Sean Hannity – the guy who promoted Cliven Bundy’s armed insurrection against the U.S. government – should not be allowed to blame Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama or anyone else who merely sympathized with the protesters in Ferguson for the shooting of two police officers there.
Hannity plainly didn’t care about the shocking practices of the Ferguson Police Department that Holder’s Department of Justice recently revealed. As The New York Times wrote, the DOJ report “gave credence to many of the grievances aired last year” in the protests that erupted in the wake of the police shooting and death of the unarmed black teen, Michael Brown.
No, Hannity was too busy demonizing Holder, Obama and Al Sharpton for sympathizing with the protesters:
HANNITY: They created in this community a mindset that there was gonna be a grand jury indictment – but with eyewitnesses and forensics, that was never gonna happen. And then the Department of Justice report confirmed and corroborated what the grand jury came up with. But the community was believing something that was false. Who’s going to apologize to the business owners, the cops that were shot, and the irresponsible rhetoric that has been surrounding this from the beginning. Because that community needs an apology from those that were reckless.
Ironically, Hannity later used “reckless” Holder’s own report to further convict him. Hannity said to Neil Bruntrager, the attorney for Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed Brown, “Eric Holder’s Department of Justice corroborated what the grand jury and the eyewitnesses said. But most people in that community were told a different narrative. That cau – I would argue, helped cause what happened there last night.”
Bruntrager fell right in line. He, too, ignored the broad pattern of abuse uncovered in order to attack Holder. And let’s face it: the message was that Holder is just too black: As part of a shouting tirade, Bruntrager said, “I think the attorney general has failed in his job. He owed it to the community to explain to them why he found what he found.”
I don’t know why the other guest, African American attorney Daryl Parks never calls out Hannity’s tactics. I get that Parks has a job to do representing Brown’s family and, obviously, that’s his prime concern. But how helpful can it be to let this kind of disingenuous race baiting go unchallenged? Especially when Hannity has such a long record of far more incendiary rhetoric.
A few highlights of the kind of violent rhetoric that Hannity engaged in when his pal, the law-breaking rancher Cliven Bundy, engaged in an armed standoff with the federal government because he refused to abide by the law:
You talked about a range war with the federal government. There’s a lot of people out there - now that they’re taking your cattle - that are fearful that this is another Waco situation. Ruby Ridge has come up in some articles. What do you mean “range war?” How far are you willing to take this? (4/9/14)
I would assume as Cliven’s son, you want to protect your Dad. What are your plans if in fact (federal agents) come late in the night? …Do you worry that in fact they may kill either your Dad or somebody in your family? (4/15/14)
(T)hey may want to make an example out of you. I would hate to see that happen. If in fact they try to stage an Elian Gonzalez-style raid… what’s gonna happen? …Are you worried about what the federal government’s capable of doing from this point forward? (4/16/14)
Instead of apologizing for cozying up to this criminal – who turned out to be a virulent racist – Hannity played the liberal media victim. And guess what? Two of Bundy's supporters later executed two police officers. If I missed Hannity's apology, let me know where I can find it.
And here’s the kind of racial rhetoric that Hannity doesn’t object to:
“Most blacks, not all but most in Tennessee, especially in the Memphis, Tennessee area, are still living in the 50’s and 60’s. They are so racist that they don’t even realize that white Americans have moved on. And so whenever there’s a (political) campaign like this, such as this, they always use racism in order to intimidate white America.” (8/6/08)
“I think the race card is such a horrible thing… And I’ve been watching it more and more lately and I think it’s disgraceful. And when Obama gets 95% of the black vote, is that racist? I mean, you know, does anybody ever mention that? He gets 95% of the vote and I see your compatriots, your announcers saying, ‘Yes, he got 95% of the black vote but this wasn’t a racial thing. They like his policy.’ It’s a lot of crap.” (10/18/11)
Isn’t it long overdue for a guest to call out Hannity on this?
Watch it below, from last night’s Hannity show.
Heck, you never even get to hear what mild-mannered squishy centrist Fox guy Juan Williams tries to say unless he’s agreeing with Hannity or some other Fox host. As soon as he says “but,” he’s interrupted, lectured, and generally shouted down.
Did anybody catch the segment with Leo Terrell the other day? There was no point to that because he let Hannity provoke him and then his face got twisted up with anger, but you couldn’t hear a word he said. So he got to be Hannity’s irrational angry black man behaving badly.
What Daryl Parks is doing is a different tactic, showing the face of the calm, reasonable, un-angry black man without backing down from his main points. He’s not trying to score them all in any one interview, but bit by bit. He waits patiently until Hannity starts to run down a bit and gives him a chance to get out more than a sentence fragment.
Does it work? Eh. I think it doesn’t really matter because nobody in the Fox audience is listening. I’d just as soon nobody with any sense go on the network at all ever because there’s no point to it. But I admire Parks’s attempts to try.