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Hannity Hates Hollywood

Reported by Chrish - December 12, 2007 -

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla

Part of the narrative of the American right wing and their “news” outlet, Fox News, is the meme that Hollywood is full of evil leftists and elitists who espouse causes that do not adhere to right wing, conservative orthodoxy. Those who dare to question or challenge that orthodoxy are smeared by Sean Hannity. Those who support the orthodoxy are given a platform, by Hannity, from which to espouse their views without counterpoint. This, of course, gives Hannity the opportunity to work in “editorial comments” about whatever person or group he is seeking to vilify.

This was certainly the case on the December 8th edition of “Hannity’s America.” Hannity had as his guests right wing Philadelphia talk show host and lawyer Michael Smerconish and Maureen Faulkner, widow of slain Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner. Smerconish and Faulkner have co-written a book, “Murdered by Mumia: A Life Sentence of Loss, Pain, and Injustice” which is about Ms. Faulkner’s experiences during the trial and appeals of Mumia Al Jamal who was convicted of murdering her husband 26 years ago. The case has become a cause celebre with many diverse, international groups who feel that Mumia was not given a fair trial and that there were “flaws in the prosecution's case that were not addressed at the trial, including inconsistencies in police accounts, the absence of useful ballistics reports, and a questionable jury selection process.”

So rather than discuss the case and point out the questions being raised by those who support Mumia, Mr. Hanctimony used the occasion to make patented Hannity points about Hollywood. Hannity greeted Smerconish as “my old friend” (surprise,surprise) and while punching his pudgy fingers into the air said, addressing Ms. Faulkner, “what bothers me more than anything else is that you are being attacked. People are going after you.” Not surprisingly, Hannity didn’t offer any concrete evidence of these “attacks.”

He went on to say that “we have a whole group of elititists out there in Hollywood, the Ed Asner’s and father of the year Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Mike Farrell.” (Comment: In addition to those usual targets of Hannity’s wrath, others who question the Mumia verdict are Nelson Mandela, Danielle Mitterand (former first lady of France) and the Episcopal Church of the United States. The Episcopal Church is the church of choice for many Republicans including George H.W. Bush.) In a typical unsubstantiated comment and example of projection, he added “they don’t know anything about the case and they want him to be freed.” (Comment: Hannity doesn’t know much about this either; because the groups want Mumia to be released and given a new trial. For those who “don’t know anything,” there is an abundance of information on the Free Mumia website.) Smerconish validated Hannity’s evil Hollywood meme when he responded that they’ve “turned it into Hollywood fiction and that’s why we wrote the book.”

Hannity asked Ms. Faulkner, “What was the worst for you? People attacking you? She responded that she had been spit on and chased down a Philadelphia street by M.O.V.E. She claimed that her husband has been “vilified” while Mumia has written books, movies, and given commencement speeches. Hannity added, “He’s a hero. You see Free Mumia tee shirts.” As if on cue, Smerconish added, “just like Che.”

Hannity continued with this “fair and balanced” piece by interviewing “former Mumia supporter” Tony Allen. In response to Hannity’s question about “how did you change,” Allen said that “he grew up” after having “wasted his 20’s supporting this man.” Allen attributed his “turn around” to living in Philidelphia and hearing (surprise, surprise) Michael Smerconish. Hannity, who just doesn’t seem to understand about dissenting opinion, concluded by whining “why is there resistance to looking at truth and fact?”

Comment: For Hannity, “truth and fact” is whatever he deems them to be. Despite his contention that the Mumia verdict was beyond reproach, there are others who don’t agree and those in Hollywood have every right to voice their opinion. If he really wanted to do a “fair and balanced” piece, he could have interviewed, or at least brought up points, offered by David Lindorff who has written a piece debunking Smerconish. He could, but he didn’t because he is clearly not interested in “truth and fact.”

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla