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Kelly And Hannity Echo Beck: Obama's A Racist With A Racist DOJ

Reported by Ellen - July 1, 2010 -

Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity teamed up yesterday (6/30/10) to make the same kind of racial attacks against President Obama as the one that got Glenn Beck in such hot water with advertisers. You may recall that Beck has now lost a slew of sponsors for his comment that President Obama is a “racist” with a “deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” Swap out “deep-seated” for “Department of Justice” and you’d come up with almost the exact message that Hannity and Kelly made a point of delivering yesterday. The only real difference was that instead of offering the views as their own, Hannity and Kelly "outsourced" them through her so-called “explosive” interview with a former DOJ attorney and GOP activist. He accused the Obama administration of declining to prosecute several New Black Panther Party members for voter intimidation because of racial favoritism toward blacks and against whites. Kelly and Hannity gave their implicit endorsement of the so-called whistleblower's credibility and failed to mention his partisan background.

As Media Matters reported, the interviewee, J. Christian Adams, is a GOP activist who seems to have a particular interest in racially-tinged battles over voting rights. Yet Kelly, who has her own questionable record on racial issues, did not tell the “we report, you decide” network’s audience that relevant information about Adams’ background. Instead, she introduced him merely as an ex DOJ attorney now contributing to Pajamas Media. She also ate up every one of his allegations, which were based on secondhand information, without challenge and without seeming to have done any independent verification. She later regurgitated them uncritically to Hannity.

During her introduction of the interview with Adams, Kelly was so breathless with its supposed importance, I wanted to tell her to relax and take a few deep breaths. However, she was calm enough to ask Adams such leading questions as, “Is there any question in your mind that (the Panthers’ behavior) violate(d) the law?” and “You had not just that videotape, which we’ve all now seen, but you had witness TESTIMONY (her emphasis) from some credible witnesses who were there… so it was clear to you a case needed to be brought.”

Kelly did elicit that Adams had not personally spoken with those who decided to drop the case but she continued to suggest he had first-hand information. After Adams told her, “two other attorneys” had spoken to the attorneys who had decided to drop the case, Kelly asked, “What was your understanding… about their reasons?” She sounded much more like an attorney interviewing a witness for her own side than an independent journalist.

Adams said, also without challenge from Kelly, that the DOJ’s claim that “the facts and the law don’t support going forward” was “obviously… false.”

Kelly didn’t ask why, then, Adams’ name appears on the Notice of Dismissal.

“What was really going on?” she asked, suggesting that Adams not only knew but would give an unbiased,accurate and reliable answer. In reality, she was moving in for the (racial) kill.

“There was a pervasive hostility to bringing these sorts of civil rights cases,” Adams answered.

“Do you believe that the DOJ has a policy now of not pursuing cases if the defendant is black and the victim is white?” Kelly said it slowly and melodramatically, as if she were carefully considering her words – when she had clearly been maneuvering the interview in this direction from the get go.

Predictably, Adams thought so. “Particularly in voting… there’s no doubt about it.”

“Who specifically has issued that mandate?” Kelly asked.

Adams wouldn’t say other than, “They know who they are… It’s a political appointee.”

Adams went on to allege that DOJ lawyers not only wrongfully dismissed the charges, they didn’t even bother to read the briefs. “The mind was made up,” Adams said, However, he later admitted he had received that information second-hand from another attorney who was angry the charges had been dismissed. Kelly didn’t seem to find that significant. As if to verify Adams, she said, “You heard it from (the other attorney) and you have no doubt that it occurred.”

Later, Kelly appeared on Hannity where she recounted the interview as though Adams had been an unimpeachable source with no credibility issues. She also left out the DOJ’s response to his allegations which she had included in her own piece: “It is regrettable when a former Department attorney distorts the facts and makes baseless allegations to promote his or her agenda."

Instead, she told Hannity – who has an even more disturbing record on race than Kelly’s – “You couldn’t find a better eyewitness for the prosecution,” in support of Adams’ claim that the cases had been wrongfully dropped.

Kelly also echoed Adams’ claim that “behind the scenes, there was a mandate issued by the political appointees at the Justice Department that no cases will be prosecuted in the voting rights section where the defendant is black and the victim is white.” She offered the mild disclaimer that viewers can make up their own minds about whether or not the allegations were true. But she left no doubt which way she thought viewers should decide. It’s worth noting that Kelly, whose show airs from 1-3 PM ET on weekdays, is supposed to be one of Fox News’ objective anchors, not a political commenter like Hannity is.

Hannity, of course, added even more credibility to Adams' tale. “If this isn’t voter intimidation as (Adams) said, what’s voter intimidation?”

Kelly uttered, “Mmm-hmm,” in agreement. In response to Hannity’s criticism that Obama was not acting as a “post racial” president, among other claims. Kelly also sympathetically added, “(Adams) says (the Obama administration) didn’t live up to any of that.” Once again, Kelly put forth Adams' words as though that were all the information viewers needed.

Hannity concluded with a “sneak peek” of Part 2, aired today, which promised the same kind of “fairness and balance” as Part 1.

You can contact Kelly at [email protected] and Hannity at [email protected]

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