Howard Kurtz gave what I thought was a pretty fair rundown of the now-famous confrontation between Sean Hannity and Congressman Keith Ellison. But he let Hannity off way too easy by saying he “surrendered the high ground” by likening Ellison to a black Ku Klux Klan member. Hannity didn’t just hit low, he deliberately ignored the facts, grabbed the ugliest mud he could find and got some like-minded friends to help sling it. More importantly, race baiting is an all-too-familiar Hannity tactic.
As I wrote when Hannity compared Ellison to the KKK, he never managed to come up with a single person who claimed to have been discriminated against by Ellison nor a single official act of discrimination or radicalism – even though Ellison has served in Congress for six years. Even worse, as I noted when Hannity continued his racial attacks on Ellison the next night, the telltale indicator of bogusness was the lack of any Fox News reporter on the job. Does anyone doubt that if there were a black, radical, anti-Semitic, Muslim Democrat in the House of Representatives, Fox’s “objective news” arm wouldn’t be covering that story zealously?
Meanwhile, Hannity still owes viewers some ‘splaining about his own racial history. As I wrote in 2011, Hannity is Fox’s go-to show for race-baiting against African Americans.
In other words, the “KKK” comment was far from an anomaly or anything unexpected. The fact is, Hannity has been smearing Ellison as some kind of black, radical Muslim for years. Chances are he would have done the same during that epic confrontation with Ellison if he hadn’t pre-emptively struck and taken the framing out of Hannity’s hands. Kurtz and any other media critic worth their salt ought to know that and acknowledge it.
Sean Hannity’s widdle feewings must really have been smarting ever since Rep. Keith Ellison smacked him down as a yellow journalist the other night. So once again, Hannity got "revenge" by, essentially, proving Ellison right. You may recall that last night, Hannity “asked” if Ellison was the black equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan. Tonight, Hannity “wondered” if Ellison was a secret racist who hid his true feelings in order to get elected. Ironically, the very criteria Hannity used for his accusations – Ellison’s past associations - are far more damning of his own bigotry. Unlike Ellison, Hannity has never renounced any of the many bigots he has palled around with and in some cases still does.
Once again, Hannity had no – zilch, zip, nada – evidence that Ellison actually shares the beliefs of the “racist, anti-Semitic radicals” that he was associated with decades ago. All Hannity had were clips of the “vile human being,” i.e. Khalid Abdul Muhammad with whom, Hannity revealed excitedly, Ellison “shared a stage on at least one occasion.”
Well, if sharing a stage means an endorsement, then Hannity has some ‘splaining to do about why he has shared his radio airwaves with white supremacist Hal Turner, why he keeps sharing his television show with “Thank God for slavery” Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson and why he spent half a show conducting a three-part, lapdog interview with Mel Gibson. Or maybe Hannity could explain why he repeatedly hosted birthers Donald Trump and Jerome Corsi and, at the same time, insisted he (Hannity) is not a birther. I mean, if sharing a stage equals endorsement, then there’s no way Hannity could not be a birther, right?
As I wrote last night, even if you didn’t know that Ellison publicly renounced his association with Muhammad and Hannity’s other uber black boogeyman, Louis Farrakhan, in 2006 (whereas I have yet to see a single apology from Hannity over his past associations) the telltale sign that this was a bogus attack was that there was no Fox News reporter to present any kind of information to support the picture Hannity was was trying to paint of Ellison. Nor did Hannity present a single person who witnessed – much less suffered from – any of the radical, racist or anti-Semitic views Ellison is accused of harboring.
Webb, apparently unaware of the kinds of bigots Hannity has palled around with, said: “It’s as simple as what our parents taught us, Sean. Who you associate with is who you are and he made choices.”
However, just as he did last night, Hannity prodded his guests to make explicitly racial attacks:
…Do you think that scrutiny has been withheld from (Ellison) in this case? In other words, would anyone else be able to have had these associations and gotten a pass?
Innis took the bait. He characterized Farrakhan and Muhammad as “racial pyromaniacs” and added, “(U)nfortunately, it is the Keith Ellisons, the Congressional Black Caucus, most of them, that apologize for these types.”
Hannity pressed further:
Do you think he is hiding the radical beliefs so he is more electable? Do you think he still believes these things (nice sleight of hand there because Hannity never provided any indication that Ellison ever believed them to begin with) because obviously, one time, if he’s hanging out with these radicals, he must share their views. …How do we know?
Well, we might know by Ellison’s actions. He was elected to Congress in 2006. If he’s such a secret black radical that there’s nothing in his record by now, Ellison is either really, really good at keeping the secret… or he’s just a regular guy.
Meanwhile, Webb and Innis got busy playing the race card against Ellison – with Hannity’s full approval.
Webb said African Americans like Ellison “push these race pimps… push the race narrative, because it’s about power and control. They want to keep it. They want blacks in line.”
“That’s right,” Innis agreed. He later said, “These black politicians give the black community bread and circus also known (as) racism.”
Hannit’s final question was, “Do you think there would be any Republican …that in the 1990’s was hanging out with radical, anti-Semitic racists like Farrakhan and Khalid, that they could ever have a chance at being elected?”
I don't know about getting elected but I know for sure such a person could get a prime time show on Fox News.
Video below via Mediaite.
Sean Hannity struck back at Rep. Keith Ellison – whose confrontation with Hannity over his brand of yellow journalism went viral this week – by pretty much proving Ellison’s point. First, Hannity dragged out his and Fox’s favorite black boogeyman, Louis Farrakhan, and then attacked Ellison for having once been a supporter. He even suggested Ellison was like a black version of the Ku Klux Klan.
The first thing you have to know about Hannity is that while he’s quick, some might say eager, to point the finger of racism at African Americans, it’s hard to find a single white guy accused of racism in the last decade that Hannity has not buddied up to, including Trayvon Martin-shooter George Zimmerman. And that’s not counting his African American pal, Jesse Lee Peterson, who thanks God for slavery and compares slave ships to coach class in an airplane.
“His past reveals a host of radical connections,” Hannity alleged about Ellison, “primarily to Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.” Hannity seemed to think he had a big gotcha when he announced that Ellison was involved with the group longer than the 18 months Ellison claimed and that he had “appeared on stage” with Khalid Abdul Muhammad who, Hannity said, “called Jews ‘bloodsuckers of the black nation.’”
Here’s how you would know this whole attack is completely bogus even if Hannity hadn’t acknowledged that Ellison publicly renounced the Nation of Islam in 2006: If there were a shred of evidence that Ellison has acted like a radical, a racist, an anti-Semite or a Muslim extremist since he was elected in 2006, Fox would be trumpeting the news 24/7. In fact, Ellison has long been a Fox News target, going back to before his swearing in, when he announced he planned to use a Koran instead of a Bible. Fox would not be shy about a steady drumbeat of condemnation and “questions” the way it’s doing with Sen. Bob Menendez and did with Anthony Weiner or the way it did with Ellison’s swearing in.
If nothing else, it was telling that Hannity didn't even quote any Jews, much less present any as guests, to call out the actual anti-Semitism that a monster like the one Hannity was depicting would surely exude. In fact, Jewish groups have endorsed Ellison and defended him from anti-Muslim attacks.
Nor was there any reporter digging or having dug into Ellison’s record. Instead, Hannity trotted out two of his trusty African-American black attackers, Deneen Borelli and Michael Meyers. Neither had anything like hard information about Ellison. But they were full of sneers, jeers and unsubstantiated accusations:
Borelli called Ellison a “left-wing radical” and attacking “is what the left does. …They don’t want to hear the other side of the arguments.”
But Hannity wanted to make the attacks explicitly racial. He jumped in:
But this is deep. Because we all agree Farrakhan is a racist and an anti-Semite. Anyone disagree? Now here he’s (Ellison) hanging out also with Khalid Muhammad. Now, not only did he call Jews bloodsuckers of the black nation, he also said, “Kill everything white that’s in sight. Kill the women, kill the children, kill the old people, kill the babies.” He used a slur for gay people. “Kill them all.”
Meyers took the bait. He said the “black nation” has been suffering “wacky” and “unhinged” leadership such as “the likes of Keith Ellison, Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It goes on and on and on.” Meyers added, “The nation has become racialized and radicalized in terms of the leadership tier.” Meyers went on to say that Ellison came on the show to talk up “the black messiah,” aka President Obama, and wage war on Fox.
But again, Hannity jumped in to make it racial.
This is really serious. Inasmuch as Farrakhan, one of the most divisive figures in our culture, rabid anti-Semite, racist. Khalid Muhammad: kill the women and everything white that’s in sight, kill the women, kill the babies…
He was interrupted by Meyers who exclaimed excitedly, “Don’t forget, don’t forget the Congressional Black Caucus! They entered a sacred covenant with Minister Louis Farrakhan!”
Did he mean the one that was renounced in 1994, 12 years before Ellison arrived in the House of Representatives?
Hannity continued prodding his guests for more racial attacks.
Do we have somebody then in Congress that is the equivalent of on one side, of what the Klan is? Because I view the rabid rantings of Khalid Muhammad as frightening, in terms of racism, anti-Semitism. …Farrakhan’s newspaper once said, ‘The God that teaches me… that the white man is the skunk of the planet earth.’
As Meyers went on to attack African Americans for voting for candidates merely because they’re black (and ignoring the fact that Herman Cain is much less popular among African Africans, than, say, Hillary Clinton), Hannity predicted that his guests would be attacked for “for calling out people who are racially bigoted.”
Nah. Meyers and Borelli were just Hannity’s stooges. The master baiter of race in this segment was definitely Sean Hannity.
Rep. Keith Ellison had an epic confrontation with Sean Hannity tonight over one of Hannity’s mashup videos that purported to smear President Obama over the sequester. Or, as Hannity called it, "a Hannity highlight reel of President Panic in action." Ellison didn’t mince his words, telling Hannity, “Quite frankly, you are the worst excuse for a journalist I’ve ever seen.” Things went downhill from there until Hannity finally ended the interview.
Quite frankly, you are the worst excuse for a journalist I’ve ever seen. …What you just displayed was not journalism. It was yellow journalism. It wasn’t anything close to try to tell the American people what’s really going on. I mean it’s just shocking.
…Every journalistic ethic I have ever heard of was just violated by you.
…You are a shill for the Republican party. …You alibi them 100% of the time.
Hannity was surprisingly restrained, probably because he had a Congressman on the show. But finally, he said, “Congressman, you are a total waste of time.” And he ended the interview.