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Hannity Uses New York City Police Shooting To Promote Racial Divide

Reported by Ellen - November 29, 2006 -

Instead of trying to promote harmony and calm the troubled racial tensions following the New York City police slaying of an unarmed bridegroom, Sean Hannity has used his bullyboy pulpit to fan the flames of hostility. Updated: with video.

Last night, 11/28/06, Hannity & Colmes held their second discussion about that terrible incident. The previous night, 11/27/06, Hannity engaged in a shouting match with New York City Councilman Charles Barron in which Hannity accused Barron of being incendiary. So if Hannity was so concerned about not being incendiary, why didn’t he have on a more moderate spokesperson for the black community? Instead, Hannity used Barron the same way he uses the New Black Panthers and Louis Farrakhan – as African-American boogeymen. You can watch the Barron video, called "Wedding Day Slay" on FOXNews.com (in the video box, under "shows," then "Hannity & Colmes"). Disclaimer: I’m a fan of Barron, simply for the reason that he gets in Hannity’s face and tells it like it is. I actually broke out in applause when Barron chastised Hannity for having the disgraced former NYC police commissioner, Bernard Kerik, as a spokesman to represent the other side. The expression on Kerik’s face was priceless.

Last night, the sole guest for the discussion was Geraldo Rivera. I’m not usually a fan of Rivera’s but he provided just the kind of level-headed, non-inflammatory analysis that the situation calls for. So what did Hannity do? He wasted no time trying to whip up hatred and racial enmity.

As usual, Hannity’s pretext for racial (or any other) enmity was an accusation that the other side was doing it. “I’m always concerned about a rush to judgment,” Hannity told Rivera. Meaning, of course, that he’s always concerned about a rush to judgment about someone toward whom he’s sympathetic. Rushing to judgment against Nancy Pelosi, for marching in a parade with a NAMBLA advocate, for example, is A-OK. Hannity told Rivera, “I’m concerned about the use of racial politics that may be used in this particular case.” For Hannity, the term “racial politics” means Black politics. So concerned is he that it seems to be his primary interest in the case.

Hannity evidenced no interest in how an unarmed man came to be slain in a hail of bullets from a team of police officers supposedly on vice patrol. Instead, Hannity complained about Barron and Rev. Al Sharpton. As Geraldo defended Sharpton (eloquently, I thought), Hannity sulkily asked, “Did he ever apologize for Tawana Brawley? No.” Did Ann Coulter ever apologize for any of the hideous poison she has spewed? Did Hannity ever ask for one? No.

“Sean, you don’t mark a man by one error,” Rivera said. “You have to see him through the eyes of these black youngsters, also. You have to understand that our perception of Sharpton is not the way he’s perceived.”

Hannity acknowledged that Sharpton is appealing. “But it doesn’t take away or negate the fact that he has played racial politics in the past in a very, very significant way.”

Rivera hit the nail on the head with his response. “Aren’t you changing the subject? Isn’t the subject Sean Bell was going to get married last Saturday, instead he was at a funeral, memorial service last Saturday?”

No, not for Hannity. He reiterated that his concern was a “rush to judgment.” He claimed that the cops were “attacked” in the car. “Here’s what I’m concerned about. You have a guy like Charles Barron, a New York City councilman, who’s out there saying ‘I’m fed up. I’m not asking my people to be passive anymore… When and if (NY authorities) don’t respond… then don’t ask us to ask our people to be peaceful.” Hannity never evidenced a moment of concern that Ann Coulter “joked” about killing a Supreme Court Justice or that she regretted Timothy McVeigh didn’t bomb The New York Times building. But his concern about racial divisiveness seems to know no bounds when it comes to something an African-American might do. “Is there a possibility that (Barron's) creating severe, significant racial strife in the City?” Hannity worried.

Then why not do your part to mitigate it, Mr. Great American, instead of just pointing fingers while complaining that it’s the other guy stirring the pot?

The video starts with the end of Alan Colmes' portion of the interview.