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Hannity & Sharpton Debate At National Action Network Convention

Reported by Donna - April 24, 2007 -

This Friday we had our roaming reporter, Lucy, at the National Action Network Convention to observe and write about the Al Sharpton and Sean Hannity debate. What she came up with were some very interesting revelations.

Please take the time to read the observations of our roaming reporter Lucy, she did a lot of hard work on this.

Guest blogged by: Lucy

Sharpton said, "When Sept. 11th happened, for a brief window all of us for the first time felt we were all under the same attack...the problem we must encounter is that we all know how to mourn together, we must learn how to live together."

Then Sharpton made an appeal for those that didn't agree with his world-view to agree that it may be a reality for those that did.

"When are we going to deal with the reasons why people listen to each one of us in the first place? Because we speak to a part of an American psyche that is desirous...of remedy and dealing with this...if you wake up in an America where you are faced with limited opportunities and a limited feeling that the law will work for you, then you wake up in a much different America than those who do not have those challenges."

I spent some of the time watching the crowd, Hannity's supporters (sorry I keep referring to them, but they were fascinating) would sort of shut down when Sharpton speaks and then perk up when Hannity spoke.

Then Hannity launched into how bad the Democrats were for blacks - the old Robert Byrd thing and Al Gore's dad. Old stuff that I've noticed the trolls on the website bring up time and time again. Talking points. "For whatever reason, and I don't understand it really, 90% of African Americans vote Democrat. Robert Byrd, a former Klansman, was Democratic leader in the Senate for 11 years...I didn't hear you demand that he be fired! [Loud whoops and cheers from the audience]"

(This is the thing I see in talking points all the time, too, as if the Democratic party of 40+ years ago has any bearing on the party today. It's like voting Republican because that was Lincoln's party!)

Hannity also does a terrible impression of Clinton.

Then he launched into an attack on Hillary Clinton, demanding that Sharpton demand that Clinton return money she received from rap executive, Timberlan.

Sharpton, "First of all, we didn't vote for Lincoln because we couldn't vote."

About this time, you could hear people chanting outside "we want in! We want in!" It sounded like a very LARGE crowd.

Hannity then returned to the Hillary Clinton point, reiterating that for Sharpton to be consistent, he must demand that Hillary return the donation.

"In the case of Don Imus...I think what he said was deplorable, but he got down on his knees...and he asked you for forgiveness. And this is why I think the Reverend ought to have given it to him. Because of your past. The Rev has called the African American mayor of NY 'the n-word.' He called the mayor of NY David Dinkins 'a whore.' When you said we talked about philosophy and astrology and math before Socrates and them 'Greek homos' were into it. You talked about when us 'white folks living in caves while we were building empires.' In the case of Tawana Brawley [big cheers from his crowd here], the Rev used the term 'diamond merchants.'"

Sharpton: "You've got your [points] mixed up. Tawana Brawley had nothing to do with the Jewish Community."

Hannity: "If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house." Then launched into several more things Sharpton has supposedly said, about Khalid Mohammed and others.

Sharpton: "Nothing you claim I said, and most of it I didn't...let's get the context right."

Hannity: "Is diamond merchants appropriate?"

Sharpton: "The exact quote I said in front of the mayor...I said that we must examine what has gone wrong in Crown Heights right now. Whether it’s Blacks snatching pocketbooks...or Diamond Merchants dealing with apartheid South Africa. This was pre-Mandela...I think you're trying to list all of these things out of context to justify Mr. Don Imus saying it.

"You can't ask me to compare you, me or anyone else to someone who was a multiple serial violator that his employer said 'enough of this is enough'
When advertisers said there was a patters here."

Hannity then chided Sharpton about forgiveness, and Sharpton recounted how, back in the early 90s, he forgave a man for stabbing him two inches from his heart. Sharpton's crowd really responded to this story, but it was pretty clear the stabbing was news to most of the Hannity crowd. "Not only did I forgive him, but I went to Court and asked the judge to forgive him....and it was a White male, but of course you never repeat that because it doesn't fit into your polarizing America to get ratings."

"Whether or not those young ladies should meet with Imus and forgive him, I said absolutely they should meet with him, and absolutely they should forgive him.

"But that has nothing to do with him continuing to use his job to do what he has consistently done. Forgiveness, Mr. Hannity, does not mean amnesty."


Hannity, "You need to listen to my show three hours a day, Reverend. You might learn something."

Sharpton: "I have certain disciplines I can't violate."

What was remarkable about the entire thing is that Hannity really had Sharpton on the defensive from the get go, interrupting and forcing Sharpton to clarify many things rather than letting the points go. I feel that is a very pervasive technique with the RW radio - to make deliberate misstatements and force the subject to clarify so as to not give the impression that was what the subject said. Hannity's followers were clearly responding to it. Hannity also made Sharpton defend what all other Africans American leaders have said. It was really remarkable.

Sharpton: “This is Sharpton, not Colmes, you got to be ready!”

Oh, and BTW, Hannity is a terrible singer.

Comment: Lucy attended the Convention and reported for News Hounds on the debate between Al Sharpton and Sean Hannity. We here at News Hounds would like to congratulate her on a job well done and a great big Thank You!