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“Patriotic” Gingrich And Hannity In A Dither Over Miranda Warnings For Enemy Combatants

Reported by Ellen - June 11, 2009 -

Newt Gingrich and Sean Hannity got together on Hannity last night and engaged in what must be their favorite political activity: showing their love for country by spewing non-stop hate for Democrats. Never mind that more Americans call themselves Democrats than Republicans And never mind that there have been two assassinations in the last two weeks from right-wing extremists. That was no reason, those two great patriots seemed to think, not to keep up the volume of inflammatory rhetoric.

The show, which completely ignored the shooting at the Holocaust Museum earlier in the day, made Gingrich's efforts to get the GOP “back on track” (as the Hannity webpage put it) the top story. It started with a montage of clips from Gingrich's Monday night speech accompanied by presidential music helpfully inserted by the Fox News producers.

“I am not a citizen of the world. I am a citizen of the United States of America,” Gingrich proclaimed in his speech.

Hannity repeated Gingrich's quote at the beginning of the interview. Then, apparently not wanting to waste a moment before getting to the attacks on President Barack Obama, Hannity added, “You also said, 'Obama has already failed.' Explain.”

Gingrich didn't hesitate to take the hint. First came an attack on Obama's stimulus package. Then, after a brief detour to discuss Colin Powell, it was back to the Obama bashing for Hannity. But Mr. United States Citizen broadened the animosity. “Democrats only talk about pay-go when they want to raise taxes. Democrats only sound conservative when they want to raise taxes,” Gingrich said with his customary smirk, before sinking his teeth into Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. “We ought to just relax and ignore them.” He went on to complain that he's “deeply opposed” to Washington rationing “your health care or the health care of your loved ones.” Never mind that there's no proposal in Washington to ration anyone's care. Gingrich was engaging in a lot of “what if's” as if they were certainties: What if we had national health care and what if that led to rationing? Never mind that there is intense and widespread support for having private and public health insurance.

There was a quick smear of Biden from Hannity, followed by a brief plug for Gingrich's website and then Gingrich got back to attacking the president, this time by making him out to be a liar. “This is a president who uses rhetoric to hide from reality. I've learned very sadly (yeah, sure) not to pay attention to his words because they are in fact not good indicators of what he's going to do.” Gingrich continued the hate mongering against Obama a little more, accusing him of “arrogance on a scale that is almost unimaginable.”

Hannity agreed “wholeheartedly” and added that the “latest example” came from the “Obama administration terrorist relocation program.” Hannity said that, according to the Weekly Standard, Obama “quietly ordered FBI agents to read Miranda Rights to high-value detainees captured or held at U.S. detention facilities in Afghanistan, according to (Republican Congressman) Mike Rogers.” Hannity forgot to mention that the report is unconfirmed; according to the Justice Department and the military, there's no such order.

But even if there were, what's so wrong about Miranda rights? Could there be anything more quintessentially American?

Gingrich either didn't know or didn't care that Hannity was referring to an unconfirmed report. “Unimaginable,” Gingrich said, about those rights that you'd think he'd cherish so dearly he'd want to use them as much as possible. Instead, U.S. Citizen Gingrich called it worse than anything either Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton ever did. “The idea that we pick up in a war zone a terrorist and the first thing we do is say to them, 'We want to make sure you undersand your rights. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney.' First of all, that's just not true. They're not American citizens... These folks are gonna get a lot of people killed.” He admonished the Obama administration for “crippling” the CIA, the FBI and “pretending that terrorists are Americans.”

Let's see: Obama's weakening national security, his policies endanger capitalism, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are just as bad. Nothing new there. The only reason I can think of to make this discussion the top story while forgoing one about the Holocaust Museum shooting or right-wing extremism violence in general is because on Fox, Republican politics trumps all.