Despite Obama's Criticisms Of Million Man March, Race-Obsessed Hannity Tries To Paint Him As Bigoted Soulmate of Farrakhan
Reported by Ellen - April 20, 2008 -
Sean Hannity, who readily gave Neo-Nazi Hal Turner a platform on WABC radio and who can always be counted on to leap to the defense of nearly any white person caught in a bigoted rant, was once again just as eager to tarnish Barack Obama as a black racist because of his appearance at Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March in 1995. FOX News revealed that Obama went as an observer and a critic of Farrakhan’s tactics but that did not stop Hannity from a smear-by-association effort that flew in the face of facts and reason. With video.
At the beginning of what Hannity called the latest installment in the "real Barack Obama series” aired during a special weeknight showing of Hannity's America on April 18, 2008, Hannity insinuatingly said that Obama “had some very interesting views” about the Million Man March. Obama’s views were indeed very interesting but not in the way Hannity implied.
Farrakhan was first shown saying, "We are gathered here today not to bash somebody else. We're not gathered here to say all of the evils of this nation but we are gathered here to collect ourselves for a responsibility that God is placing on our shoulders to move this nation toward a more perfect union."
That sounds like the kind of message Hannity endorses but there was ominous music in the background, implying something sinister about Farrakhan's words.
Hannity said breathlessly, "Among the spectators that day, Senator Barack Obama!" A menacing looking photo of Obama was shown. Hannity didn’t mention that some of the other spectators included Stevie Wonder, Maya Angelou, and Rosa Parks.
As the ominous music continued, Hannity said, "We have learned about Obama's attendance from an interview he conducted with the Chicago Reader in 1995… FOX News has learned from the interviewer… that Obama went to the march to quote better understand the movement and wanted to be an observer, rather than a participant." In other words, Obama had expressly distanced himself from Farrakhan even then, long before the 2008 presidential campaign.
But Hannity ignored that fact and made a deliberate effort to smear Obama nonetheless. In his tabloidy voice, Hannity said, “Among the Million Man March's participants was Rev. Jeremiah Wright! However, it is not known whether Barack Obama attended the march with his controversial pastor of 20 years but many prominent leaders and politicians wanted absolutely nothing to do with the event.”
A clip was shown in which Dick Morris said, “Man, I spent the whole days and weeks with Bill Clinton figuring out how he could not go to the march.”
Hannity continued, “Obama's thoughts on the rally are revealed in the Chicago Reader article. Obama said quote, ‘what I saw was a powerful demonstration of an impulse and need for African-American men to come together to recognize each other and affirm our rightful place in the society. But what was lacking among march organizers was a positive agenda, a coherent agenda for change. Without this agenda a lot of this energy is going to dissipate. Exhortations are not enough, nor are the notions that we can create a black economy within America that is… sealed from the rest of the economy and seriously tackle the major issues confronting us.'" So Obama had not just distanced himself from Farrakhan but had also expressly rejected his tactics.
What's objectionable about that? Hannity didn't say. But he added, "Obama's reaction to the march gets even more shocking!"
What was so shocking? Hannity said, "(Obama) is quoted as saying quote, "Cursing out white folks is not going to get the job done. Anti-Semitic and anti-Asian statements are not going to lift us up. We've got some hard nuts-and-bolts organizing and planning to do. We've got communities to build."
In other words, while it’s excusable and even endearing to Hannity when white people insult black people on racial grounds, it’s abhorrent when a black man speaks out against cursing out whites and argues in favor of building a black community that is not “sealed from the rest of the economy.”
Conservative Armstrong Williams appeared via a pre-recorded clip. Armstrong said, "(Obama) walked away with an attitude of how we come together as a nation, as black and white and Jewish brethren. He talked about how you show up at these events and how a lot of these black leaders have to talk more than just about anti-Semitism and racism. What he was saying, 'We've got to stop this blame, of this racism, this anti-Semitism and we've got to look at our own communities and build – not as black people.’ He talked about bringing all coalitions together."
Once again, Obama’s message sounded like something the conservatives on FOX News are always complaining African Americans don't do. Now that Obama has been shown doing it, Hannity tried to smear him as a racist by Farrakhan proxy anyway. He made no comment on either Obama's or Williams' statements. Instead, he moved on, saying, "During the speech, Louis Farrakhan didn't stray from his strong opinions. Some of his statements include, quote (the screen also printed the words): White supremacy has to die in order for humanity to live; White supremacy caused you all… some white folk try to rewrite history and write us out; White supremacy has poisoned the bloodstream of religion, education, politics, jurisprudence, economics, social ethics and morality.”
Hannity said, “We know where Farrakhan stands with the presidential election. He has publicly announced his support for Senator Barack Obama although Obama has publicly rejected Farrakhan's endorsement. FOX News has tried to get a statement from Barack Obama's campaign seeking further information about the Illinois senator attending the Million Man March in 1995. They have not responded. It is curious how the Illinois senator will not speak about his attendance at the march. This raises the question, just how much do we really know about Senator Barack Obama?"
Maybe if he wasn't such a race-baiter, Hannity could have investigated Obama's actual record and actually learned something real about the "real Obama."