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Hannity Spews Lie After Lie on Dayside

Reported by Janie - March 7, 2006

Fox host Sean Hannity appeared on yesterday's episode of Dayside to continue his campaign of misinformation, and discuss the case of the Colorado teacher who compared Bush's words to Hitler's words, and received a great deal of help from the editing team of Dayside.

The segment began with a conversation regarding the High School in Parsippany that is holding a mock war crimes trial, where Bush is being prosecuted. Both sides are being presented through the "lawyers" and the class will not be issuing a verdict in the case. Surprisingly, Hannity actually agreed this was an ok thing to do, but had to add his personal opinion about Bush, "You know, as long as they give both sides, I don't really have a problem with it, although it's, you can tell by the way war crimes. This President is a great liberator, as long as that case is being made, that women that could never work before can now work in Afghanistan, that women could not go to school can now go to school. Maybe we can remind the students and show them images of the mass graves with hundreds of thousands of dead bodies, and maybe we can ask the question is Iraq better off. As long as those questions are raised, and the kids get both sides, I don't have a problem.

Comment: "This President is a Great Liberator"? Well, at least he showed his immense bias in that statement. As for showing the students images of the mass graves... sure! As long as the video of Fallujah is also shown, and images of the innocents (not all were innocent, of course) that were literally melted by White Phosphorus is also exposed.

Co-host Juliet Huddy continued to show her ignorance by asking, "Well, wasn't the plan initially at the end to have a verdict, by a 5 teacher International Court of Justice? When you got the teachers then weighing in, and they're giving their verdict, that does seem a little bit odd, they did cancel that though."

Comment: This is a high school class. A verdict would show who WON the case, who presented the best argument. It would not reflect if Bush was actually guilty or not!

At this point, Hannity got into the case of the Colorado teacher, Jay Bennish, that compared Hitler's rhetoric (NOT actions) to Bush's rhetoric.

SH: "The problem is around Universities and High schools, and we see it in this case in Colorado, is literally that you have a captive audience of students, you have teachers not educating, like in the case in Colorado, the teacher is supposed to be teaching about geography and is referring to the President and comparing him to Adolf Hitler. He's making excuses for Al Qaeda, quote 'it was a military target', the World Trade Center. America is not the best country on the face of the earth. They come in with these conclusions, the kids are a captive audience, they don't have the ability to challenge him. If they do, they get a lower grade or they get mocked and made fun of in school. It really is a problem. The great news out of this Colorado case, and I've said this for many years, tape these teachers. If they're proud of what they're saying behind closed doors, in private, to 14 year olds, why should they be afraid to debate these issues publicly."

Comment: Sean Hannity is a flat out liar. He completely misrepresents what Bennish says to promote, once again, his tyrannical right-wing agenda. Let's compare what Hannity said to what Bennish actually said.

SH: "He's making excuses for Al Qaeda, quote 'it was a military target', the World Trade Center"

JB: "You need to understand something — that when al-Qaida attacked America on Sept. 11, in their view they're not attacking innocent people. The CIA had an office in the World Trade Center. The Pentagon is a military target. The White House was a military target. Congress is a military target. The World Trade Center is the economic center of our entire economy. The FBI, who tracks down terrorists and so on and so forth around the world, has offices in the World Trade Center. Some of the companies that work in the World Trade Center are these huge, multinational corporations that are directly involved in the military industrial complex, in supporting corrupt dictatorships in the Middle East. And so in the minds of al-Qaida, they're not attacking innocent people. They're attacking legitimate targets, people who have blood on their hands as far as they're concerned. We portray them as innocent because they are our friends and neighbors, family, loved ones. I mean I had one of my best friends from high school, elementary school and birth, lives in lower Manhattan. . . ."

Comment: What exactly did Bennish say that was incorrect? Is it inappropriate to discuss WHY Al Qaeda felt it appropriate to attack us on 9/11? WHY they chose the targets they chose? Bennish gives a clear, ACCURATE answer from another perspective. I guess that's illegal in this country now. Once again Hannity proved to be nothing more than a liar with the intent to misinform viewers.

Not to mention Hannity's claim that the students were a "captive audience". If they felt they were held captive by this teacher, they could walk-out or complain to administrators. They did it in support of the teacher after his suspension! And why in the world would a teacher, who Hannity claims is trying to keep the students captive say that he was "not in any way implying that you should agree with me. I don't even know if I'm necessarily taking a position. But what I'm trying to do is get you to think about these issues more in-depth."

They continued the segment by playing a portion of the tape of Bennish, which was recorded by a student in his class. This is what they played:

"He started off his speech by talking about how America should be the country that dominates the world. That we have been blessed, essentially by God, to have the most civilized, most advanced, best system, and that it's our duty as citizens to use the military to go out into the world and make the world like us. Sounds a lot like the things Adolf Hitler used to say. We're the only ones who are right, everyone else is backwards and it's our job to conquer the world and make sure they all live just like we want them to."

But just last week, they played a slightly longer version of the tape:

"He started off his speech by talking about how America should be the country that dominates the world. That we have been blessed, essentially by God, to have the most civilized, most advanced, best system, and that it's our duty as citizens to use the military to go out into the world and make the world like us. Sounds a lot like the things Adolf Hitler used to say. We're the only ones who are right, everyone else is backwards and it's our job to conquer the world and make sure they all live just like we want them to. Now, I'm not saying that Bush and Hitler are exactly the same, obviously they're not, ok? But there are some eerie similarities to the tones that they use. They are very ethnocentric."

Comment: So to further their agenda, they actually edited the portion of the tape where Bennish CLEARLY states that he is not comparing Bush to Hitler, but merely their TONE. Fair and Balanced? What a joke.

Hannity continued: "That teacher should be fired. (Applause) I don't say that lightly. I say that in the context of all the remarks. He made excuses for Al Qaeda, yet he calls Israel a terrorist nation. He said, well some people see the American flag and the Nazi flag as similar. Now I'm thinking that's inappropriate for children as a captive audience in that particular situation."

Comment: Ahhhh, MORE lies! Here is what Bennish said in regards to the flag: "I mean, to many Native Americans, that flag is no different than the Nazi flag or the Confederate flag. It represents the people that came and stole their land, lied, brought disease, rape, pillage, destruction, etc. So it all depends upon varying people's perspectives varying."

Mike Jerrick opened the segment to audience members, and after the first comment supporting Hannity, Jerrick complained, "And another thing. I think he started to spin out of control right from the top when he called President Bush, you know, a coke addict and an alcoholic. That's the way he opened the comments."

Comment: Again, where is the lie? Bush admitted to being an alcoholic prior to 1986, and claims have been circulating long before he became President that he was arrested for cocaine in 1972.

Another audience member got into the discussion at this point, and gave Hannity a run for his money!

AM: "You're allowed to disagree with people and governments in this country, and you have a right to have an opinion..." (inaudible, all hosts were talking over him)

JH: "These are high school kids and the intimidation factor is there, don't you think?"

SH: "Sir, you have a right, but if I'm sending my kid to school I do not want you calling our President a Nazi..."

AM: "You can call him whatever you want, people make fun of him on Jay Leno. He's a joke. He's a joke. I don't believe their brave men, I think they're people that have a false interpretation that they're serving their government and their people and they're not giving us peace and prosperity and their..." (Jerrick and Hannity talked over him, end of sentence was inaudible)

SH: "But not before a captive audience of 15 yr olds."

Comment: From his earlier quote, he claimed they were 14. Which is it Mr. Hannity?

AM: "As a teacher you're allowed to have, and allow your students to have free opinions, your not forcing your opinion on them."

JH: "Let me ask a question. You're in high school, with all due respect, you're in high school, do you have the intellectual capacity.."

AM: "Yes."

JH: "...I'm not going to be intimidated by a teacher if I don't agree with what they say."

AM: "You have to start to form an opinion, to form your own mind."

Jerrick then posed an excellent question to Hannity, which he managed to avoid answering "What if he was praising President Bush as a great leader? Should he not be saying that either?"

SH: "Look, geography has to do with geography. This is not.. Here's the point. He is taking advantage of his position as a teacher and he's using it to push forward his agenda. Look, I make my living, sir with the first amendment. I give my opinion 4 hours a day, some people hate me, probably you, but the point is, that's what I do. Not to students, I don't do it with a captive audience, not when they don't have an opportunity to fully and completely understand all the surrounding issues."

After a few more audience members siding with Hannity, he finished with, "What bothers me too is when you put it in the context of history of what this man is saying about the American flag and comparisons to the Nazi flag, what is your knowledge of Nazi Germany, and what is your knowledge of former Stalinist Russia, and what is your knowledge of Pol Pot and the Killing Fields? Why haven't you shown your students the mass graves that were in Iraq, you know there has been evil in the last hundred years of human history, on a scale that is unimaginable, and yet, he's going to make these superfluous comments about America. I look at America, and if it were not for the United States the sacrifice, the blood, the sweat, the tears and the financial burden, I don't see a lot of freedom in the world at all. That's the lesson that ought to be taught."

Comment: So apparently Hannity wants nothing more than pro-American propaganda taught in our schools. No critical thinking, no attempting to think of how others feel, just plain, simple propaganda to create more little Hannity-esque tyrants running around.

There were no other guests brought onto the segment, and other than the one outstanding audience members, no other side was given, no facts were corrected and the viewers were life with nothing but "Hannitized" propaganda.

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