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Hannity Pretends To Take The High Road Over Kennedy’s Death

Reported by Ellen - August 28, 2009 -

Sean Hannity boasted last night about his respect for Ted Kennedy’s family and how he “decided not to go down the road” that other conservatives had pressured him into taking. Then Hannity just happened to enumerate those subjects he was too “respectful” to bring up: Mary Jo Kopechne and Kennedy’s “radical socialism.” With video.

Rather than have a frank discussion of Kennedy – which Hannity complained about other networks not doing – he framed the discussion with the question, “As the nation mourns the passing of the long-time Massachusetts Senator, many are asking how his death will affect the current health care debate in Washington?”

That sounds like politicization of Kennedy’s death to me. Even more so given that Hannity and his two like-minded guests, S.E. Cupp and Kimberly Guilfoyle spent the entire segment attacking Democrats, mostly in the context of their efforts to galvanize their ranks to pass health care reform in Kennedy’s name and, in particular, put his name on the bill. In contradiction of the network’s “fair and balanced” motto as well as “we report, you decide,” nobody mentioned that while there may well be a political motive to the Democrats’ efforts, it’s also a way to honor him. Passing the bill is what Kennedy would have wanted.

“It’s unseemly to me,” “sensitive” Hannity said. “Now, I’ve had conservatives attack me and say, ‘Hannity, you didn’t bring up Mary Jo Kopechne, his radical socialism, all the other personal issues he’s had in his life because – I’ll be honest. I think it’s – at this moment, I feel sorry for his family. They’ve lost a family member and we will have time to discuss his career. Out of respect for his family, I’ve decided not to go down that road. Personally, that’s my decision.” Stay classy, Hanity!

He continued, “But the Democrats are politicizing this. It reminds me of Paul Wellstone when he died – do everything for Paul Wellstone.”

And this reminded me of when Coretta Scott King died and Hannity attacked the mourners at her funeral for speaking out against President Bush. While complaining about Democrats' politicization, Republicans manage to do a darned good job of politicizing funerals for their own purposes.

Hannity later continued, “The fawning media coverage – are we allowed to ask this question? … A lot of it’s dishonest.” Is “high road Hannity” saying he thinks the media should start talking about Kennedy’s “radical socialism?” Mary Jo Kopechne? His “other personal issues?”

“No surprise there,” Cupp said. “This is a typical, sort of, Democratic tactic. Let’s not actually analyze what’s good and what’s not good about this program. Let’s just rename it. And hope the American public doesn’t notice.” Kind of like how she and Guilfoyle engaged in rank speculation to suggest David Axelrod had committed ethics violations? Or how she and Guilfoyle either lied or didn’t bother to read the contents of a USA Today article in their zeal to accuse Obama of buying votes with the stimulus package? They must have hoped the viewers wouldn't notice.

Hannity said, “The coverage about him (Kennedy) has been over the top and frankly dishonest… Is that something that just happens when somebody dies? Is that appropriate? We’re not supposed to bring up or allowed to bring up the full context and texture of one’s life, only the quote good aspects that we like?”

Ronald Reagan died before this blog existed but I’m willing to bet dollars to doughnuts, as my mother used to say, that Hannity attacked any Democrat who dared to even whisper a doubt about Reagan’s legacy in the aftermath of his death.