Sean Hannity, the guy who palled around with a white supremacist and has a very disturbing record on race, was predictably excited over what he and Fox News touted as an “exclusive” airing of an “unedited Obama race video.” Unfortunately for Hannity, Fox and the Breitbart team, the video – showing President Obama hugging someone 22 years ago - is so underwhelming that it immediately became a Twitter joke. That big exposé telling you what the “mainstream media” would not turned out to be old mainstream media news. PBS’ Frontline aired the whole thing in 2008 as part of an election special. PBS’ website noted that the video has been posted there and on YouTube ever since.
Nevetheless, Hannity announced that Obama’s friends had been keeping the video “under lock and key.”
Poor Hannity couldn’t even get the date of the video right. He said, “We’re going back to 1991” for this big news (not) about a speech Obama gave at a Harvard protest when he was a law student. PBS says the speech occurred in 1990 and that “some reports have incorrectly identified the speech as occurring in 1991." As PBS also noted, Obama’s speech defended “the actions of Professor Derrick Bell. Bell, the law school’s first tenured black professor, had protested Harvard’s failure to offer tenure to women of color as law school professors.”
Hannity aired a clip from the “very rare” video showing Obama saying he remembered Bell speaking to an orientation for first year students.
“One of the persons who spoke at that orientation was Professor Bell. And I remember him sauntering up to the front and not giving us a lecture but engaging us in a conversation and speaking the truth and telling us the (history?) that we had to learn at this place that I’ve carried with me ever since. Now how did this one man do all this? How’s he accomplished all this? He hasn’t done it simply by his good looks and easy charm, although he has both in ample measure. He hasn’t done it simply by the excellence of his scholarship, although his scholarship has opened up new vistas and new horizons (unintelligible)… Open up your hearts and your minds to the words of Professor Derrick Bell."
“Now what that edited video did not show you was that seconds later, Barack Obama embraced Bell before turning the microphone over to the controversial professor,” Hannity said damningly.
Yes, folks, that’s the big revelation. Obama spoke well of and then hugged a Harvard tenured professor! But wait, there’s more!
According to Hannity, “what is most disturbing” is that Obama’s (black) friend, another Harvard Law Professor, Charles Ogletree, “openly admits” hiding the video during the 2008 campaign “apparently in order to protect his friend, Barack Obama.” Hannity didn’t explain how Ogletree “hid” a video that was posted on YouTube and PBS.org.
What was Ogletree “attempting to hide from voters?” Hannity asked. For answers, he turned to “two men who helped uncover this video.” They were Ben Shapiro and Joel Pollak, of Breitbart.com. Andrew Breitbart is, of course, the recently-deceased blogger with quite a shoddy record.
As the word “EXCLUSIVE” blared on the screen, Pollak claimed that Obama’s participation in such (decades long-ago) events had been “hidden for a long time.” Pollak fingered WGBH TV for not responding to his request for access. But PBS reported that “No other footage of the event exists at WGBH.” So how does Pollak know otherwise? He didn’t say and Hannity didn’t ask.
Pollak doesn’t seem to be a hugely bright light in the intellect department. He told the Hannity viewers the demonstration where Obama spoke was “not about faculty diversity on campus. This is about Derrick Bell who was going to take a voluntary, unpaid leave of absence to protest a tenure decision and to make sure that there was more racial diversity on campus and so on.”
Got that? It was not about faculty diversity on campus but about “more racial diversity on campus.” Say it isn’t so!
But it’s easy to see what Pollak was trying to suggest: that it was really about black militancy. “Derrick Bell was the Jeremiah Wright of academia,” Pollak continued. He cited a prior speech of Bell by paraphrasing, “America remains a racist country and the civil rights movement essentially was a sham because white supremacy remains the system and we’ve got to transform that system radically in order to get rid of racism." Pollak added, "Those views were well known at the time… This was about radical ideology, racial ideology.”
Yes, folks, this was who Obama hugged! What neither Pollak nor Hannity mentioned is that this “radical” was also the prior Dean of the University of Oregon School of Law and went on to become a visiting Professor of Law at NYU. If you ask me, hiring a guy is a lot more of an endorsement than a hug and an entreaty to, essentially, listen.
Hannity was enthralled, of course. “This does raise questions,” he said. “What are people to grab from this… Is it that Barack Obama seems to always gravitate towards the most radical people?”
Segregation-supporting Hannity is not exactly a guy to complain about whom anyone else “gravitates” toward. Besides palling around with a white supremacist, he’s also made a point of befriending just about every white person accused of racism: Don Imus, "Dog The Bounty Hunter," Mel Gibson and Bill Bennett, e.g. Plus there’s his black-hating, African-American pal Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson.
“There’s no question about that,” Shapiro said. Then he closed the segment with this unintentionally hilarious statement:
The media cover up here was very real. Ogletree’s cover up here was very real. And the fact is that, you know, what Andrew Breitbart stood for in his life was turning people into citizen journalists. It was the idea that we weren’t going to allow the elite media to decide what was a story and what was not a story. We weren’t going to rely on them to vet the candidates… What’s amazing about this video in particular is it was seriously open to anyone. This was not hidden… It was hidden by them, but it wasn’t hidden from the media. If the media had really wanted to do the legwork, they could've found this stuff.
Well, thank goodness that these citizen journalists are there to expose a video that was previously aired on national television and posted on the internet in 2008 so that we can vet a candidate who has created a record as president for four years!
This "exclusive," "race video" is currently the featured entry on FoxNews.com's video page:
Your comment about gun sales is a bit disturbing, however. You seem to be saying that you intend to buy a gun after Obama is reelected. For what purpose are you doing this? Why do you need to own a gun? What do you plan to do with it?
And if you think Obama “has ruined this country”, what exactly do you mean? Your assertions have already been disproven and debunked, so what evidence do you have to support your thinking?
Obama was not a member of the Weather Underground, and at the time he met Bill Ayers, Ayers was a local community member and teacher. Obama did not start his political career in Ayers’ living room – he visited many households on a single day as part of a local outreach to get votes when he was running for office. Ayers himself has said that he doesn’t know Obama any better than most Chicagoans, and Obama knows him as a community member. Not much of a tie there.
Obama’s support as a student for a popular professor like Derrick Bell is not surprising or sinister. This doesn’t mean that he, or any other former student of Bell’s, automatically endorses every opinion of Bell’s. Breitbart’s “gotcha” video is old material that was seen in 2008. It wasn’t an issue then, and isn’t an issue now.
Your reference to Agenda 21 is confusing. This is a recommended environmental approach that many countries are pursuing – it’s non-binding and seems to be a sensible way of dealing with a serious problem. Again, this isn’t an issue for anyone watching these matters closely. Alex Jones and Glenn Beck’s conspiracy theories aside, this is just a discussion of public policy. It’s not a surprise that Nancy Pelosi or any other member of Congress would discuss it. They should, and do.
As for gas prices, we should remember that gas prices soared under George W. Bush’s watch and only dropped right before he left office, due to the collapse of our economy at that time. The prices of course had dropped pretty far by the time Obama was sworn in, and then proceeded to start climbing back up.
It’s more accurate to think of them as having had a major dip in the middle of a large rise than to say that Obama has deliberately caused the prices to rise.
The long-term thought about oil and gas, by both Democrats and Republicans, is to find another source of energy – one that is cheaper and is renewable. George W. Bush discussed hydrogen powered cars. Obama has discussed other possibilities. The idea isn’t to overcharge people for driving – it’s to find another solution which will be cheaper for everyone. Taking major risks with our environment with unsafe drilling (as happened with BP in Louisiana) is both a dangerous option and one that will not bear fruit in the way the GOP candidates say. First, it will take years and billions of dollars for a new drilling project to produce oil in any usable quantities to affect our prices at the gas station. More crucially, we don’t have enough oil in places like ANWAR for this to help us very long – it would be more like a band aid on a more serious problem. And the whole Keystone XL Pipeline matter is one where many of the parties involved asked for significant studies to be done on both the risks it poses and on the environmental impact – nobody wants to see something devastating happen on that pipeline or at its source, and rushing into it may have a result even worse than what happened with BP. The GOP talking points omit that idea to just take a cheap shot at Obama in an election year. Newt Gingrich is banking on the fact that most people don’t know that information and think he can somehow magically drop the price of oil by decree. He can’t, and he knows that.
Obama did not start a race war in this country. He was and is the target of multiple racial smears, based solely on his race, by people who were and are intolerant of the notion of a black president. The entire birth certificate controversy is but one example of this. I have yet to see a single way that Obama as President has somehow made it more difficult for white Americans as any kind of a sop to Black Americans. He has governed from the center on pretty much every issue, and I have yet to see how his policies are somehow designed to only help people of a single race over another.
As for abortion and women’s reproductive health, it is incorrect and inflammatory to say that liberals support “infanticide.” It would be more accurate to say that liberals and progressives support the right of the woman to choose whether she is able to take a pregnancy to term and care for a new child. They support the woman’s right to decide the timing of when she gets pregnant and to make her own decisions about her health. I would think that conservatives would appreciate that it is improper for the State to tell people how to manage their own bodies – any libertarian would tell you that the State should stay out of it.
That said, the bills you mention from Illinois were not in any danger of passing, and were understood at the time in a different way than you are presenting them. Those bills were a trio of “Liveborn” laws that were intended to get Democratic state legislators in conservative districts to vote against them. The bills all passed by a wide margin, and their passage was not in doubt. The point was to make several senators vote either “Yes” and alienate the women in their districts (as the bills were known to be anti-choice and as harshly constructed as possible to make the women out to be baby killers) or vote “No” and risk having the votes immediately used against them in their next campaigns in those districts. Karl Rove would have been proud of the triangulation. But Illinois law permits the legislators to simply vote “present” as a way of saying no without giving the pundits an instant talking point. Obama voted with these senators as a strategy they were all taking – specifically to allow the present votes to not just be the guys who were in those districts. This strategy was worked out between the senators and pro-choice organizations in the area as a counter to what the GOP was trying to do to them.
And by the way, Obama’s “present” votes made up something like 3 percent of his record as a state senator. He did it 129 times out of thousands of votes he cast. And almost all of those times, it was for a strategy like this one, which was not a matter of him not being able to make up his mind but instead dealing with obvious instances of people trying to play political games rather than tackle the issues for which they were elected.
As for a “War on Christianity”, this is yet another GOP talking point that has no basis in reality. Obama is a Christian who regularly attends church. But, like every president before him, he recognizes there’s a line between church and state – particularly as it comes to people observing their religious rights. That does not mean he condones or endorses one religion’s practices over another. And I’d be curious to hear exactly where you got the idea that Obama or any Democrat supports anyone of any religion beating or raping their wives or killing their daughters. The only thing he has asked for is tolerance toward other people’s customs (on observance, not on people attacking each other, as you know) – and it sounds like you disagree with him on that.
As for the economy and Detroit, things continue to be sluggish. They have improved since Obama got into office, but it will take a long time to dig out. Keep in mind that the economy was in freefall when Bush left office, and that we were losing millions of jobs at that time. Under Obama, the plummet slowed and finally stopped several months into his presidency. Since then, he’s been trying various ways to stimulate the economy, to get the engine to turn over again. And at every step he’s taken, the GOP in congress have thrown an almost universal “NO” vote to either delay or stop whatever the Democrats try to do. Had the GOP succeeded on all of their attempts on this, the economy would have bottomed out a lot lower and a lot harder for everyone, and the only response they’ve offered would have been lower taxes for the highest earners – who would most likely have continued to keep their money offshore and just pay less taxes here at home – just as they have done consistently over the past 20 years.
So now that you’ve read some of the facts rebutting these talking points, what is your response?
I find it so amazing that you rabid rightwingnuts keep saying things about race wars and calling President Obama a nazifascistcommunistsocialistracist but yet nothing has panned out. If you are correct, I guess he best be hurrying since he only has 10 months to put his evil plans in action.
I’m sorry, but the ONLY thing that our President has going ‘against’ him is his race (and only half of that). If you are not a racist, then I’d like for you to tell us exactly what evidence you have to back up your claims. No CONSERVATIVE sources allowed. I have challenged about 25 conservative friends and acquaintances. None, so far, have come up with anything.
I’mput inmind of a character from one of Peter Gent’s novels who tells of another character nicknamed the cocroach- “notfor what he ate or drug away,but for what he fell into and messed up”. Inwhich case virtually all Republicans occupy that species niche and the clown car slate of possibles you’ve drug out this year are may be a variety of Gromphadorhina portentosa the Madagascar hissing cockroach one of the largest species of cockroach in the world. I’m sure you’ll hear this in all sorts of ways but it comes to your Republican buddies better be careful what they wish for.
Breitbart sure fooled us. Thought he had video of Pres. Obama leading a drum circle or a May Day rally at the least. He had to go to PBS for his pre-death source material. What’s next for Klannity, sourcing Olbermann for his anti-Obama material???
Don’t let his Boy Scout image fool you. There is two sides of him that you don’t see. Yes, we have seen it.
Hannocchio was best friends with neo Nazi Hal Turner and good friends with George Allen, and racist Patrick Buchanan. His other business buddy Robert Allen Stanford was convicted of ripping off working class people.
Hannocchio’s list of racist “friends” is long. Perhaps we should post an audio of Hannocchio’s hateful rants before he became a household name. Yes, those tapes do exists and here it is.
There’s other things about him that he prefers to keep quiet. Fat chance. This year, everything about him goes public.
He’s not the innocent man he portrays himself to be on television. He’s a fraud.
NOTE TO HANNITY
Tell your audience what you really did in Alabama. The locals know.
And I’d hate to come across that artifact …
Well, Laura, then you should be just fucking ecstatic over the GOP primary field! (my apologies to any ‘cockroaches’ that may have been offended by the comparison to the Mittster, Newtie or Frothy Santorum!)
And, to be perfectly honest, we’re happy as clams about that field of losers, too!
I welcome all citizen journalists to send us even more clips proving Black People Are Scary!
The fact that he didn’t even check to see if this video had already been fully presented in 2008, in materials easily available for anyone to see, simply shows that in his desperation to find something dirty, he has lost the ability to even try a google search.
Freakin’ idiot- and you know this will be all over the news for three days anyways because everyone has to compete for the best joke on the air.
Breitbart truly lived up to his legacy- he managed to be so stupid that his IQ became national news. His survivors must be SO proud.