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: