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Geraldo And Hannity Lump Together Somalia And Iraq War, Then Chauvinistically Misrepresent Both

Reported by Ellen - January 10, 2007 -

In a biased, one-sided and incomplete interview on last night’s Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity and Geraldo Rivera combined a discussion about the military action(s) in Somalia with the Iraq war and the execution of Saddam Hussein. Rivera and Hannity trumpeted the US attacks in Somalia without mentioning that it was still unclear whether the US managed to hit its prime targets. It was quite possible they didn’t care. Rivera continually referred to the Somali targets as “Islamists,” as opposed to “Al Qaeda,” as the Pentagon describes them, thus implying that any and all Muslims are the enemy. Then, as the subject moved to Saddam Hussein’s execution, Geraldo misrepresented Iraqis as superstitious bumpkins.

The last time I saw Geraldo discuss the War on Terror, he was all choked up about “a nation aborning” in Iraq. Last night, that enthusiasm had switched to Somalia. “Now Somalia might be on the road to healing,” he grandly told an approving Sean Hannity.

Alan Colmes was on vacation so Hannity took the opportunity to shut out his substitute co-host from participating in the discussion. “The thing I’m most happy about, and I think the American people need to understand,” Hannity said, “We’re going after every leader, every head, every organizer, every person responsible for every past attack.”

But he forgot to mention that nobody knows, at least as of the time of that discussion, whether our actions have been successful. As the Christian Science Monitor reports in today’s paper, “At press time, a key question is whether the US, in its first overt military operation in Somalia since the infamous "BlackHawk Down" intervention in 1992 and '93, has managed to hit the prime targets.” Nor was there any concern about reports that numerous civilians had been killed, including a four year-old boy, as per an article on FOXNews.com.

Also not discussed was the possibility of an anti-American backlash. As the FOXNews.com article further stated, “Others in the capital said the attacks would only increase anti-American sentiment in the largely Muslim country. Already, many in predominantly Muslim Somalia had resented the presence of troops from neighboring Ethiopia, which has a large Christian population and has fought two brutal wars with Somalia, most recently in 1977.”

The only concern for Hannity and Geraldo in the war on terror was the lack of Muslim gratitude over the execution of Saddam. Despite his sentimentality over a “nation aborning” in January 2005, Geraldo revealed he understood little or nothing about the Iraqis as he griped, “When I look at the way Saddam died… and I compare it to how the Al Qaeda and Sunni terrorists are killing people on a daily basis – they’re all killing, Shiites as well… why is it that the Islamic world isn’t complaining about the barbarism that takes place on a daily basis and instead they latch onto this?”

Hannity replied, “It’s even more than that. Look at the mass graves. You don’t get the same reaction… We have images (of Saddam’s atrocities) to show the world and people are more upset at that video and the other video.”

Rivera grandiosely decided he knew better than the Iraqis how to respond. “The best thing Saddam ever did was to die proudly…. But to make a big fuss about him being taunted by these Shiites whose families have been raped and murdered by this guy for decades, I think is really misguided.”

The entire discussion served as a pretext to show – twice – the revolting video of Saddam lying dead with a wound in his neck. With his own grandstanding Hanctimony, Hannity announced that “People need to see” the videos.

Geraldo agreed because, in his view, the Iraqis are backwards hicks. “The only way people would have believed that (Saddam and his sons) are dead is to see their corpses… People, especially tribal people, who have lived a basically agrarian life for centuries and still do in many ways, deeply supersititous, religion plays such a deep part in their lives, if they don’t see the evidence, themselves, I’m sure there are still people who don’t believe it.”

In fact, agriculture, forestry and fishing (combined) represents only 16% of the Iraqi workforce, and the population is 67% urban.

You can watch a video of the segment on the Hannity & Colmes website.

If you’d like to let FOX News know that it’s not usually a good idea to insult the populations whose hearts and minds you’re trying to win, you can reach them at comments@foxnews.com or Hannity@foxnews.com.