Is Hannity Inciting Civil War?
Reported by Ellen - May 6, 2009 -
Sean Hannity reached a shocking new low last night (5/5/09) as he likened the Obama administration to King George and went on to suggest that a new American revolution is needed. With video.
Hannity suspended his usual “Hannity Headline” to bring a “special first segment of the show” that was straight out of Glenn Beck's playbook. Is Hannity getting nervous as Beck gains on him in the ratings?
As patriotic music played in the background, Hannity, who just a few weeks ago vehemently supported Governor Rick Perry's threat of secession, quickly suggested that an uprising against the government might be in order. “In 1765, Parliament passed The Stamp Act, provoking outrage among the American colonists,” Hannity began. “Now, the leaders of the tax uprising were the sons of liberty.”
Citing the names of Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, John Hancock and John Adams, Hannity explained that they met under a tree to “air their grievances against the tyrannical King George. The sons of liberty would become an early voice for the rights of an oppressed citizenry.”
With awe in his voice, Hannity said that the colonists hung two tax collectors in effigy from a tree “and from that day forward, it became known as the 'Liberty Tree.'”
In case anyone didn't quite snap to what he was getting at, Hannity added that under the last liberty tree, which stood at St. John's College in Maryland, colonists “held a tea party and listened to the words of founding father Samuel Chase.”
Then, cloaking his spirit of insurrection under a veil of patriotism, he said, “In the spirit of our founding fathers, with our liberties once again threatened, we introduce our own liberty tree.” A graphic of a tree appeared on the screen with roots called “Life," "Liberty," "Pursuit of Happiness" and "Freedom.” “They support the trunk of the tree which is made of 'We, the people,' ...and the fruits of our liberty (are) represented by the apples. It is those apples, the fruits of our liberty, that this administration is now picking clean,” Hannity said.
Hannity labeled the apples “industry,” “commerce,” and “security.” He spent the next several minutes attacking Obama, accusing him of “stifling industry,” and “ignoring established precedents of bankruptcy law.” No industrial or legal experts ever appeared to elucidate the charges. No Democrat was on the show (other than as part of the “Great American Panel”) to offer his or her perspective on Hannity's accusations. So much for "fair and balanced."
After the “industry” apple fell from the tree, Hannity brought up a now-familiar distortion as he moved on to “commerce.” “Remember how the president used to oppose earmarks?” Hannity asked. He misleadingly played a clip of Obama saying about his stimulus bill, “We are gonna ban all earmarks.” Hannity then said Obama “turned around and signed an omnibus spending bill with more earmarks than anyone could count.” As we have previously noted, Obama never promised to ban all earmarks, just to reform the earmark process. But Hannity deliberately mixed apples with omnibus to suggest otherwise. This is a distortion that “patriotic” Hannity (and others on Fox News) have repeatedly put forth.
“This can't be what Mr. Jefferson had in mind,” Hannity said self-importantly. We agree.
After “Kerplop, there goes the commerce apple from the tree,” Hannity continued, “Security from this administration, well, it's hanging by a thread. But at least President Obama has made a new friend.” A photo of Hugo Chavez appeared as a banner read, “Obama and Chavez: A new 'special relationship.'” “Meanwhile, the mullahs in Iran continue to move forward with their nuclear agenda while we hope that they're gonna come back to the table to talk to us about it all.” After some more hate-mongering and fear-mongering, the “security” apple fell from the tree, too.
“What we are left with is the collective crate of socialism.”
Hannity concluded by saying, “This administration has plucked the tree of liberty bare. It took more than 200 years but it now looks like we are headed back to where we started.” Meaning revolution? Hannity never said one way or the other.
One crucial difference between then and now of course is that the colonists rebelled over being ruled by a foreign king. That's a far sight different than chafing under the policies of a democratically elected president - who, by the way, has yet to raise taxes the way King George did. But Hannity didn't mention the distinctions. I suspect he doesn't care.
Please consider contacting Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org and letting them know that real patriots don't incite insurrection.