Fox News host Sean Hannity aired video of then-Sen. Barack Obama speaking to African-American clergy members at Hampton University in 2007. But despite being described by Hannity as “some of the most divisive class warfare and racially-charged rhetoric ever used by Barack Obama,” the video shows Obama accurately comparing the federal response to Hurricane Katrina to with the response to Hurricane Andrew and the September 11 attacks.
Promoted as an “exclusive,” the Daily Caller posted previously unaired portions of the speech that was extensively covered at the time, including by Fox News. According to the Caller’s post, in the unedited speech Obama described America as “a racist, zero-sum society in which the white majority profits by exploiting black America.” Appearing on Hannity’s Fox News show to promote the video, Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson called the speech a racial “dog-siren” and an appeal to “racial solidarity.” In reality, however, the video shows no such things.
Hannity began his October 2 show by airing a clip of Obama acknowledging Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was in attendance. Obama’s praise of Wright is nothing new — in fact, Politico posted the very same clip in 2008, calling it “tailor-made for an attack ad.” According to ABC News, the clip was also aired on a March 2008 edition of ABC’s World News Tonight with Charlie Gibson.
The Daily Caller added racial elements to the comments, describing New Orleans as “majority-black New Orleans” and making a baseless comparison to “Kanye West’s famous claim that ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people.’” In fact, in the prepared remarks, Obama said “People ask me whether I thought race was the reason the response was so slow. I said, ‘No. This Administration was colorblind in its incompetence.’ ” But if pointing out the government’s failure to respond to Katrina is evidence of “heavily racially charged rhetoric,” then Obama is far from alone.