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Hannity Plays The Race Card Against Obama And Echoes Viral Attack Email

Reported by Ellen - January 10, 2008 -

Here we go again. White supremacist sympathizer and proven bigot Sean Hannity once again pulled out the race card on Barack Obama on last night's (1/9/08) Hannity & Colmes. No one familiar with Hannity's history of hostility toward African Americans should be surprised that he would do this, especially once Obama won the Iowa caucuses. It was also expected that Hannity wouldn’t even have the intellectual honesty (to borrow one of his own favorite phrases) to openly declare his prejudice. Instead, Hannity slyly “just asked” whether or not the precepts of Obama’s church didn’t indicate a racist nature on his part. With video.

The issue arose during an interview with former Senator Bill Bradley, an Obama supporter. I’ve always liked Bradley but he was obviously unprepared to deal with the question. There’s no excuse for that. It’s one of the top issues on Snopes.com.

Hannity played the race card at about 1:57 into the interview. It's hard to imagine that he wouldn't have known that Bradley has nothing to do with Obama's church but Hannity didn't let that stop him from trying to smear anyway. Hannity asked, in a tone that falsely signalled he had not broached the topic before, "I want to ask you something controversial about Barack Obama. This has not gotten a lot of play." (Fact check: Hannity has repeatedly harped on this issue and it has gotten enough play to have made it to Snopes.com)

Hannity continued, "We’ve invited (Obama) on the program. He won’t come on (though Hannity neglected to mention that Obama appeared on FOX & Friends earlier that very day). He has a controversial pastor (who did come on the program, a fact Hannity conveniently left out, along with the fact that Hannity berated and harangued the pastor as a racist). His name is Pastor Jeremiah Wright. And on his thing (I believe Hannity meant the church’s website), he asks people to pledge to acquire skills available to the BLACK (Hannity’s emphasis) community, strengthening BLACK institutions, pledging allegiance to all BLACK leadership who have embraced a BLACK value system. Personal commitment to the BLACK value system."

Then in a disingenuously innocent voice, he added, “That sounds divisive to me.”

Then, moving in for the kill (because whenever the subject is race, Hannity obsesses about privileges blacks have that whites don’t), Hannity added, “And if you replace the word black with white, wouldn’t some people call that racist?"

Yes, but as the author of an article excerpted on Snopes says,

“If it was the Holy Trinity Polish Church, on Chicago’s North Side, proclaiming its Polishness, who’d care?... Remove black and substitute another American ethnic group so that Trinity’s Concept No. 6 reads: 'Adherence to the Mexican Work Ethic.’ Does that still sound separatist? Or racist? Of course not. But, if you’re insincerely espousing color blindness, while holding the race card up your sleeve, you know you can easily trump African-American ethnic pride every time.”

Bradley seemed not to know a thing about Obama’s church or the issue at hand. Bradley answered, “I don’t know what’s the composition of his church. If his church is all black, then it sounds to me like he’s addressing his parishioners very directly.”

Hannity quickly interjected, "As I understand, it’s a mixed congregation. But to specifically divide like that along racial lines. I’m only asking the question in this context." Yeah, sure he was.

Query: If it’s a mixed congregation, wouldn’t that prove that the church is not divisive and separatist?

Bradley had a good comeback which Hannity did not refute: "I don’t think that whoever is Barack Obama’s pastor is relevant. I think the question is what about Barack Obama? What does he believe and what is he gonna mean to the country. And to me, unless we can get people to believe in our democracy, then we’re not going to be able to do the things we need to do on health, education, taxes, whatever the issue."

The discussion moved on.

Coincidentally, many of Hannity's talking points just happened to match those in a viral email attacking Obama on the same issues. The email, posted on Snopes, also emphasizes the BLACK (their emphasis) focus of the church along with the fact that the issue hasn't gotten much play in the media.