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Sean Hannity Defends And Participates In Hate-Mongering Bill Cunningham’s Use of “Barack Hussein Obama”

Reported by Ellen - February 27, 2008 -

Loud-mouthed demagogue Bill Cunningham, a conservative talk show host with a history of smearing Barack Obama (along with just about any other Democrat whose name he can yell), found himself on the receiving end of some unintended consequences of repeatedly using Obama’s middle name at a John McCain rally yesterday. Rather than inflict damage to Obama, the one who got besmirched was Cunningham. McCain quickly repudiated and apologized for Cunningham’s remarks. Predictably, white supremacist sympathizer Sean Hannity took Cunningham’s side and joined in the Obama smears on last night’s (2/26/08) Hannity & Colmes. With video.

The segment started with a clip of Cunningham’s rant that not only attacked Obama but almost all the media. He used such epithets as “the stooges from the New York Times… NBC, the Nobody But Clinton network” and claimed that at some point they would “peel the bark off Barack Hussein Obama.” In fact, Cunningham referred to Senator Obama in that fashion at least three times, but the FOX News clip only showed one, placed at the end of Cunningham’s statement in such a way that conveniently drew attention away from the smear.

“That was our friend, Bill Cunningham… the great American that he is,” Hannity approvingly said after the clip. Then he added with thinly veiled scorn, “But the Arizona senator made sure to distance himself immediately after the talk show host made those comments.”

Cunningham used the segment to work in a slew of other questionable slurs against Obama. First, he called Tony Rezko, the indicted real estate developer, a “good friend of Barack Hussein Obama.” Funny, Tom DeLay is under indictment but FOX News doesn’t find that an impediment to welcoming him as a pundit. FOX News doesn't even think the indictment worth mentioning.

Cunningham continued, “I spoke about the circumstances involving Obama Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who was the fellow who gave a lifetime achievement award to Louis Farrakhan.” Hannity chimed in on “Louis Farrakhan.”

In reality, Reverend Wright did not give a lifetime achievement to Farrakhan, his daughters did. Furthermore, Obama has repeatedly denounced Farrakhan. But Hannity, as he has repeatedly done, ignored those facts.

“The Daley political machine gave us this stealth candidate, this Manchurian candidate,” Cunningham told Hannity. (Cunningham later told Alan Colmes he never called Obama a Manchurian candidate.)

Hannity jumped in to further help the smear along. Referring to the controversy of using Obama’s middle name, Hannity said, “Now that is his name. You didn’t make it up.”

No questions about why Cunningham consistently chooses to highlight the middle name, or what the purported significance is.

“His parents called him Barack Hussein Obama, not me,” Cunningham shouted. Poor put-upon Cunningham shrieked that if conservatives “just say his name, all of a sudden, they’re gonna be electrocuted.”

Under questioning from Colmes, Cunningham admitted that he had also (wrongly) called Obama “Barack Hussein Mohammed Obama.” Cunningham insisted, “I do not believe Barack Hussein Obama is a terrorist or a Manchurian candidate.” But Cunningham had just called Obama a Manchurian candidate moments before, during Hannity’s portion of the interview.

Colmes noted that Cunningham had once said, “It would be a shock if Barack Mohammed Hussein Obama could be elected to president of this country in these difficult, terrorist times.” Colmes added, “It sounds to me like you’re making up names for him, and you’re using the word terrorist as if you’re trying to tie him to terrorism.”

Colmes added that he thought McCain had handled the matter with “dignity and class.” “How does it feel for you to be repudiated by your Republican candidate?” Colmes asked.

Suddenly, Cunningham (who just hours before had spoken at a rally for McCain) claimed that McCain is not a conservative. Apparently, denouncing a racial slur against Obama made McCain a sudden liberal.

Cunningham claimed that he was going to follow Ann Coulter's lead and back Hillary Rodham Clinton. “I’m a conservative Reagan Republican. And John McCain embarrassed himself," Cunningham said. "The local Republican Party, Alan Colmes, has received dozens of calls complaining about John Juan Pablo McCain.”