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Brent Bozell And Sean Hannity Want Christiane Amanpour To Just Shut Up!

Reported by Ellen - September 17, 2010 -

Sean Hannity’s regular “media mash” segment with Brent Bozell – in which the two conservatives spend about 7 minutes whining about (liberal) media bias – is always an exercise in jaw-dropping hypocrisy. But the two reached new heights – or lows – last night (9/16/10) as the conservatives whined about bias against tea party candidates, while ignoring their very real flaws. Then, for the piece de resistance, Bozell ordained that ABC’s Christiane Amanpour should just shut up! So how did our host feel about someone suggesting that another media host should be silenced? Hannity was gleeful. That’s fair and balanced, Fox style, for you.

This week’s criticism began with complaints about what Bozell and Hannity perceived as critical remarks about Christine O’Donnell. Never mind that O’Donnell has such serious baggage that even Fox News’ own Karl Rove has criticized her. And never mind the boatload of criticism that spews out of Fox News' “news” segments against any Democrat who stands in the way of their pro-GOP agenda.

“The mud slinging is in high gear!” Bozell proclaimed. And then what did he do? Sling mud at the left, of course. “The left can’t debate the right any more. They’ve got only one message left, only one weapon, it’s character assassination. I’ll say it over and over again.” Spoken just like somebody you can trust to be impartial – not.

But, of course, impartiality to Hannity – if not all of Fox News – means unwavering support for Republicans.

When they got to Amanpour, Hannity said, “We report, we’ll let you decide if you think this is fair.” He played a clip of Amanpour talking about the so-called ground zero mosque (the one Hannity deliberately demagogues). The plans have “whipped up anti-Muslim sentiment,” Amanpour was shown saying, followed by the results of an ABC News poll finding that 49% of Americans now have an unfavorable view of Islam. “Not since 9/11,” Amanpour continued in what appeared to be a separate clip or at least a jump to another portion of her report, “has the country seen such anti-Muslim fervor.” Clips of angry, anti-Muslim demonstrators were seen chanting and shouting. That was followed by a clip of Amanpour talking to Imam Rauf, the imam behind the proposed Islamic cultural center, saying that an ABC poll found that “only 37% of those who were asked expressed a positive feeling about Islam. Do you think that Muslims such as yourself, others here can actually have a place to practice their religion freely, to live freely as Americans?”

Apparently, Hannity was miffed that Amanpour didn’t attack Muslims or at least Rauf. Hannity said, “They’re people that want America more sharia compliant, that think America’s an accessory to 9/11, that think Osama bin Laden was made in the U.S.A. …Why didn’t she ask those questions?”

Well, maybe because they’re gross distortions of Rauf’s actual words. For one thing, no matter how many times Hannity repeats the distortion that Rauf “wants America to be more sharia compliant,” it won’t make it so. What Rauf actually said was that the American political structure IS sharia compliant, meaning it protects God-given rights. Second, Rauf did not say America was an accessory to 9/11, but its policies. Specifically, he said, “I wouldn't say that the United States deserved what happened, but the United States' policies were an accessory to the crime that happened." As Media Matters noted, that view is shared by the 9/11 commission and Glenn Beck, among others. But I have yet to hear Hannity rail against them for those views. Third, Rauf’s allegation about Bin Laden being created by America is true, at least to some degree. As CBS’ Ed Bradley reported, "Bin Laden and his supporters were in fact recruited and paid nearly $4 billion by the CIA and the government of Saudi Arabia in the 1980s to fight against the mujahadeen rebels against the former Soviet Union, which had invaded Afghanistan. After the Soviets pulled out, the Saudis, our best friends in the Arab world, our staunchest ally during the Gulf War, poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the newly formed Taliban regime until 1999, when the Saudi government feared that bin Laden and the Taliban were out of control."

Not that “media critic” Bozell seemed to notice or care about Hannity's distortions. Bozell said, instead, “There comes a point where the American people should say to Christiane Amanpour, ‘Please shut up.’”

Hannity laughed heartily.

Bozell continued, “I am sick and tired of this.” He then went on a tear against Amanpour and blamed the rest of the media for causing the Koran-burning (non) incident.

So to recap, the guy who crusades for fairness in the media wants to stifle someone he disagrees with. Can you imagine if Keith Olbermann said Chris Wallace should just shut up?

Classy! As usual.

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