Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Sean Hannity Plays The Race Card Against Barack Obama And Blames The Clintons – Again

Reported by Ellen - January 25, 2008 -

I think that FOX News and Sean Hannity are afraid to attack Barack Obama with the same zest with which they have gone after the Clintons. Whether it’s because they’re afraid of looking like bigots (although they’ve long ago outed themselves to us in that regard) or because Obama is so appealing that they’re afraid the mud will wind up on their own faces – or maybe it’s both those reasons – their Obama attacks have not reached the crescendo one would have expected by now. So what’s a seasoned smearmeister like Hannity to do? Cook up a racist attack and blame it on the Clintons. This time, even Hannity’s conservative guests couldn’t quite get with the program. With video.

In the first of a two-part panel discussion devoted to the “new phase” of the “Clinton/Obama war,” it was hard to even understand what the mud was, much less figure out where it flew. Hannity introduced the discussion by saying, “Former president Clinton said that Hillary Clinton could lose Saturday’s (SC) primary because many African Americans in the Palmetto state will likely vote for Senator Obama. The former president also got into a heated exchange with a reporter over the topic – you guessed it – race.” That was followed by some clips of an irate-sounding Bill Clinton supposedly playing the race card, though it was all too oblique for me.

The guests were the discredited Armstrong Williams (indicating once again that no scandal may be too great to discredit a conservative pundit on FOX News), Republican Michael Reagan and a new-to-me author and professor Michael Fauntroy.

According to Hannity, the clip of Clinton “suggested” that “if Hillary loses in South Carolina, it’s gonna be because African Americans, the black vote, went to Barack Obama. Is that in and of itself racial?”

None of the guests really thought so. Williams took a gratuitous slap at Hillary but, he said, black voters think Obama is the better candidate.

Fauntroy was a great guest who refused to be apologetic for African Americans’ enthusiasm at the prospect of a black president.

“So it’s perfectly normal if somebody votes for a white candidate because they’re white?” Hannity sneered in his bullyboy voice.

But Fauntroy did not allow himself to be intimidated, demanded to finish his thoughts (he compared blacks’ affinity for Obama to Italians for Giuliani or Mormons for Romney) and Hannity eventually backed off with a smile, as he almost always does when someone really stands up to him.

Reagan likewise attacked the Clintons and avoided attacking Obama. “Sean, the reality of it is, Bill Clinton’s trying to set this up to blame the blacks in South Carolina for the loss that his wife is going to incur.”

“That’s ridiculous,” Alan Colmes said. And who but the most ardent Clinton hater could disagree? Colmes added, “It is a matter of fact that people like to break glass ceilings by voting for people who look like them.”

Williams had to agree.

Reagan pointed out that Obama won the primary in the “pretty white state,” Iowa. (He meant “pretty” as in “very,” not “attractive”) and somehow Reagan thought that proved the point.

In Part 2, Fauntroy said that this is “an opportunity for those who didn’t get enough shots at President Clinton to get a second bite at the apple.” Bullyboy Sean Hannity rudely jeered in the background (but props to Colmes for telling him to be quiet). Fauntroy continued, unfazed. He said that the attacks on Hillary have nothing to do with what she stands for but come from a “visceral distaste” for the Clintons. “Add to that the fact that they don’t necessarily have someone who can run in the Republican Party that’s not part of the same homogenous group in which the only real difference is some of ‘em have gray hair and some of ‘em don’t.”

Reagan got on his high horse and falsely alleged that it was the Clintons and their proxies doing all the smearing. “It is John Kerry who sat there and reminded everybody about the middle name of Barack Obama. Not the Republicans.”

Fact check: I think Reagan meant Bob Kerrey, who has endorsed Clinton (while John Kerry has endorsed Obama) and who has explained that when he used Obama’s middle name, it was in a complimentary sense.

Colmes correctly pointed out that it’s the right wing pundits who keep using Obama’s middle name as a smear. “Why don’t you take some personal responsibility for your side using these smear tactics against a black candidate?” Colmes asked.

Colmes must have landed that punch. In reply, Reagan told him to “just put a cork in it.”

Colmes replied sarcastically, “Thank you for the advice.” (Actually, Colmes and Reagan are friendly, or at least they were.)

“I want to set the record straight here,” Hannity said with the bullyboy tone again. It was a sure sign he was about to twist the truth. “It was the Hillary supporters that have been bringing up, now on multiple occasions, the drug issue (which I believe is probably true)… Barack Hussein Obama, the madrassa issue. These have all been brought up by Hillary supporters. And then they apologize later but they effectively get out the negative information about Barack Obama that they want.”

Fact check: the “Hillary started the madrasssa smear” meme has never been shown to be true, the Clintons have specifically denied it and even if it were the case, what was FOX News’ excuse for spreading the falsehood without checking it, for which FOX News later apologized?

Worked up into one of his Hanctimonious rants, Hannity named several Democrats who have criticized the Clintons for the supposedly “despicable” way they have treated Obama (Fauntroy pointed out that no Democrats used the word "despicable," which Hannity conveniently ignored) and “their smear tactics against Barack.” Of course, Hannity also conveniently overlooked his own smear tactics of trying to paint Obama as a black racist because of the views of his pastor.