The so-called “bombshell” promised by host Sean Hannity and conservative blogger Matt Drudge was a five-year-old video of then-candidate Barack Obama that actually does the opposite of what the right-wing zealots had hoped by making the president even more likeable and potentially appealing to undecided voters as the Nov. 6 election nears.
Additional claims by Hannity that the video was one that “so-called unbiased journalists have been trying to hide for years” also rings hollow, given that Fox News itself aired video of the speech at the time and that Tucker Carlson, its own conservative commentator, was in attendance.
In the June 5, 2007 speech at Hampton University, a historically black college in Virginia, then-Senator Obama praised his controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Fox News was apparently trying to revive the issue on the eve of Obama’s first debate with GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.
In the video, Obama is shown delivering an impassioned speech about race and poverty
The publication of the video was apparently an attempt to counter the recent video showing Mr. Romney disparaging“47 percent” of the American public as government dependents who considered themselves victims and felt entitled to government largesse.
Hannity played several clips from the video in which Obama complains about the absence of the same kind of help for the communities in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina that were afford New York City after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and South Florida after Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992.
Hannity called the clips evidence of the “most divisive class warfare” from Obama and said it offered “a glimpse into the mind of the real Barack Obama.”
According to Hannity, Obama was advancing the “notion that the government is turning its back on African-American communities, while doing all it can for predominantly white areas.”
Never mind that New York City is hardly a “predominantly white area.”
Ben LaBolt, an Obama campaign spokesman, dismissed the video’s significance.
“In a transparent attempt to change the subject from his comments attacking half of the American people, Mitt Romney’s allies recirculated video of a 2007 event that was open to and extensively covered by the press at the time,” LaBolt said.
Gail Gitcho, the communications director for Mr. Romney’s campaign, said the campaign “did not have any involvement” in the resurfacing of the video on Tuesday.
Hannity and Tucker’s venom, however, continued as they attacked the president for the manner in which he spoke before the largely black audience.
The Romney camp was understandably quick to distance itself from the entire mess for fear of appearing desperate and more mean-spirited than the Democratic incumbent.