Sean Hannity claims President Obama is obsessed with him: "He can't get Fox News out of his head"

Hannity made the claim in 2020 as he relitigated a controversy from Obama's 2008 presidential campaign

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published April 15, 2020 4:41PM (EDT)

Sean Hannity (AP/Jeff Roberson)
Sean Hannity (AP/Jeff Roberson)

Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday night accused Barack Obama of being obsessed with him at the same time as he relitigated a controversy from the former president's 2008 campaign.

"He can't get Fox News out of his head," the Fox News host said in a segment about Obama's endorsement of Joe Biden, his former vice president. "He can't. We live in his mind. He takes a shot at Fox again. Me, yours truly, I live in his mind. I don't know why, but take a look."

After showing a clip in which Obama described President Donald Trump as benefiting from the support of "a propaganda network with little regard for the truth" — an apparent reference to Fox News — Hannity aired archival footage of the former commander-in-chief talking about him. Included were clips of Obama criticizing Hannity for seeming to flip-flop on immigration reform and joking about his views on Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the segment, a chyron flashed in all caps: "Flashback: Obama's 'Hannity' Obsession."

The Fox News host then speculated that Obama dislikes the right-leaning network in part because "we did a deep dive into the radical hate preacher. We were right about Reverend 'G. D. America' — Reverend Wright." He also claimed that "we were the ones that exposed his ties to [Bill] Ayers" from the Weather Underground, a radical militant left organization active on college campuses in the late 1960s and 1970s. It was later revealed that Obama was never close to Ayers, while he later distanced himself from Wright.

Obama's relationship with the controversial pastor led to him delivering one of the most iconic speeches of the 2008 election: his "A More Perfect Union" address. Obama gave the speech after it was revealed that Wright, who had been Obama's pastor, had delivered sermons in which he proclaimed "God d*mn America!" and remarked that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were "America's chickens are coming home to roost."

In his address, Obama said that "I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy." He added that he knew Wright was "an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy." Obama and his wife heard Wright make "controversial" remarks in church, but he "strongly" disagreed with those comments "just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed."

Hannity was recently under fire for downplaying the significance of the new coronavirus. In response, he aired a segment earlier this month in which he falsely claimed that a "media mob" was "looking for ways, oh, to bludgeon President [Donald] Trump politically" while covering the global pandemic. The Fox News host also alleged that the so-called "mob" had misrepresented his coverage of the crisis and pointed to a timeline of his work on his website "so they can't plead ignorance when I think about suing them." (Salon was one of the outlets mentioned in the aforementioned post.)

You can watch the full segment below via YouTube:

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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