Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Hannity Really Shouldn’t Throw Stones Comparing Charles Rangel To Tom DeLay

Reported by Ellen - March 4, 2010 -

Sean Hannity crowed about what he obviously thought was a big gotcha on Nancy Pelosi regarding Charles Rangel a few nights ago. Hannity played a series of clips of her condemning Tom DeLay but not condemning Rangel, as though their offenses and ethical violations were at all comparable. But Hannity didn’t seem to realize he was putting on display his own hypocrisy, much larger than anything he had accused Pelosi of exhibiting. Somehow Hannity “forgot” (or maybe he counted on his audience forgetting) that while he was condemning Rangel, he had repeatedly treated DeLay as an upstanding citizen. DeLay had once been booked as an expert on Congressional ethics even after he had been indicted for, essentially, money laundering. With video.

On Tuesday (3/2/10), in his Hannity’s America segment, at about :43 seconds in, Hannity announced, “This week, it seems the House Speaker is the gift that just keeps on giving. Now, the New York Times may be calling for Charlie Rangel’s resignation but the San Francisco Speaker is mounting the ethics violator’s defense. Well, that’s a little odd coming from the woman who promised to drain the swamp in D.C.”

Hannity played a quote of Pelosi saying, on February 26, “All I saw was the press release where they said that he did not violate the rules of the House. And I think that’s an important statement that they made. But they did not take action against him. They just said he did willfully the break the rules.”

Did that sound like someone mounting a defense of Rangel to you? It didn’t to me, nor did it to The (NY) Daily News which reported (albeit a few days later, after other statements), “Speaker Nancy Pelosi's defense of Rep. Charles Rangel is tepid at best.”

Hannity said sarcastically, “Now, I’m surprised that Pelosi didn’t extend the same courtesy to former Texas representative, Congressman Tom DeLay in 2004 when he found himself in a similar situation.”

Hannity played a clip of Pelosi saying then, “Republicans must answer, do they want an ethically unfit person to be their Majority Leader or do they want to remove the ethical cloud that hangs over the Capitol?”

I won’t defend Rangel but his transgressions pale in comparison to DeLay’s. The charges against Rangel are about misuse of rent-controlled apartments, failure to report assets on his tax returns and, essentially, several conflicts of interest. DeLay, on the other hand, had been indicted for, as USA Today put it, “alleged money laundering and conspiracy, in connection with fundraising to help elect Republicans to the state Legislature. He also figures in the activities of Jack Abramoff and former DeLay aide Michael Scanlon, lobbyists under federal investigation for allegedly defrauding Indian tribes out of millions of dollars.” Yet DeLay had refused to step down as Majority Leader until several months later. Even worse, DeLay’s allies had pushed through a GOP rule change to permit members to keep leadership posts if they are indicted (the rule was restored after a storm of criticism). Those were just the legal charges. There were plenty of other ethical lapses in DeLay’s scandal-ridden career that he got away with.

But none of that ever seemed to bother Hannity during any of DeLay’s numerous appearances on Fox News after he stepped down, including the one in which DeLay was the lone expert to discuss Larry Craig's men's room scandal. On another show, Hannity sympathetically told DeLay he had been “demonized.” On a special anniversary edition of Hannity & Colmes, DeLay got a standing ovation from the audience, with the apparent approval of Hannity.

But now that Democrat Rangel was in the hot seat, Hannity developed a sudden assiduousness about ethics. He said snidely, “Now Madame Speaker, I think it’s about time you take care of that ethical cloud that’s hanging over your House of Representatives.”