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On Hannity & Colmes, Jena 6 Demonstration Presented As Issue Of BLACK Racism

Reported by Ellen - September 21, 2007 -

Only on FOX News would the Jena 6 demonstration be presented as a story about black racism. And just in case you thought it was only the bigoted Sean Hannity, former pal to white supremacist Hal Turner, who felt that way, the issue was framed that way by FOX News, too. From the 9/20/07 Hannity & Colmes. With video.

“Reverse Racism?” appeared on a graphic behind Alan Colmes during his scripted introduction conflating the demonstration over questions of racial bias in the US justice system with remarks by Isiah Thomas and Jesse Jackson. Colmes began, “Are these cases of playing the reverse race card? Thousands gathered in Jena, Louisiana today to protest what they claimed is racial injustice. They oppose the criminal charges brought against a group of black students who beat up a white student in a school fight.”

Notice that the introduction omitted the precursor to the fight, the hanging of nooses by a group of white students on a “white” tree after black students gathered under it.

Colmes continued, “Knicks coach Isiah Thomas claimed it was OK for a black man but not for a white man to call a woman the “b” word (actually, Thomas said he would find it less offensive for a black man to say it, not that either was OK), Jesse Jackson caused ripples in the black community when he said Barack Obama was acting like he’s white. The reverend says he was misquoted.”

To his credit, Colmes focused entirely on the Jena issues during his portion of the segment and he brought up the nooses as well as the biased DA. But he spent most of his time (which was once again less than Sean Hannity’s) speaking to guest Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a regular on the show who seems to spend every moment of air time accusing blacks of racial bias. Peterson, you may recall, had a prominent role alongside Hannity in the Brave New Films video, Fox Attacks Black America.

Sure enough, Peterson responded by attacking those African Americans who were offended. “The real racists are the so-called black leadership who protested in Louisiana today.”

The result of giving Peterson ample time to condemn the Jena defendants was that the other guest, Rev. Dr. Franklyn Richardson, got hardly any time to defend them. Just as he got into his side of the argument, Hannity broke in with accusations of black racism toward Jesse Jackson and Isiah Thomas and demanding that Richardson prove he didn't have a double standard. There was no more discussion about the Jena 6.

Unfortunately, Richardson defended himself instead of confronting Hannity on the bigoted conflation and his ploy to re-frame the news story in a way that conveniently avoided it.

As he often does with an African American talking about race, Hannity mocked Richardson as he tried politely and respectfully to explain the difference between Imus’ comments and Isiah Thomas'.

Peterson showed no such good manners. He said, “Can you imagine what would have happened had a white man or white Republican said Barack Obama is not black enough? They would want to burn down America.”

Once again no outrage from Hannity. I doubt there was any from the FOX News producers either. It’s a safe bet Peterson will be back again.

Here's a screen grab of the description of the segment on FOXNews.com