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Fox News Hosts Try To Make Political Hay Out Of University Of Alabama Shootings

Reported by Ellen - February 17, 2010 -

Just as Fox News pundits used the Virginia Tech shootings to score political points, so have they begun using the University of Alabama shootings. Sean Hannity used it to attack Democratic Congressman Bill Delahunt. Glenn Beck used it as ammunition in his war against progressives by suggesting that Amy Bishop, the alleged shooter, was motivated by her far-left politics. With video.

On Hannity last night (2/16/10), Hannity announced, “Rumors have been swirling on Capital Hill… about the future of Massachusetts Congressman Bill Delahunt. And tonight, in a special Hannity investiation, we take a look at how Delahunt’s past could come back and haunt him in this election year.” More than likely, what Hannity meant was, “Let’s do what we can to make that happen.”

The past Hannity was hyping was Delahunt’s role as the then-DA who did not prosecute Bishop. Although he had no proof and talked to no spokespeople for Delahunt, Hannity deliberately suggested that Delahunt had declined to prosecute because Bishop’s mother was a prominent Democrat.

Hannity’s so-called “special investigation” lasted less than two minutes. The rest of the segment, approximately four minutes more, was devoted to analysis (except for the part where they talked politics) with Howie Carr, a conservative talk show host from Massachusetts. After Carr detailed the facts of the case, which admittedly made Bishop’s claim of “accidental” shooting look suspicious, Hannity said enthusiastically, “So now let’s connect Delahunt to this.”

Glenn Beck was even more odious. After a hammy rant against the New York Times for noting the undertones of violence in the Tea Party movement, Beck struck back by saying, “Maybe I missed it but I haven’t seen the New York Times connect the dots from the actual violence from the left, like the latest nut job, a professor from Alabama who killed three colleagues.” Probably that's because there were no dots to connect, except in Beck's ever-eager-to-demonize-the-left schtick.

Beck went on to quote the Boston Herald as saying Bishop is “a far left extremist who was obsessed with President Obama to the point of being off-putting.”

Apparently, that was all the "evidence" Beck needed for his case. But as David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars points out, there's no indication whatsoever that the shootings were politically motivated. All signs indicate this was about Bishop's disgruntlement with having been refused tenure.

Neiwert also notes that recent right-wing shooters, on the other hand, left lots of evidence that their crimes were politically motivated. And in those instances, Beck dismissed them as nut jobs.