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In Hannity’s America, Some Religions Are Better Than Others

Reported by Chrish - December 10, 2007 -

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla

Sean Hannity is a master of propaganda and sometimes his propaganda is subtly intertwined with what appears to be merely an informational report. Last night’s (December 9th) “Hannity’s America” was, on the surface, a report about the importance of faith in the life of a candidate, but it also contained subtle innuendos about Hillary Clinton and a straight out bashing of Barack Obama. (Comment: Now that Obama is actually ahead in some of the primary polls, expect more smear about him from Smearmeister Sean).

At the beginning of the segment, Hannity asked if voters really cared about faith and then asserted that faith and politics may be forever linked. He spoke about how faith was a personal narrative that was important to Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush. (Comment: I don’t recall that Reagan even belonged to a specific denomination; but he knew that faith “played well” with republican conservatives.) Hannity said that a “candidate’s faith defines them and helps explain their positions on issues”. While saying this, a poster appeared with the words “stop abortion now.” He added “abortion, stem cell research, prayer in school. Are these all not linked to religious conviction?” (Comment: Hannity playing to his demographics? Although his pal Giuliani is liberal on these issues!) He then showed a Fox poll which indicated, according to Hannity, that Americans weren’t “wild” about supporting a Mormon candidate and (for those who didn’t see the figure) that “only 10% would vote for a Muslim.

Hannity played clips of Romney’s and Kennedy’s “faith” speeches after which he noted that John McCain has had a “rocky relationship “ with evangelicals; but after “having learned his lesson, he went to great lengths to court religious leaders.” (photo of McCain embracing Falwell.) Hannity worked in a little Clinton dig when he said that while Hillary Clinton “doesn’t discuss her faith as much as other candidates, she knows the value of a good photo opportunity by stopping by Rick Warren’s church for a discussion on AIDS.” He stated that Mike Huckabee’s conservative Christian roots will help him and that Huckabee refuses to criticize Romney’s Mormonism. (Comment: what about Rudy’s faith?)

Just as I was thinking that this was a relatively innocuous segment, I was jolted back to reality as Hannity pulled out his propaganda guns and fired them full blast at Barack Obama. He discussed how a Clinton volunteer in Iowa is no longer part of the campaign after having sent e-mails claiming that Obama was a Muslim and then he claimed that after publishing an article about this, the Washington Post received an “avalanche of hate mail…from left wing bloggers accusing the paper of “Swifboating Obama.” (According to the WAPO’s assistant managing editor Bill Hamilton, in Politico, there were angry letters claiming that the article discussed “rumors” about Obama without mentioning that they’ve been thoroughly discredited. He said that “we did something we should be more careful about.” Even WAPO’s Howard Kurtz said that he “didn’t believe the piece was well executed.”)

Hannity then launched into some Swift boating of his own, when he discussed Obama’s membership in a United Church of Christ which endorses “liberation theology” and whose pastor, Jeremiah Wright, was disinvited to Obama’s campaign announcement because of his “Afro-centric views.” He did not add that Obama soon apologized to Wright who said that Obama took some “bad advice” from his campaign and “don’t let somebody outside our camp divide us.”

Hannity then played a segment of his interview with Pastor Wright, discussed in detail by News Hounds Ellen here, where Mr. Hanctimony said “As a Christian, you should not separate by race.” (Comment: this church does not endorse segregation; but race baiting Hannity had several other segments, described by Ellen here and here where this was implied) Hannity, who usually bashes the NY Times, quoted from a NYT article that described Mr. Wright and Obama’s involvement with the church. Hannity featured a quote from University of Chicago Professor, Dr. Dwight Hopkins, regarding black liberation: “...some people hear it as racism in reverse....” Hannity left out the rest of the sentence, “...while blacks hear, ‘yes we are somebody, we’re also made in God’s image.’”

Hannity ended his homily (while showing a shot of a Catholic church with a close-up of a crucifix – non-inclusive imagery as it is a symbol not embraced by many Protestants and certainly not Jews) with the statement that “religion is part our country’s heritage and part of the political discussion for better or worse.”

Comment: In Hannity’s non-inclusive America, it is definitely for the worst.

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla