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Hannity Supports Glenn Beck’s Assessment That Obama Is A Racist

Reported by Ellen - March 10, 2010 -

Sean Hannity started out a segment of his Great American Panel last night (3/9/10) decrying our gotcha culture and its lack of tolerance for people’s misstatements, especially with regard to race (and he almost certainly meant with regard to white people). But before long, Hannity was defending Glenn Beck as a reasonable guy who has “never said (anything) over the top” and went on to support Beck’s accusation that Obama is a racist, based on his association with Rev. Wright. From there, Hannity hung on to his Rev. Wright harangue until the end of the segment. Oh, and I suspect Hannity was talking about me when he said, “Right now, there’s some psycho leftist liberal in her underwear” monitoring his show. With video.

The premise of the segment was another effort by Fox News to use race to divide and inflame. This time, they killed two birds with one stone by discussing the “controversial” recent statement by Dan Rather (one of Fox's regular boogeymen) saying about President Obama, “Listen he’s a nice person, he’s very articulate, …but he couldn’t sell watermelons if it, you gave him the state troopers to flag down the traffic.”

It’s a rarity for Hannity to have any interest in white racism against blacks – he’s usually more concerned with black racism against whites – so it was no surprise when he said, “I can’t stand Dan Rather… I can’t stand the guy…(but) I don’t think he really thought about what he was saying.”

“This is the problem,” Hannity added. “We live in an America where, if you misspeak – Look, I have people that monitor – right now, there’s some psycho leftist liberal in her underwear hiding out in her bunker somewhere. There’s some psycho hanging out in her underwear, hoping and praying that dumb old Sean Hannity says something wrong. They do it to everyone else on this channel. They do it to Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin.”

I can’t help but conclude that Hannity was thinking of moi when he said that as I have not only been extensively blogging about him for almost five years but I have particularly focused on his disturbing record on race. However, I’m disappointed that Hannity has not picked up the fact that I mostly watch his show at the gym or listen on satellite radio in my car – fully clothed.

“Democratic strategist” Penny Lee said, “And the right wing bloggers don’t do the same thing? ...Come on, come on, Sean.”

Hannity continued, “This is a game that we’re playing now. For example, Don Imus. Did he apologize? Does anyone accept his apology? No, he’s got to be fired for what he said.” (Hannity conveniently left out the fact that Imus did not misspeak once but had a history of making racial slurs and incendiary comments). Bill Maher says outrageous things every week. No one ever cares what Bill Maher says.”

Lee said, “And Glenn Beck says some pretty outrageous things, too, every week.”

Hannity immediately leapt to Beck’s defense. “Wait a minute, he’s never said over the top like what Dan Rather said.” No, nothing over the top. It was all a liberal plot that caused Beck to lose more than 100 sponsors in the wake of calling President Obama “a racist with a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” The violent rhetoric is no big deal, either, compared to Rather’s stray remark about Obama selling watermelons. Meanwhile, Hannity conveniently neglected to mention the controversial statement by Limbaugh earlier in the day saying that NY Governor David Paterson is “gonna be a massa” if he chooses a replacement for the just-resigned NY Congressman Eric Massa.

Lee is another in a long line of nice, attractive, likeable Fox News Democrats who are consistently mediocre and wishy-washy in their advocacy. She rightly cited Beck’s comments calling President Obama a racist but she failed to note his use of violent, inflammatory rhetoric, as well as Beck's and the network’s disturbing history on race. Instead, she said mildly, “He (Beck) has said some very outlandish things.”

Hannity said, “Hang on a second. When the president hangs out with Jeremiah Wright for 20 years, can one conclude that there are issues with the president? Black liberation theology?”

Hannity was essentially saying the same thing that had caused Beck to lose so many sponsors. But Lee showed no outrage. She did not demand any apology or retraction. She didn't even point out that while Hannity was complaining about white people being condemned for racial faux pas, there he was condemning a black man for, essentially, guilt by association. Instead, Lee merely argued as though they were having a normal, plain vanilla discussion and as though Hannity had said nothing appalling. She offered up the lackluster response, “The president said (Wright) is intolerant.”

Hannity, of course, kept pushing. “He did that at a moment when he had to say it to save his political career… I think we ought to live in a world where you can make a mistake… and revise and extend your remarks, apologize and it be accepted. But we don’t live in that world any more.” I guess it’s “that world” that forces Hannity to keep harping on Rev. Wright. The same way Hannity refused to let go of Obama’s mispronunciation of the word “corpsmen.” The same way Hannity refuses to accept Sen. Robert Byrd’s renunciation of his long-ago membership in the KKK and Sen. Dick Durbin’s apology for comparing Guantanamo Bay to a concentration camp.

“Tolerant,” “forgiving” Hannity said, “Let me ask you what’s worse. Is it worse that the president hung out with Jeremiah Wright for 20 years. Do you not find anything wrong… with the president hanging out with and not immediately condemning when the words came out ‘G.D. America. America’s chickens came home to roost? When he found about it, he didn’t immediately condemn him… Does that not bother you? Did that not show us how radical the president is?”

Fortunately for Lee, there was a real advocate in the form of Tom Suozzi, a Democrat from Nassau County, NY, who jumped in to say what Lee should have thought of, which was that the issue had been fully vetted and decided. “It was the main news for weeks… let’s move forward.”

“Forgive all that,” Hannity said resentfully. “It’s alright that he started his political career in the home of a… “ Anyone who has watched Hannity for more than five minutes knows his next words were going to be “unrepentant terrorist.”

Suozzi said, “The American people forgave him and they said we’re gonna vote for him for president of the United States of America so they’ve moved on to the next step.”

But "tolerant," "forgiving" Hannity has not. It's doubtful he ever will.