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Sean Hannity's Hypocrisy And Ignorance About Iraq

Reported by Ellen - August 26, 2005

Sean Hannity was full of sanctimonious indignation (8/25/05) at the organization Code Pink for conducting a vigil outside Walter Reed Army Medical Center calling for greater benefits for veterans. With his characteristically dramatic outrage, Hannity accused Code Pink of disrespecting the soldiers by holding what he insisted was a protest, not a vigil, in front of the hospital. But Hannity must have forgotten that he did almost the exact same thing - albeit for a different cause - in the Terri Schiavo case just a few months ago. Then, in a further irony, Hannity proved just how deep his interest in the troops really goes when he demonstrated a spectacular lack of knowledge of recent events in Iraq.

Just a few months ago, Hannity was parked at his own vigil outside Terri Schiavo's hospice. A hospice is, by definition, filled with people at the end of their lives. But instead of peace and quiet, the other patients who had the bad fortune to be at the end of their lives around the same time and place as Terri Schiavo, had to do so in the middle of a circus. Not only didn't Hannity mind, he took the show to Tampa, joined the crowd and broadcast from there.

But now that the cause was not to his liking, suddenly Hannity found that sort of thing disrespectful. "Soldiers are literally fighting for their lives and you don't have enough respect for them to take your protest somewhere else... You have no respect for those guys that are trying to heal in that hospital... Why don't you take your protest and your free speech rights and stop sticking it in the face of people that are (sic) suffered enough. Why don't you take it elsewhere?"

As Deborah noted in her earlier post, Hannity didn't seem to mind a defaced American flag with a question mark when it was part of the Schiavo vigil. But he found it distasteful when Code Pink displayed its opposition to government policy.

Although the spunky Code Pink representative, Laura Costas, repeatedly told Hannity that outsiders had joined the vigil and distracted from its stated purpose, Hannity chose to focus on a few signs he insisted were from Code Pink: "Maimed For Lies," "Enlist Here, Die For Halliburton," "Impeach George W. Bush." Unfortunately for the sake of Hannity's argument, the signs the audience saw tended to back Code Pink's stated purpose: "Up the V.A. Benefits," "Fund The Wounded, Not The War" and "Support The Troops, Bring Them Home." There was one "Impeach Bush" sign shown but, unless I missed something, neither of the other two Hannity mentioned.

The next segment, with Ann Coulter, revealed Hannity's stunning ignorance about what our troops are doing in Iraq. He told Coulter "We have an Iraqi Constitution now." Had he bothered to read the home page of FOX News' own website, he would have known that we don't. I'd call that a significant mistake for a prime time news host to make, wouldn't you? But wait, there's more.

Hannity, crowing about the new constitution, seemed unaware of the very real pitfalls. To quote from the FOXNews.com article,

With repeated missed deadlines and no sign of compromise, a process designed to bring the country's disparate ethnic, cultural and religious groups closer together appeared instead to be pushing them further apart...

As England's The Independent put it,

The chaos inside the new legislature continued against the background of another surge in violence...

Furthermore, it is quite likely that Iraq will become an Islamic Republic. According to The Independent, secular and women's groups "have claimed that this may result in sharia law and restrictions on female rights."

But no worries for Hannity. He said the constitution "has an extensive bill of rights, individual protections for all individuals. It has freedom of speech rights, freedom of religion rights."

Then Hannity complained that "nobody talks about it." In fact, Hannity is one of those people not talking about it. See, for example, my post from earlier this week in which I noted how Hannity ignored several important developments in Iraq while providing in-depth coverage of what the Prime Minister of Aruba may or may not do about the case of missing teen, Natalee Holloway.

Perhaps if Hannity took the time to learn something about what our troops are facing, his purported support would be more believable.

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