Just three nights after Sean Hannity vowed, “I will never rush to judgment,” while discussing Roy Moore, Hannity made a mad dash to declare Sen. Al Franken guilty and complained that a Senate ethics investigation wouldn’t nail him fast enough.
Earlier Thursday, Franken was accused of sexually harassing and, as seen in a photograph, jokingly groping Leeann Tweeden who appeared in a USO tour with him. Unlike Moore, Franken has taken responsibility for his actions, apologized and agreed to a Senate investigation into his own behavior. Moore tried to capitalize on the Franken news by hyping his own victimhood.
Here’s what Hannity said Wednesday night when he announced he'd let Moore skate on a 24-hour ultimatum to “fully” “remove any doubt” of his innocence or “get out” of the race:
HANNITY: I don’t rush to judgment … I’m never going to apologize for not rushing to judgment. The issue of presumption of innocence is important for all of us.
Remember: Moore has been accused by nine women of predatory behavior, usually toward underage girls, when he was in his 30s. Franken has been accused of groping one woman. I recommend to you Randi Rhodes’ comments on Franken, her former colleague for several years. In essence, Rhodes describes Franken as a jerk (my word, not hers) but said she never saw, never felt, never heard of any sexually predatory behavior on his part.
Conservative Melanie Morgan, last seen promoting her anonymously-owned website designed to combat sites like Media Matters, (which seems like just the kind of endeavor Hannity would fund) has also come forward to complain that Franken harassed her on the phone, albeit not sexually, after a television appearance.
None of this excuses Franken’s behavior. But if I had a teenage daughter, I’d probably allow her to go on a trip with Franken (after some warnings) but I’d do my best to keep her away from Moore.
Here’s how Hannity 'didn’t rush' to judgment against Franken:
HANNITY: An ethics investigation, in my mind, takes too long. And by the way is a delay tactic.
Now, what Franken has admitted to, which we have photographic evidence right there, and what he is accused of doing is pretty downright creepy. But sadly, it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Al Franken, things you probably won’t hear on any other show.
Hannity also showed a fascination for Franken’s past I don’t recall ever seeing about Moore.
He played a clip of Franken calling Tweeden “beautiful.” Some iceberg! I don’t think Morgan’s tale of Franken obsessively phoning her to continue a televised debate much of an iceberg, either.
Hannity also went into Franken’s “long history of making all kinds of vicious, vile, completely out of line comments.” No, Hannity was not talking about comments like suggesting Hillary Clinton should be executed or that most African Americans in Tennessee hate whites, which he did not have a problem with, but various tasteless remarks and behavior.
Hannity was talking about a Saturday Night Live skit in which Franken joked about drugging and raping a passed-out Lesley Stahl. Later, Hannity read a quote from Franken revealing that this was only a skit Franken had pitched, not one that actually aired.
Also, in 2000, Franken wrote a purportedly satirical article for Playboy in which he fantasized about a machine that would perform oral sex on him and he said his 6th-grader son used the internet for a report on bestiality.
“It gets worse,” Hannity intoned, referring to the fact that Franken recently said he “faked" apologies for all that behavior in order to win votes. But the quote Hannity showed us indicated that Franken regretted apologizing because he sold himself out in doing so, even though he admitted the Stahl joke was “stupid.”
We also learned that Franken had made jokes about infant rape, that he had considered making jokes calling Republican senators “gay” for not showing up at a hearing about LGBT rights and there’s a photo of him jokingly groping Joy Behar’s chest.
Tasteless and repulsive, yes. Predatory? Not to me.
Hannity cloaks his political aggression as conservative victimhood
“Imagine it was showing a Republican, imagine the president, Trump,” instead of Franken, in the photo groping Tweeden, Hannity whined. “How would the media act on that issue tonight? They would be apoplectic … demanding that person resign immediately, not just calling for an Ethics Committee hearing.”
“We have to ask,” Hannity continued, “Is Senator Franken fit for office?” Mr. Never Rush to Judgment went on to call Franken “a pretty sick, twisted individual.” Hannity even called Franken “Senator Grope.”
Again, I’m not going to defend Franken. But you have to ask why Hannity is so outraged about Franken and yet has given not just Roy Moore a pass but Donald Trump. There's only one reason: tribalism.
We don't have to imagine Trump in a photo groping a woman. We can hear him boasting about grabbing women by the p***y because “when you’re a star, they let you do it.”
And if you're in Hannity's conservative tribe, he'll let you do almost anything.
Watch the shameless hypocrisy below, from the November 16, 2017 Hannity.
This old, Long Island hawk has no problem defending Roger Ailes and Billy O’Reilly. His father raised a real prize. The black sheep of the family, and a disgrace to his sisters, daughter and nieces.
This Omen of Fox “News” Channel is in for a shock. Employees at this demonic network has had enough, and will continue to expose this failed priest to the media.
NOTE TO HANNITY
Yes or no. Do you consider it sexual harassment if a construction foreman continued to make sexist comments about a young construction worker on the job site? Should he walk off the job?