Sean Hannity, The Daily Caller, and Drudge Report spent hours hyping a racially explosive secret video of President Obama. But the bombshell clip turned out to be a public speech from June 2007 that was covered by the major networks, including FOX News, at the time.
Excerpts of the open press speech to historically black Hampton University were already easily available (and quickly discovered by reporters after Drudge teased the clip on his website hours before the “new” Daily Caller/Hannity clip even aired). But Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson claimed the video was relevant because it contained additional ad-libbed portions that went off the prepared remarks.
Among the sinister revelations Drudge, Hannity, and Carlson cited: Obama’s use of what they considered an overly African-American cadence to his voice in front of the majority. “This accent is absurd. This is not the way Obama talks,” Carlson said on FOX. Drudge Report teased “THE ACCENT” and “THE ANGER” as scoops.
Hannity, who was a leading figure on the right in promoting Obama’s relationship with Jeremiah Wright as a story in 2008, also pointed to Obama acknowledging Wright as “friend and great leader” at the event. As was widely reported at the time, the two were close until Obama disowned him later that year over his continued inflammatory comments.
The Obama campaign dismissed the video as the work of “Romney’s allies” to distract from his 47 percent comments, although the Romney campaign denied having anything to do with the story and appeared reluctant to discuss it in any capacity.
Hannity and Carlson accused Obama of injecting race into the much-criticized response to Hurricane Katrina. While Obama never mentioned race while discussing the disaster in his speech, he complained that the federal government was slow to waive a Stafford Act requirement governing disaster relief that required the affected area to pay some of the costs of aid that they waived after 9/11 and Hurricane Andrew. According to Obama, this reluctance “tells me that somehow, the people down in New Orleans they don’t care about as much!”