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Projection? Bill Bennett Misinterprets Harry Reid’s Comments As Suggesting That Hispanics Come to U.S. To “Get On Welfare”

Reported by Ellen - August 12, 2010 -

Sean Hannity was full of bullyboy glee last night (8/11/10) as he attacked Sen. Harry Reid for making insensitive remarks about Hispanics. Yes, that’s the same Sean Hannity who palled around with a white supremacist and who has leapt to the defense of just about every prominent white person accused of bigotry. Every prominent white person except Democratic Majority Leader Reid. To pile on discuss Reid’s remarks, Hannity trotted out - not a member of the Hispanic community but Bill Bennett. The same Bill Bennett who has his own racially insensitive history – and has been a prior recipient of Hannity’s Republican racial rehab. But Bennett misconstrued and misinterpreted Reid’s comment as a suggestion that Hispanics come to this country to “get on welfare.” Reid said nothing about welfare. Projection? I report, you decide.

Hannity said in his introduction, “Prince Harry Reid delivered inflammatory remarks to a mostly Hispanic audience.”

Hannity played a clip of Reid saying, “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK? Do I need to say more?”

Yes, I think he should – if I’m supposed to find that statement insulting to Hispanics. Frankly, I just don’t get it. I also don’t get how Hannity, if he really thought Reid was so derogatory, didn’t bring on a Hispanic person to discuss it.

“Reid is unapologetic about his statement,” Hannity said accusingly. I, for one, was glad to hear it.

Hannity showed another clip of Reid saying, “My comment is directed how anyone could support what is going on now, especially with my opponent being in favor of Yucca Mountain, wanting to do away with Medicare, Social Security, Department of Energy, and on and on. That’s the purpose of my comment.” Reid told a questioner that he had specifically referenced Hispanics because he was “in front of a Hispanic audience.”

“I guess that’s supposed to make it OK,” Hannity sneered. “You know, race seems to be something of an obsession for Harry Reid. You may recall he was forced to apologize back in January for making a racially insensitive remark about Barack Obama.” Hannity was referring to Reid’s comments about then-candidate Obama, that he was a “light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one." Now THAT was offensive. But since Obama has forgiven Reid, Hannity has not been able to exploit it as much as he obviously would have hoped.

Speaking of obsessed with race, how about the time Hannity spent three nights discussing, and sent a producer to ambush, some unknown bookstore owner who had a year previously said that whites should be exterminated?

As for Bennett, ABC News reported about comments he made on his radio show in 2005:

“If it were your sole purpose to reduce crime, Bennett said, "You could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. "That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down," he added.

That was bad enough but Bennett “defended” himself – on Hannity & Colmes, no less – by misunderstanding what people found offensive and arguing that he did not want black babies aborted.

Hannity had stood by Bennett 100%.

Bennett then made his odd characterization of Reid’s remarks: “The demeaning idea that every Hispanic is interested – what is the idea, comes to this country to get on welfare, is that it? There are no Hispanics who come interested in free enterprise?”

Excuse me? Reid brought up Social Security, Medicare, Yucca Mountain and the Department of Energy. He said nothing, as far as I can tell, about welfare or Hispanics going on welfare.

Hannity either didn’t notice or didn’t care about that faux pas.

Hannity sputtered with faux outrage at Reid and other “incendiary” remarks from other Democrats, such as Joe Biden. Hannity whined, “It never becomes as big a deal in the media as it does (for conservatives)." He cited George Allen’s “macaca” comment as an example. Coincidentally, Hannity not only totally backed Allen but doled out a helping of Republican racial rehab to him, too.

And speaking of big deals, how about Hannity’s frequent guest Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, saying about African Americans, “I think we all agree that Barack Obama was elected by, mostly by black racists and white guilty people. Most black Americans, 96 percent of them, are racists." When discussing a racially charged primary in Memphis, Peterson said, "Most blacks, not all but most in Tennessee, especially in the Memphis, Tennessee area, are still living in the 50’s and 60’s. They are so racist that they don’t even realize that white Americans have moved on. And so whenever there’s a campaign like this, such as this, they always use racism in order to intimidate white America.” More recently, Peterson said he had renamed the White House "Big Mama's House."

Oh that’s right, it wasn’t a big deal. Meanwhile, Peterson keeps getting invited back on the show, treated with respect and Hannity continues to sit on the advisory board of Peterson’s charity.

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