Fox News’ resident conspiracy theorist apparently thought he had a scoop on former President Obama’s recently unveiled presidential portrait. According to a tweet and an article posted to his website, both of which have now been deleted, the Fox host Sean Hannity claimed that a “secret sperm” was secretly inserted into the painting.
In the deleted tweet, Hannity wrote that the portrait contained “inappropriate sexual innuendo” and included a link to an article with the title, “PORTRAIT PERVERSION: Obama Portrait Features ‘SECRET SPERM.” Within hours of the tweet and article being published, they were both deleted.
“Controversy surrounding Kehinde Wiley’s wildly non-traditional portrait of the commander-in-chief broke out within minutes of its unveiling with industry insiders claiming the artist secretly inserted his trademark technique — concealing images of sperm within his paintings,” Hannity’s website alleges.
The article then showed an image that zoomed-in on Obama’s face in the portrait, claiming that a swimming sperm could be seen on Obama left temple area.
Although Hannity may have thought twice about going with the story, the InfoWars crowd is unsurprisingly pushing the claim. InfoWars reporter Kit Daniels tweeted a link to an article titled, “Obama Portrait Shock: President Covered in Sperm.”
“Artwork is symbolic of how world leaders treated Obama during his presidency,” Daniels tweeted. “Obama is a #bukkakelover”
The sperm narrative is largely driven by a 2008 New York Times article which pointed out that the artist’s past portraits “initially depicted African-American men against rich textile or wallpaper backgrounds whose patterns he has likened to abstractions of sperm.”
— Bethania Palma (@bethaniapalma) February 13, 2018
Sean Hannity has deleted this now, because the classic racism was too obvious, too clownish, too blatant, too much of a self-parody. Hannity's primary job at @FoxNews is to make racism seem reasonable, so that it spreads. pic.twitter.com/h5E66AMNam
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) February 13, 2018
From The Daily Beast:
It appears that the whole “sperm” theory originated on — where else? — 4chan, where a thread was posted on Monday proclaiming, “Official Portrait of Obama has SPERM on his face!!!” That post just happened to include the same close up of Obama that Hannity used on his site.
Hannity getting his article ideas from 4chan pretty much sums up all we need to know about this latest bout of stupidity.