Sean Hannity has been fact-checked, and the results aren't pretty.
In an article posted on Salon on Friday, Eric Stern "re-reported" a recent episode of Fox News' "Hannity" during which host Sean Hannity invited six guests to tell their Obamacare "horror stories."
According to Stern, there was a lot more to each of the guests' stories than Hannity let on. Stern decided to conduct his own investigation by separately interviewing each guest, and what he said he found was not that the guests were cheated by Obamacare, but rather that they had tried very little, if at all, to participate in the ACA.
Stern accused the Fox News host of using "fake evidence" to "exploit people’s ignorance and falsely point to imaginary boogeymen," deeming it all a part of the "Fox News lie machine."
Paul Cox and his wife Michelle, for example, appeared on the show claiming that their construction business has been hit hard because of Obamacare, giving them no choice but to significantly cut employee hours. Stern noted that Obamacare has no effect on any business with less than 50 employees.
"In our brief conversation on the phone, Paul revealed that he has only four employees. Why the cutback on his workforce? “Well,” he said, “I haven’t been forced to do so, it’s just that I’ve chosen to do so. I have to deal with increased costs.” What costs? And how, I asked him, is any of it due to Obamacare? There was a long pause, after which he said he’d call me back. He never did."
The two other couples interviewed by Stern both claimed that the new policies offered by Obamacare would cost them considerably more than their previous insurance rates. After doing his own search on the Obamacare exchange website based on the couples' circumstances, Stern found that this was just not true.
"I don’t doubt that these six individuals believe that Obamacare is a disaster; but none of them had even visited the insurance exchange," Stern wrote. "Hannity is not entitled to point to Paul’s behavior as an “Obamacare train wreck story” and maintain any credibility that he might have as a journalist."
Twitter, as usual, was up in arms over Stern's findings:
I'm SHOCKED that Hannity might manufacture lies. SHOCKED. The rollout is a mess, but this is crap. http://t.co/olml3m2wKw— Anne Landgraf (@brooklynpeach) October 18, 2013
@_ericstern :I just read your article about Obamacare & Hannity You did Very good, Fox News is just one long never ending propaganda machine— Howard Fall (@fiverings5) October 18, 2013
Fox's Sean Hannity said he'd found 3 ACA horror stories; turns out they were lies. If ACA is so bad, why does Fox have to make things up?— Lee Goaa (@LeeGoaa) October 18, 2013
Fact-check of Hannity guests claiming to be harmed by Obamacare finds it would help them if they chose to participate http://t.co/K7VVlGEmeP— John McQuaid (@johnmcquaid) October 18, 2013
Do the words, "fact check" followed by "Sean Hannity" ever end in positive results? http://t.co/TD0WDEoRrm— KWANZA (@kwanzer) October 18, 2013
Also on HuffPost:
Ann Coulter Calls Obama "Retard"
Ann Coulter <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/23/ann-coulter-obama-retard_n_2004828.html">called President Obama a "retard"</a> during the 2012 election. She made the remark on Twitter after the third and final presidential debate between Obama and Mitt Romney. "I highly approve of Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard," she tweeted.
Karl Rove Argues With Fox News About 2012 Election Night Call
In one of the wildest moments of the 2012 election, Fox News contributor <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/06/fox-news-argues-obama-ohio_n_2085817.html">Karl Rove challenged the network's decision to call the race for President Obama</a> on the night of the vote. The network made its projection, but Rove said it was "premature" and "early" to make any real decisions. Anchor Megyn Kelly then walked backstage to speak to the number crunchers, who then explained that Rove was wrong.
Geraldo Rivera: "I Think The Hoodie Is As Much Responsible For Trayvon Martin’s Death As George Zimmerman Was."
Geraldo Rivera caused a huge uproar in March 2012 when he blamed Trayvon Martin's hoodie for his death. Martin, an unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. Rivera <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/21/geraldo-rivera-trayvon-martin-benjamin-crump-hoodie_n_1532576.html">doubled down on his attacks</a> on what he called Martin's "thug wear," though he eventually<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/27/geraldo-rivera-apology-trayvon-martin-hoodie_n_1382814.html"> issued a public apology</a> for his explosive comments. Even Rivera's son said that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/23/geraldo-rivera-trayvon-martin-hoodie_n_1375080.html?ref=media">he was ashamed of his father's remarks</a>.
Bill O'Reilly: 'Whitney Houston Wanted To Kill Herself'
Bill O'Reilly came down hard on Whitney Houston the Monday after she died. "Whitney Houston wanted to kill herself," he said. "Nobody takes drugs for that long if they want to stay on the planet. She follows in the footsteps of Elvis, Janis Joplin, Michael Jackson, and scores of other entertainment figures. The hard truth is that some people will always want to destroy themselves, and there's nothing society can do about it."
Fox News' Liz Trotta On Women Raped In Military: 'What Did They Expect?'
Fox News contributor Liz Trotta was reacting to news that the military will allow women to work closer to the front lines when she made a series of incendiary statements about rape. She said that the rate of sex crimes committed by army personnel was up, and continued, <blockquote>Now, what did they expect? These people are in close contact, the whole airing of this issue has never been done by Congress, it's strictly been a question of pressure from the feminists.</blockquote> Trotta also alleged that "feminists" have demanded too much money to fund programs for sexual abuse victims. "You have this whole bureaucracy upon bureaucracy being built up with all kinds of levels of people to support women in the military who are now being raped too much," she said. She <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/20/fox-news-liz-trotta-rape-military_n_1288769.html">later doubled down</a> on her original remarks.
Keith Ablow: "Don't Let Your Kids Watch Chaz Bono On 'Dancing With the Stars'"
Keith Ablow, a Fox News contributor and the network's resident psychiatrist, has generated controversy with his dubious theories, which include his assertion that Chaz Bono's appearance on "Dancing With the Stars" would lead children to reconsider their gender. He also suggested that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/21/keith-ablow-fox-news-newt-gingrich-marriages_n_1220761.html" target="_hplink">Newt Gingrich's infidelity would make him a better president</a>, and that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/15/keith-ablow-joe-biden-debate_n_1967272.html" target="_hplink">Joe Biden showed signs of dementia</a> during the vice-presidential debate.
Steve Doocy on Hillary Clinton: "Face Lift, Perhaps?"
Steve Doocy speculated that Hillary Clinton recently had a face lift. "Is this the face of presidential ambition?" Doocy said. "Days after retiring as Secretary of State, somebody has launched a website for her, showing off this glamorous new face. Face lift, perhaps? Well, that’s fueling rumors about a run for president in 2016, but her aides say it’s simply a way for fans and the media to reach her."
Megyn Kelly: Pepper Spray Is "Food Product, Essentially"
Megyn Kelly and Bill O'Reilly were discussing the pepper spray incident that rocked UC Davis when Kelly wondered whether the spray used by police had been diluted. She said pepper spray is "a food product, essentially," adding that the spray was "obviously abrasive and intrusive."
Eric Bolling: Obama Hosted 'A Hoodlum In The Hizzouse'
Eric Bolling <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/13/eric-bolling-accused-of-r_n_876214.html">courted allegations of racism</a> when he criticized Obama's visit with the president of Gabon, saying, "It's not the first time he's had a hoodlum in the hizzouse." As he said "hizzouse," a picture of rapper Common appeared on the screen.
Brian Kilmeade: 'We Keep Marrying Other Species And Other Ethnics'
In reference to a study that claimed people who stay married are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's, Kilmeade said that the results do not apply to the United States because: "... we keep marrying other species and other ethnics. See, the problem is the Swedes have pure genes. Because they marry other Swedes .... Finns marry other Finns, so they have a pure society. In America we marry everybody, we marry Italians and Irish."
Sean Hannity: Obama Wouldn't Have Killed Bin Laden 'If He Had His Way'
Sean Hannity was reluctant to credit President Obama with killing Osama bin Laden. He was discussing Obama's foreign policy with Republican pollster Frank Luntz: "They’ve got a foreign policy that shows a lot of weakness," Hannity said. "I know the President will say they got bin Laden, putting that aside." "And the public gives him credit for that," Luntz said. Hannity replied, "But it wouldn’t have happened if he had his way, and I think that could be proven as well on tapes."
Ann Coulter: 'Can We Get The Ad To Find Obama's Cocaine Dealer?'
Ann Coulter called for someone to put out an ad to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/22/ann-coulter-obama-cocaine_n_933151.html">find President Obama's "cocaine dealer"</a> during an appearance on Sunday's "Fox and Friends." Coulter's comment came as she was opining that the media have given Republican presidential candidates a harder time than Obama ever got when he ran in the 2008 election. She noted that someone has already taken an ad out asking, "have you had sex with Rick Perry?" "Can we get the ad to find, you know, Obama's cocaine dealer now that he's two years into his presidency?" Coulter asked,
Fox News' Liz Trotta Jokes About Killing President Obama
Fox News contributor Liz Trotta joked about killing President Obama. She was discussing Hillary Clinton's reference to RFK's assassination when defending her decision to stay in the race until June 2008. Trotta accidentally said that someone was talking about "Osama" getting knocked off, instead of "Obama." "Well, both if we could," Trotta then joked, laughing.
Ann Coulter To Hannity: 'Our Blacks Are So Much Better Than Their Blacks'
In 2009, Ann Coulter said that conservatives blacks are <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/01/ann-coulter-herman-cain-our-blacks_n_1069172.html">"so much better"</a> than liberal blacks. "Our blacks are so much better than their blacks," Coulter told Fox News. "To become a black Republican, you don't just roll into it. You're not going with the flow. You have fought against probably your family members, probably your neighbors, you have thought everything out and that's why we have very impressive blacks in our party."
Brian Kilmeade: 'All Terrorists Are Muslims'
"Fox and Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade defended Bill O'Reilly after his infamous visit to "The View." "Not all Muslims are terrorists," Kilmeade said, "But all terrorists are Muslims." Later, he addressed the remarks, saying, "What I should have said, and I’d like to clarify, is all terrorists who killed us on 9/11; with the Cole; and the Khobar; and the ‘98 embassies; that’s what I should have said."
Bill O'Reilly: "You Want Me To Give You My Hard-Earned Money So You Can Have Sex?"
Bill O'Reilly <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/03/bill-oreilly-sandra-fluke-limbaugh_n_1318249.html">did not hesitate to take Rush Limbaugh's side</a> in the furor over the radio host's comments about Sandra Fluke. "Let me get this straight, Ms. Fluke, and I'm asking this with all due respect," he said. "You want me to give you my hard-earned money so you can have sex?"
John Bolton: Hillary Clinton Has "Diplomatic Illness"
John Bolton, former U.N. ambassador and Fox News contributor, alleged that Hillary Clinton was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/18/john-bolton-hillary-clinton_n_2322782.html?utm_hp_ref=hillary-clinton">faking a "diplomatic illness"</a> to avoid testifying about Benghazi. Clinton's testimony was postponed after she fainted and suffered a concussion in December. Bolton claimed "every foreign service officer in every foreign ministry in the world" is familiar with coming up with such "diplomatic illnesses" when they "don't want to go to a meeting or a conference, or an event." "And this is a diplomatic illness to beat the band," he said.
Bob Beckel: "I went swimming. My eyes blew up, and it made me look Oriental."
Bob Beckel: "When's the last time you heard about rape on a college campus?"