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Hannity Uses DHS Warning About Growing Right-Wing Extremism To Foment More Hatred Against Obama

Reported by Ellen - April 15, 2009 -

Yesterday (4/14/09), the Washington Times broke a story about a Department of Homeland Security report that warns of a rise in "right-wing extremist activity." Instead of investigating the report and its implications, Sean Hannity, who has a history of cozying up to a white supremacist - exactly the kind of extremist the report focused on - used it as an excuse to launch the same kind of inflammatory rhetoric DHS was concerned about.

The report warns on Page 2,

"The current economic and political climate has some similarities to the 1990s when rightwing extremism experienced a resurgence fueled largely by an economic recession, criticism about the outsourcing of jobs, and the perceived threat to
U.S. power and sovereignty by other foreign powers."

On the next page, the report finds, "The historical election of
an African American president and the prospect of policy changes are proving to be a driving force for rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization."

Hannity utilized nearly all those tactics in his discussion about the report during the second of a two-part discussion with James Dobson on last night's (4/14/09) Hannity, starting at the 2:50 mark in the video below (the time counts down from the end).

First, Hannity suggested that relatively mainstream conservatives may be targeted by DHS. “I'm not Ron Paul's biggest fan but if you have a Ron Paul bumper sticker, you might be viewed as a radical by the government.”

Then he added, “What do you think of that interpretation, especially coming from a guy that started his political career in the home of an unrepentant terrorist who bombed our Pentagon and Capitol and sat in Rev. Wright's church for 20 years?” (This, coming from the guy who started his WABC radio career palling around with a white supremacist.)

Dobson suggested that “the media” is making up the threat. “There are no Timothy McVeigh's out there right now. They're making a big deal out of something that hasn't happened and may not happen... They're trying to create an issue out of what to this point is a non-issue and I think for political purposes.”

But DHS' job is to PREVENT something like that from happening. Despite FOX News' “we report, you decide” motto, nobody mentioned how, as Think Progress noted, the report finds that if the “uncertain economy” and a “perceived rising influence of other countries” continues, “rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength,” and that the Southern Poverty Law Center reports a 54% increase in hate groups since 2000.

Instead, Hannity doubled down on his inflammatory rhetoric against Obama. In his bullyboy sing-song, Hannity played on fears about Obama, policy changes and worries about loss of U.S. sovereignty and power mixed in with a touch of the race card. “What did you think of Barack Obama's comments that America is arrogant, apologizing for America and seemingly even apologizing for the Iraq war by saying 'We're not at war with Islam' when no one ever said we're at war with Islam, but radical Islam? What does that mean to you if the President of the United States – it sounds to me like he shares Wright's views that America's chickens have come home to roost.”

Dobson agreed. “It almost sounds like Jeremiah Wright in that instance.” He added that there's been “an understanding by presidents” that “that kind of criticism” does not occur “beyond the water's edge... For him to be on foreign soil with people who have been very, very critical of this country and its president and its military and its people. For him to make that statement deeply offended me and what bothers me more is there wasn't a greater outcry to it.”