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Hannity Goes To Bat For Michael Steele

Reported by Ellen - April 10, 2010 -

If you were watching Hannity last night (4/9/10), you’d never know that RNC Chairman Michael Steele had approved $2,000 in expenses at a "bondage-themed nightclub," that a recent RNC fundraising letter had mistakenly directed donors to call a phone-sex number or that other Republicans are so upset with what they see as his profligate spending and lagging fundraising that Family Research Council President Tony Perkins used his regular newsletter to members to urge them to stop giving money to the national GOP. Instead, Hannity pussyfooted around the scandal to portray Steele as a valiant victim, stalwart in the face of undeserved attacks. And when Steele gave a dubious "explanation" for his race-based "slimmer margin of error" comments, Hannity didn't raise an eyebrow or a question. Is the RNC embedded with Fox News or is Fox News embedded with the RNC? Or have they simply melded into one unit? I report, you decide. With video.

Hannity did another campaign-type show last night, this time from the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. Yet again the audience was a sea of white faces.

First, they talked about the upcoming Supreme Court vacancy. Then they talked about Bart Stupak’s decision not to run for re-election. Next, it was whether or not “this intensity” among Republicans would last until November (with Steele giving a little plug to Hannity’s new book).

Finally, Hannity said, “You walked out here tonight and you got a massive reception from the crowd here in New Orleans. You had a strong defense from Newt Gingrich, Governor Palin defended you (Hannity forgot to mention that Palin had refused to be associated with Steele’s RNC fundraiser, however), some have attacked you, some have gone after you. What is your reaction to that?”

Steele began, “I’m trying to do the best I can as national chairman…”

Hannity interrupted to give Steele a bigger boost. “You have three victories under your belt.” Hannity later said he worried about the “circular firing squad” among conservatives. And to draw attention away from that and rally the troops, he laid a little hate on his country by boasting about Newt Gingrich calling Obama “the most radical president," Obama’s low poll numbers,” etc.

Despite the fact that Steele was appearing on the “we report, you decide” network, nobody ever explained why anyone had called for his resignation.

But Hannity did take time to give Steele the opportunity to clarify his remarks that he and President Obama have a “slimmer margin of error” because of their race. Steele claimed that what he meant was, “Look, in this job, it is unique to have both of us at this point in our American history. And a lot of people are coming to grips with a whole new reality now with Obama on the left and Steele on the right. And this is just – this is a testament to the greatness of this nation. That’s really what it’s all about. We’ve got a lot more to do and a lot more to get done. And it starts this November, folks.”

I happen to like Michael Steele. I think he's a decent guy, even if he does have champagne tastes. But that explanation is just a crock. But Hannity, who would hve surely howled, "Reverse racism!" if any Democrat had said such a thing, seemed as happy as a claim with it.