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Hannity manipulates Strasbourg speech to claim 'Obama attacks America'
Joe Byrne
Published: Saturday April 4, 2009


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Obama's 'town-hall' speech yesterday in Strasbourg before 2,000 French and German students had an immense impact in different ways all around the globe. The White House announced today that NATO is committing to 5,000 more troops in Afghanistan, following Obama's call for a greater alliance role in that war. A full-scale riot in Strasbourg by anti-military and anti-globalization protesters has led to a violent reaction from thousands of armed riot police, and the situation remains unstable.

But unlike NATO and the anti-military rioters, Sean Hannity didn't think that Obama's real speech was spicy enough for his television news broadcast.

Last night, on Fox News' Hannity, a truncated clip of President Obama's Strasbourg speech was aired, making it appear that Obama was "blam[ing] America first." The clip of Obama delivered to the audience by Hannity emphasized America's failures in global policy in the last eight years. “In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America's shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” Before airing the video clip, Sean Hannity announced, “And that is our headline this Friday night...Obama attacks America.”

But nowhere in the whole broadcast did Hannity or his guest seem to realize that Obama's next words were criticisms directed at Europe for widespread anti-americanism. In fact, Hannity later asked guest Mike Huckabee, "Why is there this anti-Americanism in Europe?"

The relevant and unedited portion of Obama's speech:

In recent years we've allowed our Alliance to drift. I know that there have been honest disagreements over policy, but we also know that there's something more that has crept into our relationship. In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.

But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad.

On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common. They are not wise. They do not represent the truth. They threaten to widen the divide across the Atlantic and leave us both more isolated. They fail to acknowledge the fundamental truth that America cannot confront the challenges of this century alone, but that Europe cannot confront them without America.


According to Eric Boehlert and Jamison Foser of Media Matters for America, a non-profit media watchdog group, that same manipulation is being used on Fox' newly-launched website, The Fox Nation. A headline and lede that links to an article in the UK's Telegraph omit any mention of Obama's criticisms of Europeans, even though the Telegraph article addresses anti-Americanism in the third sentence.

The video is from Hannity, aired April 3, 2009.




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