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Sean Hannity’s Racial Divide: It’s Only Racist If A Democrat Says It

Reported by Ellen - January 23, 2006

Sean Hannity, professing outrage over Senator Hillary Clinton’s allegedly racist “plantation” remarks, inadvertently revealed his own racial insensitivity yet again last week when he made it clear that his concern was not whether any feelings had been hurt but that Hillary “got away” with saying what Trent Lott and Bill Bennett could not.

With all the problems in the world, Hannity & Colmes deemed Hillary’s plantation comment worthy of an entire half-hour of its show Wednesday night, 1/18/06. The discussion was purportedly about the “political fall-out” from the “controversial” comments but the guest list alone - three Hillary critics, no Hillary proponents - strongly suggested that the FOX News producers were more interested in causing political fall-out for Clinton than in considering it. The rest of the show more than confirmed that suspicion.

The big “controversy” was that Clinton, criticizing the way Republicans have been running the House of Representatives, said it “has been run like a plantation.” Sean Hannity said “Many people are very upset,” and quoted opprobrium from Rep. Dennis Hastert, Sen. John McCain, Rep. Vito Fossella, Rep. Peter King, Laura Bush and Scott McClellan. Only one defending quote, from Senator Barack Obama, was provided. All the critics were white and Republican but that didn’t faze Hannity in his efforts to nail Clinton as a racist.

Meanwhile, under cover of accusing someone else of being a racist, Hannity used the occasion to attack some of his favorite African-American scapegoats at the same time. “Is there a price to pay for her association with Belafonte and her comments playing the race card, here?”

The first guest was FOX News’ favorite Clinton analyst, Hillary-hater Dick Morris. Not surprisingly, Morris said Clinton would pay a price. He added that a source “very, very close to the Reverend Al Sharpton” said Clinton made that “outrageous comment” in order to “appease” Sharpton so that he’ll support her during the 2008 primaries. Morris also called it “no coincidence” that the day after Laura Bush said Rice should run for president, Hillary “counters” by “coming on to the African-American community.”

Then Hannity started whining about the “double standard” while displaying the very same thing. Jabbing his finger with his bully-boy Hanctimony, he didn’t seem to realize that his next remarks displayed his own racial insensitivity: “Trent Lott makes comments at a 100th birthday, throw-away comments to be funny for a man that was 100 years old. We saw the fall-out. Bill Bennett quotes from a book, it’s not even his theory, he has exculpatory statements surrounding it. Nobody pays attention to that and they want big trouble for Bill Bennett. But yet Democrats hire a former Klansman, Robert Byrd, to be their leader in the Senate, Hillary can associate with Belafonte, who calls the president the world’s greatest terrorist, and then she can make these comments in associations (sic) with something as repugnant as slavery by referring to a plantation. Why is there this double standard?”

Comment: In other words, Hannity’s concern was not whether Lott’s or Bennett’s comments (or even Clinton’s for that matter) offended any African-Americans, it was only the political repercussions that mattered. And while Hannity may hate Belafonte’s comments, throwing a man who was very active in the Civil Rights movement (as Belafonte was) into this mix is a disgusting way of tainting him with racism, too. Furthermore, Hannity knows, or should know, full well that Robert Byrd has apologized and condemned his KKK past. Hannity loves to point the finger at Byrd, implying that dislike of Byrd is evidence of Hannity’s own racial sensitivity. But Hannity has yet to offer a single instance of any racism on Byrd’s part since renouncing the KKK. This is in direct contradiction to Hannity’s repeated displays of racial insensitivity, including his recent failure to commemorate Martin Luther King’s birthday in any way other than to bash Harry Belafonte and Ray Nagin.

Morris, evidently a mind-reader, declared that, unlike Lott, Hillary “did have a racist intention.”

Alan Colmes, on the other hand, was outraged over the outrage and got into a shouting match with Morris. Colmes noted that Clinton had made the same speech a few years before so “she didn’t just pander” to Sharpton. Then Colmes quoted a number of Republicans making similar “plantation” comments. “Talk about a double standard… I could go down the list of people on the right, including (Newt) Gingrich... I never heard this level of upsetment (sic) when the right did it.”

Morris, rather than respond to the substance, tried to shoot the messenger. “Down the list that you undoubtedly got from either the Senator Clinton’s office or the Democratic Committee.”

Colmes got really angry at the suggestion that he was “regurgitating what Clinton tells me to regurgitate. That’s unfair. I did my homework and don’t say that to me.”

Morris continued to knock Clinton, claiming “They churn out that stuff.”

“Is it true or untrue?” Colmes demanded angrily. “Why do you have a double-standard when Republicans do the same thing?”

Hannity quickly ended the segment. Hannity and Colmes are supposed to get equal time with a guest. Colmes got one full minute less than Hannity with Morris.

The next guest was Michael Steele, African-American Republican candidate for governor of Maryland.

Colmes asked again why Republicans didn’t speak out when Republicans made “plantation” comments. Steele never answered the question except to complain how he has been the victim of a double standard and somehow compared the level of outrage against Lott with some incident in which Steele’s credit report had been stolen.

Hannity once again used the cover of alleging racism in others as a pretext for attacking African-Americans. “Why does Hillary not have to, for example, suffer the consequences of associating with Harry Belafonte and his outrageous comments about Colin Powell or about the President or even Mayor Ray Nagin’s comments about the Chocolate City?”

Steele, apparently unaware of just how much airtime had been spent criticizing Clinton’s comments, Belafonte’s comments and Nagin’s comments and how little on Bill Bennett’s comments, took the laughably hypocritical position that the Democrats have a “gotcha” mentality while “The Republicans kind of look at it, and they say, “it’s ignorant, it’s stupid. We’re better better people than that and we need to get past that and get to points where we are talking and communicating about how we can work together. And I think that’s the difference.”

Larry Elder, African-American conservative radio show host was the next guest, there to talk about the “double standard” and “race card strategy” of the Urban League and NAACP. “If you don’t support tax cuts, you’re a bigot. It’s hideous. It’s horrible.”

Once again, Hannity’s main concern was not whether an African-American might have been actually offended by Clinton's remarks but whether someone else might have an advantage when it comes to making racially-tinged comments. “Can you imagine how people might feel if we said vanilla city?”

Colmes, however, still seemed outraged over the undue focus on Clinton's comments. “I just actually can’t believe I’m sitting here and listening to the total ignoring – I have asked now for two nights in a row why when Newt Gingrich says it, when conservative after conservative says it, when they refer to the Democratic plantation, you’re quiet. You’re not as upset, you’re not outraged. You’re only outraged when Hillary Clinton does it. Why is that?”

Elder responded “It was not only what she said, it was the way she said it.”

“Oh, I see,” Colmes said sarcastically. “Go and Google the words ‘Democratic plantation” and see how many Republicans have used that phrase. And come back and let me see how outraged you are by the people on the right who have said the same thing.”

“Double standard,” Colmes said, as Elder proved he’s another pot calling a kettle black by screaming that rather than debate on the merits, Clinton maligned.

Hannity, the eternal victim, agreed. “Thank you for standing up for what’s right here.” Meaning, as usual, his partisan interests only.

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