Hannity And FOX News Bigots Try To Paint Rep. Ellison As Black Muslim Radical
Reported by Ellen - July 17, 2007 -
FOX News viewers are used to seeing criticism of President Bush trumped up into “controversy” over the person making it. “Did (fill in the Democratic or liberal name) go too far?” is the usual question. As Chrish pointed out, Republicans or conservatives can say the most vile and hostile things about Democrats and it’s never an issue. But on last night’s (7/16/07) Hannity & Colmes, FOX News took it two steps further. Not content to just attack Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison for comparing Bush to Hitler, the “fair and balanced” network also repeatedly harped on the fact that Ellison is Muslim, even though that had no bearing on his comments about Bush. As icing on the bigoted cake, Hannity & Colmes chose a black radical to argue on Ellison's behalf, rather than a mainstream Democrat. With video.
In the clip of Ellison at the beginning of the discussion, he likened President Bush’s reaction to 9/11 to Hitler’s to the burning of the Reichstag. But while there was nothing religious or faith-oriented in Ellison’s “controversial” comments, FOX News continually emphasized his Muslim faith.
In at least two teasers for the discussion, he was identified as a Muslim Congressman. On the Hannity & Colmes website, the blurb for last night’s show includes “Why is the first Muslim American member of Congress comparing the Bush White House to Nazi Germany?” The chyron during the discussion read "First Muslim Congressman likens Pres Bush To Hitler." Reader Jeff sent us the screen grab below from FOXNews.com (they seem to have changed their headline since, by the way).
Hannity opened the discussion by saying, “America’s first Muslim Congressman, Keith Ellison, finds himself at the center of ANOTHER storm.” What was the first? The prior bigoted attack against Ellison for using the Koran in his ceremonial swearing in?
I’m sure there are plenty of Democratic Party operatives who would have been willing and able to defend Ellison’s analogy. But the Hannity & Colmes producers chose radical black Muslim Malik Zulu Shabazz, of the New Black Panther Party.
Hannity wasted no time trying to discredit Shabazz as an anti-Semitic extremist. Unlike Hannity’s pal, Mel Gibson, Ellison has made no anti-Semitic remarks so the attack on Shabazz was a transparent effort to smear Ellison by proxy. I must say that Shabazz did an excellent job of getting his talking points out - that there are legitimate similarities in Bush’s behavior – without going off on any of the 9/11 conspiracy tangents with which Hannity tried to entrap him.
Sadly, even Alan Colmes jumped on the anti-Ellison bandwagon. While Colmes made an effort to distinguish Ellison from Shabazz, he nevertheless emphasized his own disapproval of Ellison’s remarks.