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Sean Hannity And Dr. Laura Whine About “McCarthyism” Preventing Them From Using The N-Word

Reported by Ellen - January 19, 2011 -

Chalk up Dr. Laura Schlessinger as the latest white person to receive a dose of Sean Hannity’s racial rehab. You may recall that Schlessinger came under fire last summer after going on an n-word laden rant. But as he has so many other times, Hannity was more than willing to step up to the plate and defend someone who quacked like a bigot. I'm just surprised they didn't have the discussion on Martin Luther King Day.

Schlessinger’s offense occurred when a black woman called into Dr. Laura’s then-radio show complaining of racial prejudice from her white husband’s family. When the woman offered the particulars of the kind of prejudice she was sensing – including the family’s use of the N-word, Schlessinger interrupted to say that the woman was wrong, was being over-sensitive and lacking a sense of humor for finding offense. Schlessinger further accused the caller of having a chip on her shoulder because when black people use the word it’s acceptable but when white people do, it’s not. Shlessinger peppered her “advice” with her own generous helpings of the N-word to prove her point. The full audio, via Media Matters, is below.

Not surprisingly, all that context was lost on the Hannity show. Like Schlessinger, Hannity honed in on highlighting the apparent unfairness of not being able to use the N-word.

“What is the difference?” Hannity asked, “’cause I’ve watched Chris Rock on HBO, other comics, the word is thrown around like this (he snapped his fingers).” He said Bill Maher had used the word. Of course, the difference is the context. When uttered by a white person, the word is generally understood to be an insult. When said by a black person, it’s understood as an endearment. There was nothing in either Hannity’s or Schlessinger’s words or actions to suggest they would use the word as an endearment.

In fact, Schlessinger indicated the opposite. “I held up a mirror,” she said gleefully. Meaning, she had, via using the N-word, “proved” the hypocrisy of African Americans. Classy.

Schlessinger continued, “This was not really about a word, this was about an opportunity to eliminate…”

Hannity jumped in. “ – to silence a conservative.”

“Yes, obviously!” Schlessinger said.

Later in the segment, Hannity said, “You really believe that freedom of speech is in jeopardy in this country.”

Schlessinger said that’s why she quit terrestrial radio. As she told it, after the n-word incident, she had said, “I’m done with it.” She went on Larry King and “explained that there is no freedom of speech any more. It’s all about if somebody’s offended and it’s all about special interest groups and activist groups who earn their living by attacking, hurting and demolishing somebody else. And right now, it’s sort of the flip side of what we had in the fifties, when the right was attacking anything which could seem ‘leftist.’ Now we have the left attacking anything that doesn’t agree with them.”

“You think this is a new McCarthy,” Hannity said approvingly.

Schlessinger was in emphatic agreement. “Abso-lutely! …It’s blatant.”

Media Matters put together an excellent list of right-wing figures Hannity has “Hannitized” or helped “to clean up a messy situation with a softball interview." To that list, I’d add a slew of people specifically in trouble over racial remarks:

Don Imus - Besides badgering an Imus critic, one year after Imus was fired for his "nappy headed ho's" comments, Hannity sounded far more resentful than Imus was.

Hannity: Why can't people look at your whole life in context? Why can't you say, 'This was one 15-second moment in his life, that he apologized repeatedly for, made a mistake?' Do we live in an era where you can't say you're sorry, revise and extend your remarks, go apologize to people, try and make amends, and get forgiveness? It's like some people say, 'Alright, that's it! No texture, no context for the rest of your life.'

Imus: In an ideal world, yes. But my opinion about all that changed when I went and talked to the team... the (Rutgers) girls... Well, they didn't think it was funny... They couldn't understand why I'd picked them... The point was, what it meant to them and that completely changed my mind about how it should be accepted... As I sit here today, I would rather it had not happened but I think what happened – my getting fired and all of that – was probably what should have happened.


Bill Bennett - In response to the uproar over Bennett's comment, "You could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down," he sat for an "exclusive" interview on Hannity & Colmes in which Hannity declared, "This notion as being alleged by prominent Democrats that Bill Bennett has any racist bone in his body is appalling to me." During a second image-polishing interview, Hannity sneered about criticism of Bennett's remarks, "Isolated quote, taken out of context, the meaning reprsents nothing the way it was meant but now this becomes repeated by people like (Farrakhan) for political purposes."

Duane "Dog" Chapman - Hannity spent a full hour rehabilitating interviewing Chapman one night. On another, Hannity enlisted some of his African American toadies to "mentor" Chapman and declare him "redeemed" despite the dubious assertion that he had “erroneously believed that (the n-word) had evolved to be a term of comradery.”

Mel Gibson - I suspect Hannity would love to take back the lap-dog interview that froze out his then-partner, the Jewish Alan Colmes, done shortly after Gibson's drunken, anti-Semitic tirade.

NYC police officer Justin Volpe - When this white police officer was the chief defendant in a case in which Haitian immigrant Abner Louima accused New York City police officers of sodomizing and badly injuring him with a wooden rod in 1997, Hannity used his radio show for what FAIR described as "a vicious counter-offensive targeting the victim." Based on reporting by OnePeoplesProject.com, FAIR reported,

The father of chief defendant Justin Volpe, an NYPD police officer, regularly appeared on show during the 1999 trial. And Hannity and various guests repeated rumors that Louima's injuries resulted from a "gay sex act" and not from police brutality. Playing on the homosexual rumor and inconsistencies in Louima's story, Hannity and his producer sang a parody of Lionel Richie's song "Three Times a Lady," changing the words to "you're once, twice, three times a liar." Hannity stopped referring to the victim as "Lying Louima" only after Volpe confessed to sodomizing Louima with the help of another officer.

And last but not least, there's Mark Fuhrman. Not surprisingly, he's a Hannity show staple, often brought out to comment on cases involving race.



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