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Hannity's Studio Audience Wants Obama Charged With Treason

Reported by Ellen - December 12, 2009 -

Sean Hannity called his special last night (12/11/09) “Terror On Trial” but he might as well have called it “Obama On Trial, Let’s Convict Him Now” because that was the obvious game plan. Oh sure, Hannity talked to a few security experts about terrorism and the actual terrorism trial coming up but he spent most of his time attacking the Obama administration’s decision to hold the trial in a civilian court in New York. There didn’t seem to be a single person with a different point of view, even in the studio audience where, by the way, I could not find a single person of color. The audience was supposedly made up of 9/11 victims. As a former New Yorker, I know for sure that many people of color were among that group. Funny how unrepentant bigot Hannity couldn’t seem to find any worth including. If there had been any attempt at balance, the show would also have included some members of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows which supports the civilian trials. But during the last segment of the show, Hannity dropped all pretense of discussing the trial as he brought on anti-immigration extremist Peter Gadiel who suggested President Obama should be arrested for treason. So how did “Great American” Hannity react to that bit of extremism? By encouraging his audience to agree. With video.

The segment began with a clip of Gadiel talking about the death of his son on 9/11. It was obvious – and understandable – that Gadiel was still pained about it. But then he moved on to discuss a meeting he had with Obama in which, according to Gadiel, Obama had said he had not made up his mind about how to conduct the trials of the 9/11 suspects. Without offering any basis for his conclusion, Gadiel said, without challenge from Hannity, “I think that, essentially, he (Obama) lied to us. Lied repeatedly on major pertinent points. Number one, that he hadn’t made already a decision to transfer this to civilian courts. I’m pretty confident in saying that this man is a liar.” How Gadiel knew such a thing, he never said and Hannity never asked.

What Hannity never told his audience about Gadiel is that he has a record of extremism. He has been quoted as saying, “Americans must sleep with loaded pistols at their bedsides because so many of them have been attacked by illegal aliens [who were] ‘just going to America for a job.’” Recently, he made the rounds on Fox News fighting his town’s refusal to put up a publicly-funded memorial to his son saying that he had been “murdered by Muslim terrorists.” (The town was willing to put up the memorial, just not with that wording.)

With Gadiel now in the studio audience, Hannity prodded Gadiel to continue his attacks. “You think the president lied to you,” Hannity prompted.

“I think (Obama) lied to us and I think that he has an alarming history of helping terrorists… There was (Attorney General Eric) Holder’s dismissal of the charges against the Black Panthers in February.” But the charges against the Black Panthers had to do with voter intimidation, not terrorism and DOJ says Holder played no role in the case. Hannity did not correct the record.

Gadiel continued, “…Obama refused to denounce the Iranian government when it was shooting pro-democracy demonstrators. And now there’s this where he provides this forum for the terrorists and the ACLU to spew their hatred.”

“It may be pushing the envelope a little bit,” Gadiel added, “but I, I wonder, you know, The Constitution has provisions for people who provide aid and comfort for the enemy and I just – there’s no exemption for high officials, including the president and the attorney general. I just wonder when, when it will be that people would, will decide or will there be people around who will be willing to point fingers if he crosses the line and when does he cross the line?”

So how did “patriotic” Hannity react to his guest calling, essentially, for our president to be arrested for treason? By encouraging the rest of his audience to agree. “Let me ask for a show of hands once again. How many of you – show of hands (Hannity raised his own hand as a blatant cue for others to do so, too) – high, if you can. How many of you agree with what Peter just said?”

Almost the entire studio audience raised their hands.

Hannity then announced that there were only a few minutes left. “So I wanted to maybe get your reaction… What do you want to say to the president?”

Predictably, all the comments were critical. One woman complained that the president and other Americans have a “pre 9/11 mentality.” Another woman said the trial will “hurt New York worse than 9/11,” as Hannity cooed sympathetically. A “first responder” asked “Did the president and Mr. Holder suffer from Stockholm Syndrome where if they show allegiance to the terrorists, maybe they’ll leave us alone? (A nearby audience member guffawed - at Obama, not the malaprop.) …They’re disillusioned if they are.” Several audience members applauded. The final comment was from a tearful woman who said she was amazed “that people aren’t screaming in the streets in outrage. We can’t do this again. And this president is going to let it happen.”

Hannity ended the program looking somber and doleful. But one couldn't help but feel that he was secretly satisfied.

Just when I think that Fox News can't be any more frighteningly extreme, they are.