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Hannity Obsessed With Discrediting African Americans - And FOX News Helps

Reported by Ellen - April 28, 2007 -

Let’s start with the good news. In a refreshing change of pace, Hannity & Colmes hosted an African American last night (4/27/07) to offer another perspective from the “martyred Imus” meme that has become almost daily fare on the show. Alan Colmes asked probing but fair questions of guest Rev. Jacques DeGraff. Sean Hannity, on the other hand, ducked the debate and spent his entire portion of the interview obsessively trying to prove DeGraff was prejudiced. This has become an all-too-familiar scenario on Hannity & Colmes. With video.

The previous night, I had criticized the show for not considering that African Americans might have a different perspective on Imus – and his history of racial insults – than his two white colleagues, Hannity and Colmes. So I was glad to see DeGraff offer a well-crafted argument to Colmes as to why the firing was deserved. I wasn’t even too peeved that while Imus producer Bernard McGuirk got the equivalent of three segments at the beginning of the show to offer his side of the story the night before, DeGraff got one, in the second half of the show, well behind the latest on Alec Baldwin. Nor was I terribly upset that the clips of McGuirk’s interview played at the beginning of DeGraff's segment had been selected in way that made him seem far more moderately critical of Al Sharpton than the reality. In fact, McGuirk called Sharpton a terrorist, a skunk and worse. Yet Colmes read in his intro to the DeGraff discussion that McGuirk said Sharpton had applied “terrorist-like pressure” (though Colmes made it clear later in the discussion what McGuirk had actually said).

But when Hannity’s turn with DeGraff began, Hannity refused to talk about Imus. Instead, Hannity diverted the rest of the discussion into yet another of his ad hominem attacks on Al Sharpton. The show has yet to catalog Imus and McGuirk’s long history of racial insults thus leaving the viewer with the impression that the “nappy-headed ho” was nothing more than an isolated incident where the hosts accidentally went too far. But Hannity can’t seem to get enough of cataloguing Sharpton’s old offenses. He went through them again last night, then demanded that DeGraff either condemn Sharpton or explain why he had a “double standard.”

Unfortunately, DeGraff seemed unfamiliar with and unprepared for Hannity’s well-worn tactics of changing the subject to attacking African Americans whenever the issue is race. Besides the Sharpton attacks linked to above, see, for example, Hannity's attacks on Louis Farrakhan and Charles Rangel while the Katrina issues were still hot; attacks on Louis Farrakhan while Bill Bennett was on the hot seat for his "You could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down" comment; his attacks on New York City Councilman Charles Barron immediately after the shooting of the unarmed, African American bridegroom by police. And for even more examples, check out Robert Greenwald's and Brave New Film's video called FOX Attacks Black America (immediately below the DeGraff video). Guess who is featured in it prominently?