares President Donald Trump to the infamous cult leader Jim Jones, arguing that Trump, in effect, committed “mass murder” by downplaying the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and encouraging large gatherings despite the dangers.
In 1978, the same year in which Morantz survived a rattlesnake bite, Jones was responsible for a mass killing in a remote area of Guyana — where the leader of the People’s Temple ordered his followers to drink Kool-Aid that was laced with cyanide. More than 900 cult members died at the Jonestown settlement on November 18, 1978, and in 2020, the slang expression “drinking the Kool-Aid” is still used to criticize people who blindly accept bad information.
Ignorant mask opponents keep using one of the worst analogies imaginable as COVID-19 sweeps across America
Earlier this year, my college students and I joined our chaplain and a graduate student in traveling to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. The insensitive treatment many attendees gave the terrors that the museum was trying to educate people about are being repeated in a new way: weaponizing the Holocaust against any mask mandates, social distancing, or other health regulations designed to combat the deadly spread of COVID-19. Amazingly, some of their targets are Jewish.
About a week ago, a couple went into a Minnesota Wal-Mart with swastika masks over their faces. The Minnesota GOP apologized this month for a Washaba County Republican Party meme comparing mask mandates to Jews having to wear yellow stars.
Louie Gohmert’s daughter begs him to heed medical advice and not to follow Trump to ‘an early grave’
In a statement posted to Twitter this Friday, the daughter of Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert said that her father contracted the coronavirus because he chose to ignore medical expertise.
Gohmert’s daughter Caroline, who is also a recording artist known as BELLSAINT, said that “wearing a mask is a non-partisan issue.”
“The advice of medical experts shouldn’t be politicized,” her statement read. “My father ignored medical expertise and now he has COVID.”
“It’s not worth following a president who has no remorse for leading his followers to an early grave,” she added.