Smearcasting documents the public writings and appearances of Islamophobic activists and pundits who intentionally and regularly spread fear, bigotry and misinformation in the media. Offering a fresh look at Islamophobia and its perpetrators in today’s media, it also provides four snapshots, or case studies, describing how Islamophobes manipulate media in order to paint Muslims with a broad, hateful brush. PLEASE NOTE: The printed report and the text on these web pages was written in 2008. An Update page is now included.

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Sean Hannity

Remarking on reports that U.S. congressman Keith Ellison, a Muslim, was planning to be sworn in with a Quran, Fox News personality Sean Hannity (Hannity & Colmes, 11/30/06) drew a parallel between Islam and Nazism, asking a guest on his show, “Would you have allowed him to choose, you know, Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which is the Nazi bible?” (Hannity insisted he was not equating Mein Kampf and the Quran, rendering his point entirely unclear.) But more important than his occasional personal forays into Muslim-bashing, Hannity regularly provides a welcoming national platform to some of the country’s leading Islamophobes through his nationally syndicated Sean Hannity Show on radio and his Hannity & Colmes show on Fox News (with only occasional challenges on Hannity & Colmes by co-host Alan Colmes).


On the Sean Hannity Show (2/9/04), U.S. Representative Peter King (R.-N.Y.) told Hannity’s listeners that 85 percent of mosques in America are “ruled by the extremists,” constituting “an enemy living amongst us.” King added that while most American Muslims were more moderate, “they don’t come forward, they don’t tell the police.”


Hannity’s remarks on the Quran came in a show (Hannity & Colmes, 11/30/06) that featured talk show host Dennis Prager, who denounced Ellison’s plans to be sworn in on the Islamic book. Hannity uncritically summarized his argument for him: “You said that his doing so will embolden Islamic extremists and make new ones, and they’ll see it as the first sign and realization of a greatest goal, which is the, you know, making Islam the religion of America.”


Dirty Dozen member Mark Steyn explained on Hannity & Colmes (1/30/07) that Islam was really “a political project that has opened up branch offices on just about every Main Street throughout the Western world,” and which featured religious leaders interested in “overthrowing 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace and the White House.” Hannity’s response: “Well, then you have to say that that’s a threat within a culture, Mark. I mean, you know, here you have a culture within a culture that’s talking about destroying outside culture.”


Also on Hannity & Colmes (9/18/02), Pat Robertson called Islam fraudulent and a scam, Mohammad “an absolute wild-eyed fanatic,” and said that Al Qaeda was merely “carrying out Islam.” Other Islamophobes that have appeared on Hannity’s two shows include Ann Coulter, David Horowitz and Daniel Pipes.


The Dirty Dozen: Who's who among America's leading Islamophobes

Glenn Beck | Steve Emerson | Sean Hannity | David Horowitz | Michelle Malkin | Bill O’Reilly

Daniel Pipes | Pat Robertson | Michael Savage | Debbie Schlussel | Robert Spencer | Mark Steyn