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On FOX News, American Democracy Takes A Back Seat To Bashing African-Americans

Reported by Ellen - April 22, 2006

Alan Colmes was in New Orleans Friday (4/21/06), touring the Ninth Ward and meeting with Jesse Jackson, among others. There’s a mayoral primary in New Orleans Saturday with significant questions about voting opportunities for the evacuees and how that may affect the electoral process. But those issues, with so many implications for our democracy, were given short shrift on Hannity & Colmes and overlooked altogether by Sean Hannity.

Before anything about New Orleans was discussed, there was a half-hour discussion devoted to the Duke rape case. As always, the emphasis was on “new revelations” that damaged the credibility of the accuser. Sean Hannity repeated his nightly cry for fairness while at the same time adopting the defense attorneys’ talking points as his own and expressing his regret that he was unable to out the identity of the accuser.

But eventually, there was time for Jackson and the voting issues. Jackson laid out his concerns – a lack of transparency in the process and lack of access for the evacuees. He noted that Iraqi Americans had been allowed to vote in the Iraqi elections from Michigan and other remote locations but not the residents of New Orleans. “The most able and the most mobile, they will have more access than those who are in exile. That’s fundamentally unfair.”

Alan Colmes asked why we are still having voting problems six years after the 2000 election problems.

“Because we do not have as Americans a Constitutional right to vote. We have states' rights to vote. We have 50 states' separate and unequal elections.” He added that he plans to maximize turnout Saturday and file a lawsuit to “protect” the Voting Rights Act. You can read more about the issues surrounding the New Orleans election on The Times-Picayune website.

This sounds like the kind of all-American controversy that FOX News should love but after a few brief comments, the conversation turned back to Duke. Sean Hannity demanded to know whether or not Jackson would rescind his offer to pay the tuition of the accuser if it turned out that the rape had not occurred. As for New Orleans, the only issue on Sean Hannity’s mind was bashing Mayor Nagin. “When Mayor Nagin said this city will be a chocolate city, when he said this city will be a majority African-American city, a lot of people view that as racist.”

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