FOX News Hosts Disgraced Radio Host Armstrong Williams To Berate BET For Hosting Jena 6 Defendants
Reported by Ellen - October 27, 2007 -
FOX News, the network that regularly offers pundit chairs to the likes of Bernard Kerik, Tom DeLay and, of course, Oliver North (who has his own show), hypocritically attacked BET for hosting two of the Jena 6 defendants as co-presenters of the Video of the Year award. As an extra measure of hypocrisy, the “fair and balanced” network brought on disgraced radio personality Armstrong Williams to complain that the Jena boys should have stayed home in shame. With video.
The Jena, Louisiana boys did not win any awards. BET host Katt Williams said during the show, “No way are we condoning” the “six-on-one-beat-down” against a white student that landed the charges against the six defendants now known as the Jena 6. But Hannity and Williams threw such a hissy fit, one would have thought the boys were the guests of honor.
The other guest, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (a News Hounds top dog) pointed out that the boys had not been honored “for a beat-down.” Hill added, “What they were doing was showing solidarity for a group of men who had received racial injustice. That was the key issue here. They weren’t cheering for violence. They were cheering for racial justice.”
Hannity was in a bullyboy snit that probably began the instant the Jena 6 won national attention and sympathy. I suspect Hannity & Colmes was the only nationally televised news program that framed the Jena 6 case as an issue of black racism toward whites. Hannity, the former pal of white supremacist Hal Turner, is preoccupied with black racism and discrimination toward whites. Nearly every time the issue is black civil rights, Hannity will allege unfairness toward whites. Sure enough, Hannity later complained in this segment, “I think there’s racism here.” He didn’t mean toward the Jena 6.
Hannity pointed his finger in the air and self-righteously yelled at Hill, “The only problem is whether they should be tried as an adult.” Hannity was wrong as usual. The problem was the disparate treatment between the black and white students.
Hill brought up the fact that a black boy had been beaten in Jena the night before the white student had and that “nothing was done.” Hannity conveniently ignored that fact and, in his bullyboy voice, cut off Hill to go to Williams. “To give these kids this honor after their notoriety, after this kid was beaten unconscious and sent off to a hospital is unconscionable of BET.”
Funny, but Hannity never showed any remorse when Tom DeLay, under indictment for money laundering, implicated in the Jack Abramoff scandals, admonished by the House Ethics Committee and criticized for inciting violence against judges got a standing ovation during a special Hannity & Colmes show before a live audience. Nor did I ever see Hannity object to honoring Bernard Kerik as a pundit after he pleaded guilty to taking “gifts” from mob-related companies. And, of course, there is voter-fraud suspect Ann Coulter for whom Hannity made a special PR appearance to help promote her book.
Williams acknowledged that the Jena case had really been about disparity in the justice system. But then, without any irony, Williams said, “You cannot justify rewarding bad behavior… They should never have been on that stage. These kids should feel a sense of shame. They should be back home, in school, being remorseful about their deeds.”
Alan Colmes started his segment by pointing out that the two boys had not been convicted of a crime. “Clearly, they have not (been) convicted of a crime. They’re not in jail… I understand you’re innocent until proven guilty in this country, last I checked.”
“That’s exactly right,” Hill said. “The issue here is that they were the victims of a racial injustice themselves and we were simply showing solidarity with them. That’s all it was. No one was saying that they were perfect. But you don’t have to be perfect to be respected and protected.”
Colmes continued, “These kids may be motivated and having an opportunity to be on the stage may, in fact, turn their life around and give them hope. Wouldn’t that be a positive outcome?”
Nope, not for Williams. He was obviously more interested in demonizing BET and shaming the boys. “Had these kids been white and they were honored by some MTV with white artists, it would be outrage. They would not be on the stage… There’s a racial double standard here.” You could almost see Hannity smiling off camera.
Hill said, “They were not being honored here. If you listen to the boys’ actual words... We’re here to show what happens when a group of committed young people can organize and fight justice. They were there to tell young people to continue to fight racial injustice, not to draw attention to themselves as heroes but to say a hip-hop community can organize and do positive things. We spend so much time critiquing the hip-hop generation for being obsessed with money and sex and violence, then the one time that we intervene in that moment and say ‘Look, let’s do something positive,’ we’re challenging them for that.”
Once again Williams added, “They should be ashamed, they should be low key and they should be in the classroom trying to learn.”
Apparently, on FOX News, only some people ought to remain disgraced forever. And just like in Jena, Louisiana, the judgment seems to depend a lot on whether you're black or white.