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Racially Divisive Hannity Claims To Dislike Divisive Politics

Reported by Ellen - January 16, 2008 -

Is there any person on television more divisive than Sean Hannity? I don’t think so. Yet, with a straight face, he claimed on last night’s (1/15/08) Hannity & Colmes that he found divisive politics, and particularly racially divisive politics, distasteful. He further pretended that only Democrats use the tactic. Meanwhile, he ignored his own lengthy history of racial divisiveness. “Democratic strategist” Kirsten Powers either didn’t notice or didn’t care about calling Hannity on such an obvious whopper. She didn’t even bother to point out that Republicans have played some seriously divisive politics themselves. With video.

Immediately preceding the segment with Powers, Dick Morris had started in again with his accusation that Hillary Clinton was deliberately creating a racial divide in order to win the Democratic nomination. But when asked by Alan Colmes to comment on Morris' assertion, Powers took a gratuitous swipe at her own Party (which we've learned to expect from her) and overlooked the fact that Clinton and Obama have vowed to put aside their race tiff. In concert with the FOX News meme, Powers said, “There’s definitely a division going on. We can’t deny that… It’s not very enjoyable to watch what’s going on right now… I think that she’s got a problem with African Americans. Now I don’t agree with Dick Morris that it was a strategy because I highly doubt they would have done it right before South Carolina. But it exists nonetheless.”

It was the Republican guest, Michael Steele, who pointed out that Clinton and Obama have agreed to patch the rift.

Hannity, of course, quickly got on his high horse. “I agree with you that this isn't enjoyable. Whenever you have any type of divisive politics, be it about race or about gender or about class warfare. But usually, the Democrats play this against Republicans. The 1998 Missouri radio ad that said if you elect Republicans, crosses are gonna burn. The James Byrd ad that they used in 2000 was racially despicable. Hillary’s already played the gender card. The fact that Democrats are fighting amongst each other – it’s sort of coming back to bite them because this is the tactics they use against Republicans."

Powers managed to muster up enough enthusiasm for her job to tell Hannity that she disagreed, although in the mildest, most milquetoastian terms. “I don’t know, Sean. I don’t think that – I think that part of this has been a little bit, the media has, you know, overblown some things that have happened. Like what Bill Clinton said was not racist. I’m sorry, it just wasn’t. He was very clear that he was talking about the war.”

Hannity said he wasn't talking about Clinton but about Democrats, in general. “I’m saying that the divisiveness, that the race card is played every election by the Democratic Party. The James Byrd ad is a classic example. The Missouri radio ad is a classic example. Hillary’s played the gender card."

Powers replied, "Well, I don’t agree that she’s played the gender card and I think that she has also not played the race card." She went on to argue against Hannity that Clinton never played the gender card.

But Powers never confronted Hannity on his own divisiveness, nor did she think it worth mentioning the Republicans' Willie Horton ad (in which FOX News chief Roger Ailes was involved) nor the smear campaign against John McCain about his supposed African American love child nor even the recent “call me” ad against Harold Ford, Jr.

Hannity turned to Steele and claimed, “I have, over the years, on my radio show, for now 20 years, been talking about how divisive racial politics are used in every election. You can predict it with certainty. But now it’s the Democrats (on the receiving end).

"It’s an ugly side of politics that really has no business in politics," Steele said.

"Yeah, I agree," Hannity said.

Good to know. Because we'll be sure to remind Hannity he feels that way should he forget in the weeks and months to come.